"A Serine, Mountain Top Pond" (pictures)
Report Coming Soon :)
Sunday, October 30, 2011
"The October Snow Storm!" (pictures)
Posted by Jason at 8:54 PM
"Orange Sticks, in Case of Snow" (pictures)
Posted by Jason at 8:35 PM
Saturday, October 22, 2011
"A one-of-a-kind Pitch Pine Community" (pictures)
"Cleaning Up From Irene" (pictures)
Posted by Jason at 7:25 PM
Monday, August 15, 2011
"Searching the Woods for a Direct Route to Bowser Pond" (Pictures)
It was such a beautiful day Friday I just couldn't sit inside all day! I was up unusually early and so after hanging around home in my office and sipping on my coffee I decided to head to Moose Mountains again and work on finding a route from near the kiosk to attach to the Bowser Pond Trail. I arrived at around 11:15am. I decided to head down the banking to the river and follow it up to find the best crossing, keeping in mind the higher water and run-off streams in the Spring. All sorts of mushrooms were found along the river and I was obliged to take their picture!
A little ways up the river I came to a beaver dam and a small pool where Moose tracks indicated that one was here getting a drink of water. So I dubbed this Moose Pool. A short ways further upstream I came to an unusual contraption in the water. Upon closer inspection this is what I found. Four separate clumps of leaves wrapped in netting, held down in the water by a rock which was tied off to a pink nylon string to a tree. Interesting to say the least. All I could think of was it was some sort of salamander/newt trap or a water mineral test of some kind. After e-mailing the Forest Society about it they said it looked like a salamander/larvae trap. This made sense! If the person who put these here is reading this, just please contact us as we would appreciate you completing a educational/scientific form and we would love to see your results/findings :)
Shortly further upstream I found my crossing point. There is a small clearing here and a banking that climbs through some trees to an overgrown skid road. I taped the trees with pink tape up to the main trail/road. Along the way I found an orange mushroom that was glowing in the sunlight, it was amazing! This small starting point taped off it was now time to head through the woods onto the road. This is were I get a little skittish. I am fine solo hiking on trails and familiar mountains. But the idea of Moose and Bear that are plentiful on this property and me squeezing my way through dense forest and old skid roads (which are probably used as herd paths by these animals), makes me a little unsettled and jumpy. I know these animals are more scared of humans than we are of them and the chance of a bear attack is like zero, I still am very cautious and try to be as loud as I can!
So, I took a right on this road and followed it. Dragonfly's seem to love these semi-open old roads and I was chasing them around from tree branch to tree branch! A ways down the road became very overgrown with young pine trees. Then it abruptly ended. Dang! I found some animal bones in a pile here and I got a little squeamish! I believe I was right near the spot where I found a dead moose and I wondered why I was finding more bones. I followed the bones through the woods and came to the spine and jaw sitting next to each other. 30 feet away was the spot where I had found the dead moose and it was not there. So something dragged it through the woods and I guess was picking off what little, if any meat that was still on the bones. This freaked me out! Just then a very loud knocking made me jump and nearly have a heart-attack! I remember hearing this before and I believe it is a tree blowing in the wind. At any rate this particular spot gives me the creeps every time I'm here. It feels haunted and cursed or something. So I bolted outta there and across the river to the kiosk!
Safe and sound back at my truck I took a break and cleared my head. I wasn't giving up just yet. I walked up the road (Burrows Farm Trail) and followed my pink tape back up to the river. I then spotted a mushroom. It was nearly half-a-foot tall and in perfect condition! Nice! I continued on to the skid road. I went left this time and almost immediately came out onto Piper Mt. trail/road where it takes a sharp left and goes uphill. I new this spot was close to Burrows Farm trail but didn't realize it was THAT close! At this point I decided to just head down this trail to Bowser Pond and check things out down there. If I felt like it I could continue my woods exploration from above and maybe it would be easier to find my way down to the river.
I arrived at the Bowser Pond trail and headed down the banking where I had blazed a side path. I hung out on the pond shore and took some pictures and looked for birds or maybe a moose across the other side. All was quite...very quite! I made my way along the shoreline, stopping at various open areas where there were small rocks to sit on. The Pickerellweed was in full bloom and was very pretty up close. I am always surprised to not find any frogs or turtles laying in the sun on the logs over here. Perhaps they are in the pond, but I've yet to see any. I did find one little lonely frog on a rock though.
I found the duck decoy thingy Scott and I had spotted on our first visit here and I was going to take it with me and get rid of it. But I didn't want to carry it and didn't feel like it was doing any harm, so I placed it back in the water. I also spotted another out in the water along the marsh section. Bee's were busy collecting pollen from them and dragonfly's were whizzing by skimming the water. Such a beautiful relaxing area! I made my way to the Southern end of the pond where there is a small clearing which I believe is part of the pond floor when the water is high. This is a beautiful spot! Across the pond you can look up to MMR's East peaks and there are tons of dragonfly's.
I hung out here for a while before heading out. Just then I spotted this small, weird looking plant on a log at the shoreline. It was so weird looking! There were hair-like tendrils that came out from a succulent leaf that appeared to have drops of water on the tips of them. Very awesome! I did some research when I got home, Scott helping by saying it looked like a fly catcher. He was almost right! It is a Sundew. The droplets of water are actually a gluey substance it secretes to capture insects. One of New England's Carnivorous plants. What a great find! Very excited now, I headed up the road and back onto SPNHF property and Bowser Pond trail. I came to the top of the hill where I was hoping to bring the Bowser Pond trail into the woods.
I explored this area and actually found a herd path about 100 feet to yet another overgrown skid road. Perfect! I followed this shortly to the top of a steep drop over the banking. The woods here were open and the ridge was covered with boulders! I followed alongside the banking down to a gully of sorts and up to a good sized boulder on the top of a hill. What a great trail side feature! This route is great! The banking here was much less steep and provided the perfect spot for the trail to ascend/descend easily. So down I went and back into the trees. I reached the young Pine trees, which I now know is part of the old skid road I was on before. I found the road and was unsure if this is exactly where I wanted my trail to go.
Tired, hot and happy with my findings I called it a day. I just have to connect the dots now and find the best trail in the middle section. Then I can begin trimming and blazing! Should be pretty straight forward. Most of the trail will follow old skid roads! I plan on having this trail finished by the end of August! I can't wait! A direct route from Burrows Farm trail to Bowser Pond Trail will provide an easier hike to this beautiful spot and will provide a nice loop option using Piper Mt. trail :) Once this is complete I will be searching the woods off of North Trail to find the ledge that overlooks Bowser Pond!!
Friday, August 12, 2011
|Rock on a Ledge & Pitch Pine|
Finally getting this report done! Scott and I were undecided on our Saturday hike. The weather was looking unsettled and Sunday looked crappy. We really wanted to climb Garfield and get Scott another peak caught up to me on the 4000 footer list. Also, a couple that are friends of ours was planning there final 48 on Mt. Isolation Saturday. We planned on joining them for a surprise show-up in the morning. Well, the morning came along and the weather report looked worst than the night before. We had done Isolation in the cloud cover before and really didn't want another no-view hike or getting caught in rain showers! So we stayed in our area and headed back to Moose Mountains....again!
|Phoebes Nable Mt. & Burrows Field|
|Summit area of East Peak ?|
Friday, August 5, 2011
"Off-Roadin' Stroller" (pictures)
Thursday I picked up my sister and her two daughters for a hike up Phoebes Nable at Moose Mountains Reservation in Middleton, NH. Me, Jill, Sarah (5) and Taylor (2months) arrived at the parking lot at noon time. As Jill got the baby ready in the jogging stroller I checked out the grown-in woods road that Scott and I are hoping to build a trail on. Right there was some sort of orchid-like flower growing. According to my research I think it might have been an Helliborine Orchid. It's amazing how many flowers are growing up here!
We applied bug spray as the overcast sky's were keeping the mosquito's out and the horsefly's were also on the attack! We made our way up Burrows Farm trail, Sarah asking a hundred questions and announcing every little thing she saw, and every time she would trip on something....kids, LOL! It was neat however to see her curiosity for mushrooms and once she saw me taking pictures of flowers and shrooms she was telling me to take pictures of everything. Guess I'll have to get her a little camera!
At one point she spotted some black-eyed Susan's and yanked one right out of the ground. We explained to her not to pick the flowers. It was very funny to find small shoe prints of another kid in the mud further up the trail, and a black-eyed Susan sitting nearby pulled up. All kids are alike I guess! We got a chuckle out of it. I also got a good laugh when she told me to take a picture of the "yellow flowers". Those being Goldenrod. I told her they were just a weed that make people sneeze. So for the rest of the day she would point them out and say they were "sneeze flowers". Too funny!
Well, we stopped at the Burrows cemetery for a break then headed up and across the field. From here Jill continued pushing the baby through the alternating terrain. I had to lift the stroller a couple times over rocky, steep sections. Did I mention the baby slept the ENTIRE time! Amazing!! We made the summit just after 1pm and took a nice long lunch break in some shade. Baby Taylor finally awoke and was just staring up to the sky. What was she staring at? There was a huge pine branch over head and she was just captured by it! Oh yes, she's gonna be a nature girl too!I chased a White Admiral Butterfly around for a few minutes much to the amusement of Sarah. Then we walked a little ways into the ledgy area to look for a hawk feather where I had found one before. Instead we found a huge orange mushroom cluster which was just as exciting!
Once we all ate and Taylor finished her bottle we made the trek back down. Along the way I spotted a tiny pink flower that I believe is Showy Tick Trefoil and also found Orange Jewelweed that was passing by. We stopped below the field where we had found a nice patch of wild black berries to snag a few more to eat. They were so good! Further down the trail was this big yellow dragonfly that literally stayed ahead of us and followed us for nearly half a mile. It was pretty neat! We made it back to the parking lot at about 2:15pm. A great hike with my sister and two of her three kiddo's. Maybe we'll have to head to Castle in the Clouds next week. Sarah wants to see some waterfalls! And Jill might have a baby back pack by then to carry Taylor in!
|On the Summit of Phoebes Nable|
|Sarah holding a Toad|
|Sarah on Phoebes Nable Mt. Trail|
|Sarah & Jill Climbing the trail|
|Jill picking some Black Berries|
Sunday, July 31, 2011
"Erecting MMR's First Trail Signs!" (pictures)
On Thursday 7/29 Scott and I headed back to Concord to finish up the trail signs that were done the previous week. We arrived at the SPNHF head quarters and we got the MMR Kiosk sign completed and worked on the many others. We brought the signs for MMR home and finished those up that night. Friday we drove up to MMR and returned the beautifully refurbished kiosk sign. And boy did it look great!
The weekend rolled around and we decided we would head to the White Mountains Sunday to hike a 4000 footer. But by the end of the day we both didn't want to make the drive and we really wanted to get our posts and signs up to MMR and get them up! So excited the next morning we spent a couple hours putting the finishing touches on and getting the tools all together and loaded in the truck. We drove up the road stopping at the re-painted Hall Spring sign to put a larger bolt in it. I took a picture of an interesting plant (Wooly Snake-skin Plantain) that grows there that was flowering. It has neat green leaves with white veins and long slender flowers.
We continued the drive up to the "Stevens Cemetery Road" and trimmed some branches and put up a "trail" arrow. Then it was up to the Burrows Farm field. We parked and loaded up the sign for Phoebes Nable Mt. trail at a junction below the summit. We made the walk all the way up the hill to find that I had left the long bolts at home and brought the wrong ones up with me! So, bummed out we headed back down. Now it was time for some post hole digging! The new post digger the Forest Society lent us worked great. And thanks to the many years of this field being dug the were little rocks that stood in our way!
We had the first post and trail signs up really quick! We packed rocks and soil in around the post then decided to build a rock cairn around the post. It was an exciting accomplishment for us and we were thrilled to get the next one in! So we drove down to the river crossing and got the tools out. We noticed a truck parked on the landing up the road and wondered who it was and what they were up to.
This area proved to be a little more difficult. It was rocky and needed to be shoveled out. But again, between the two of us we went rather quick and got the post in. Another truck came up the road then and we chatted with the father and son briefly who was out just checking out the trails. Then a couple came down the road who turned out to be land owners of the property just above the field. We were glad to finally meet them and they were very nice and helpful and knowledgeable of the area. After a long chat they took off. We finished off the post with a cairn around it and sat and ate our lunch.
We then headed back down, made the 15 minute trip home. We decided to grab the long bolts and head back to put the Phoebes Nable Mt. trail sign up. We drove back and parked half-way up the road. We passed by our new signs and admired them with excitement and pride. We crossed the field and began the climb up the hill. We reached a couple hiking halfway up and chatted with them. The lady turned out to be a face book friend and was checking out the property she had been reading so much about. The two maintain a trail on the Ossipee range were eager to offer there help to us should we ever need it. How nice of them to offer! I'm sure we'll be calling on them at some point! We quickly attached the sign to the tree, admired our work and headed back down. Almost back at the truck we smelled an unusual smell. Not a terrible Moose smell but some sort of animal. Perhaps it was a bear! Not sure!
A rewarding day for us, beautiful weather and a job well done :o) We can't wait to get going on the rest of the signs and making more! We really want to find the trail to Moose Mountain and get started on blazing and signing that, then there's the North View trail, South View trail, Bowser Pond trail, Mountain Trail and so much more! We'll be at it for years no doubt! And we are loving every minute of it. Such a beautiful property with so much to offer!
|Refurbished Kiosk Sign|
|Breaking Ground for the First Post|
|First Sign Post|
|Second Sign Post|
|Phoebes Nable Mt. Trail Sign|
|End of the Day|
"A Dead Moose and a Beautiful Pond" (pictures)
I headed out this beautiful day to Moose Mountains to do some trail work. I set my sights for Bowser Pond. Previously I trimmed back the trees taking over this woods road from Piper Mt. Road and 200 feet in. From here I blazed a small trail down the banking to the pond side which looks across the water towards Piper Mt. Today I wanted to scout out a potential through-way from the kiosk to the lower portion of the road so that I could make a more direct hiking trail to the pond and a possible loop option. So from the parking lot I hiked up Burrows Farm trail a hundred feet and took a right into the woods. I crossed the river over a barb wire fence and followed the waters edge South. At one point I passed by a decayed small moose skeleton. It still smelled horrible and was not a pleasant thing to find!
Past this I entered a little deeper into the woods and followed a young, thick pine glade. Soon I came onto the woods road. I followed a yellow dragonfly around until I got a couple pictures of it and I headed uphill and at the fork I decided to take a right which crosses onto non-SPNHF property. The road arrives at the South end of the pond and a beautiful view across the water up to a South facing ledge and the East peaks. I must find that ledge and build a trail to it! A blue heron flew over head and circled the pond. Then he quickly vanished back over the trees. Guess I was in his spot or he didn't want to see me! I took some picks and headed back up to the main road.
I hiked down the junction with Piper Mt. Trail and began trimming branches. This section was already done once but Scott said it needed to be trimmed a little more. I worked my way down the road, at one point hearing a large animal walking through the woods. Being alone and so close to the largest body of water in 2,000 acres I was already nervous of Bear and Moose! So, startled I yelled out "hey" and began to make a lot of noise. Silence was all I heard in return! I then pulled my keys out and hooked them to my backpack strap so they would jingle and make some extra noise.
Back to work I continued cutting, noticing an old row boat in the woods near the fork in the road. I worked my way all the way back to the top of the hill and explored this spot as a possible trail entrance for a straight shot back down to the parking lot. There was thick young pine here as below so I decided to wait on this until I had Scott with me. So I walked down the road, down the hill and came out at it's end on New Portsmouth Rd. next to an old home. Tired and hot I called it a day and headed home. I hope to finish cutting this trail and blazing it by the end of August!
|Bowser Pond Trail|
|Old Row Boat|