What was plentiful this week were mergansers, right after I noted last week that I hadn't seen but one pair of mergansers all fall. Now there are hooded and common mergansers, travelling in groups as well as pairs.
|Common Mergansers looking a bit like loons in their fall plumage|
|Mr. and Mrs. Hooded Merganser|
On one crisp morning I saw a flock of juncos flitting about the small saplings looking for seeds.
|Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis)|
On those calm, cold mornings, ever-larger coves on the lakes are covered with a skim of ice, and some of them are keeping a little ice even as the day warms, though most of Lake Wicwas is still a bright November-blue.
|Bright water, drab trees|
November offers clear hiking weather, with nice sight lines absent all the leaves, and one of my friends (thanks CM!) inspired me to hike up Fogg Hill in Center Harbor. This is always a nice walk (you can find a map for the 2-mile round trip walk here) with many signs of moose also using the trail (those wide antlers make it hard to fight through the forest) as shown by so many trees stripped of bark, sometimes up to 12 feet high - those are some big animals!
|Bark stripped off trees along the sides of the Fogg Hill Trail|
The beaver pond along the trail was completely frozen over.
|Beaver pond beside the Fogg Hill trail|
I read in an article shared by NHLakes that beavers will break through thin ice-skims to prolong their activity a bit longer, but soon they will be restricted to living under a barricade of ice until spring liberates them once again.
|Photo by Kay and Peter Shumway|
How many more sunrises will we get with light reflecting off liquid water before the lakes are sealed off from all of us?