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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Phoebe's Nable Mt. 6/28/11

"Always Something New at Moose Mountains!" (pictures)

Moose Sign
After Scott and I spent time at the Burrows Cemetery Monday I hoped to get back on Tuesday to do a small hike and take more pictures of the flowers along the way. It was another beautiful day so I headed out, bringing my Clippers with me. I also brought some metal moose decorations to mark certain points of interest to see how they would look.

Goldenrod Spider
I arrived at the parking lot at 12:45 and began on my way. Horse Fly's were awful today and were driving me crazy as I stopped to take pictures of flowers along the road. I really wasn't paying attention to the daisy's, I mean, you see them all the time pretty much anywhere. But I was on the look out for the Goldenrod Spiders which I call crab spiders. I got lucky and spotted a very large male Goldenrod. You really have to go slow with these guys, they scare very easy. This is easily the largest of these spiders I've ever seen!

The Burrows Field & Phoebes Nable Mt.
Continuing on, I stopped at the cemetery that we cleaned up the day before. I took pictures of all the head stones, something I hadn't done yet. Then I nailed a moose to the tree and continued on up to the top of the field. There was a very pleasant smell filling the air, almost of homemade pie or something. I was trying to figure out what it was, then realized all the wild strawberries were out. A field of strawberries, and boy did it smell wonderful!!

Phoebes Nable Spur Trail
I moved on back into the trees and was startled by a pair of Ruffed Grouse that took off into the woods with their chicks, all the while making their noisy complaint of being disturbed! As I turned onto Phoebes Nable Spur trail I clipped a few branches here and there that were poking out into the trail. It was very warm out and this climb with all the stuff I was carrying was really giving me a work out as it always does!

Tall Corydalis
I arrived at the summit, threw my pack down and had a snack. I nailed a moose to the pine tree and determined I would have to paint these moose's so they show up better. I'll probably go for a bright "SPNHF" green or blue. As I looked around at the overgrown view and around on the summit I suddenly realized all the flowers that graced the summit area. They turned out to be Tall Corydalis or Rock Harlequin. My first time seeing these so I was very excited!

Rested and re-hydrated I made my way back down to the field. Picked 2 ticks off me and headed back down to New Portsmouth Road. I then heard a truck coming up the road. Turned out to be the Forest Society truck with Forester Wendy and her two interns. Great timing. This was the first time I really got to talk about the property with Wendy, who knows the property really well. After about a 15 minute talk they continued on to check things out and I headed back to my truck to head home. The end time was 2:45pm.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Moose Mountains Reservation 6/27/11

"Bringing Burrows Cemetery Back from the Dead!" (pictures)

Thimbleberry Flowers and a Bee
After a lousy week of weather and so-so weekend it was a nice change to finally have the sun out and hot weather. There was no humidity and it was just plain beautiful out! I took a drive to Home Depot and got some clippers to bring up to the Moose Mountains Burrows Cemetery. I decided to wait for Scott to get home from work at three because he never gets a chance to work on the property. So when he got home we headed out!

Hawthorn Flowers
We got to the lot at about 3:45. The gate was still closed from my last visit five days prior and all the signs were still in place. We made the hot walk up the road batting at mosquito's and horsefly's. Wildflowers were still plentiful with Whorled Loosestrife, Hawthorn and Daisy Fleabane making an appearance. Also all along the road was Tall Meadow Rue flowering and standing taller than me at nearly 6 1/2 feet! Awesome!

Scott working on Burrows Cemetery
We took a left at the first road junction for a short cut and came up past the Steven's Cemetery. Through the grass covered road and up to the Burrow's Cemetery. We put out gloves on and went to work. Scott began outside the fence with the large clippers. They turned out to work very well and also extend!

Jason working on Burrows Cemetery
I began inside the fence with the small clippers. A lot of weeds had to be pulled and there were more trees to cut than what we thought. After some time of cutting and throwing piles of brush to the side we switched tools and finished up the work. We even cleared out on the right side (outside the cemetery) where I noticed a large, pretty blue hedge was growing.

White Admiral Butterfly
This done and tired out from the heat and bending over, we headed back to get home for a quick dinner than off to work. On the road walk back I spotted a beautiful butterfly and was able to chase it down for a picture :) Looking good up here! Roads are drying up nicely and the field has grown in nicely! I will probably be back Tuesday to do some more work. We will be picking up paint from the Forest Society on Friday and will be blazing some of the trails soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

All Work No Play 6/22/11

Piper Mt. from Burrows Farm Site
I spent an hour or this warm Wednesday doing some work on the Burrows Farm area. Wanting to keep a presence known I thought it would be good to mow the overgrown Burrows Farm site and Cemetery. I figured too it would just look nice and taken care of, and would lessen the amount of ticks one would get traveling through to the spots! First things first though....the drive. I began my drive up New Portsmouth road past the parking lot (No unauthorized wheeled/motorized vehicles past this point!).

New Portsmouth Rd. EXD
After passing the North View road to the right I began up the hill to notice the two "no wheeled vehicle" signs I had placed on trees a while back were torn off. Grrr! I can't believe someone would tear a State sign down! That's OK, plenty more where that came from! I backed my truck up to one of the trees and climbed onto the roof. This allowed me to get the sign up way above anyone's reach! I couldn't do this with the other tree and just replaced it in the same spot. I'll be back with a ladder!

Dried-up River Crossing
Continuing on I came to my usual parking spot where a springtime river flows across the road. FYI, I only drive up to here when doing work on the property :)Washed out, I was nervous to cross this section with my little Ford Escape! I moved some rocks around and tried to build up where the tires would cross. Then I slowly made my way across with success! The next risky spot would be the left at the next junction where I had to cross a wooden bridge that was also a low clearance for my truck. But again, I charted out the best crossing point and took it slow.

Burrows Farm Site
I arrived at the field and parked. I dragged the lawn mower out and began my work. Not so easy with the uneven ground, very tall and thick grass and a tiny little mower! But the job was accomplished! I left a few patches of nice tall grass just for the heck-of-it. Then it was down to the cemetery where there were more small trees than grass. I mowed over as many as I dared and will have to return with clippers to rid the overgrown cemetery of the rest of them! I also hope to repair two broken stones at some point.

Black Eyed Susan
Sweaty and hot but otherwise tick free (amazingly) that was it for today. I did manage some flower pictures before I left, can't go without that up here in wildflower paradise! I made the long drive back down the rocky road and at the parking lot I put the gate back up. I noticed the "no wheeled vehicle" sign on the Moose Mountains sign post was bent, apparently tried to be torn off like the other two. I placed a few extra nails. The other ones in that area remained untouched. I got news for y'all, things are gonna change on this property and I ain't going know where! Hopefully soon Scott and I can start marking some trails and getting this place more well know to hikers!

Phoebe's Nable Mt. & North Trail 6/15/11

"Trash and Wildflowers, and a Double Whammy of Moose!" (pictures)
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)
Fawn on Ridge Road
Well I finally got myself in the mood for picking up trash at Moose Mountains Reservation. After a wet and cold week, a nice day on Wednesday had me wanting to get out and do some hiking. So I finagled an old hiking pole with an unused bowie knife to create my bad-ass trash picker! And off I went....hold on, gotta have trash bags....OK, now I'm ready! As I rounded a corner on Ridge Road I spotted a fawn in the road. It crouched down against the pavement as I passed. Not sure if it was hurt or just scared I parked. I began to jump out for a closer look and it jumped up and darted into the woods. Off you go Bambi!  I parked in the parking area and put the gate back up. Then beginning on the right side of the road I began the search for trash.

Larger Blue Flag Iris
Along the way wildflowers that had passed, where replaced with new kinds. It was an interesting balance holding a trash bag in one hand, a pole in the other and taking out my camera constantly to snap pics of the flowers! A few bugs made there way into my lens as well but the flying insects would have to be on hold today as I didn't have the time or patience for them! At one section of the roadside I passed by a beautiful colony of Bird's-Foot Trefoil and found a small bunch of Larger Blue Flag Iris's. Spectacular! I continued my walk up to the Burrows Farm site, took some pics and continued on.

On the Summit of Phoebe's Nable
I took a left onto Phoebe's Nable spur trail, collected bottles we had stashed from picking them up on a previous hike and continued up the hillside. Temperatures were rising and I was getting pretty hot up this steep section of trail. This area was apparently where the ticks had moved too as I began to find them on my legs. Ah the beauty of hairy legs! They have trouble climbing and I can feel them when they disturb a hair follicle, LOL! I arrived at the summit, took a picture and headed back down quickly to get back home for 3.

Thimble Berry
I did have to stop a few times for more flower pics. I just can't help myself! They were so pretty! One flowering plant on the picture to the left was all over. I've yet to figure out what it is, but very pretty! The task completed I had one 33 gallon bag of trash! I passed a couple my age coming up from the parking lot whom I introduced myself too and spoke with shortly. Nice to see people hiking this area each time I'm here, more than I had previously thought!

Unkown Bird
I got back home just before Scott arrived from work. He wanted to go for a hike and I was totally down for another hike! It was after all, a beautiful afternoon! We threw some peaks around but really didn't want to drive to them. Doesn't help that we have to head to work at 6/6:30. So it was back to Moose Mountains. I decided we would try the North trail as I recall reading there was some sort of view up there. We got a slight view South from a banking along a landing area where two birds were making noise and flying about. Not sure what they were, Northern Rough-Winged Swallow was the best I could come up with.

Ledge with view to Piper Mt.
We passed by more wildflowers, tiger beetles along the road and dragon fly's. We passed by some open rock ledge with a pretty good view of Piper Mt. and arrived at a large landing zone. It was here I believed we were to take a left but everything looked to be grown in. So we continued on the only open road to the right over a gated bridge which we re-gated. Tick checks kept turning up a couple of the little buggers. Ticks...ick! We continued for a ways upward then as the trail began to drastically descend it was getting too late so we turned back. Another trip not finding the views we had heard about, ugh! Soon we WILL find what we are looking for and can mark and trim these trails!

Piper Mt. 6/13/11

"Off Roading and Some Hiking" (pictures)
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)

Difficulty: Easy

Directions: At the junctions of Rt. 16 and 153 turn onto 153 South (Main St.) Take an immediate right onto Access Road. Follow this for .5 miles. Keep left at the fork (Piper Mt. Road-not signed) where the road becomes a class 6. Park here if your vehicle is not suitable for this road. Continue up this road about 1 mile and take a left onto Moose Mountain Road (not signed). At the top of the hill at about .4 miles take a left onto a foot path to the summit of Piper Mt.  

Taylor :)
Report: A busy weekend with hosting my sisters baby shower, work and an otherwise rainy/dreary weekend we never made it out to hike. Scott asked if I wanted to go for a small hike when he got home for work, and I never say no! He mentioned Blue Job but I hate the drive there with such short time, having to leave for work at 6:30 and getting dinner in before that.

Piper Mt. Road
I had been wanting to check out another corner of the Moose Mountains Reservation over by Piper Mt. So off we went. I found the Access Road, a secondary dirt road and we followed it to a fork where I took a right onto Piper Mt. Drive (not signed). Now a class six road the going gets a little rough. Along this section of road signs were here-and-there warning that these areas were under surveillance. I slowly made my way over rocks and partly washed out road sections, but my Ford Escape was doing just fine.

Dragon Fly
We passed another truck on a flat section and we asked them if they new where Piper Mt. was, they said we were headed the right way. Soon we came to another fork in the road, the right side being gated. Piper Mountain Drive continued but was not suitably maintained for regular SUV's. So we parked here and got our 'walk on'! FYI, the gated road I found out later on is a trail down to Lily Pond. Dragon fly's were prevalent again and one (6 Spotted Skipper I believe) allowed me a beautiful picture I am very pleased with!

Ledge near Piper Mt. Summit
We climbed up the hill and after some time found another road intersection. Following my vague map of hiking and snow mobile trails I determined to make a left here onto Moose Mountain Road (not signed). From here we continued a climb up to a flat area where a trail leads off to the left just before the road steeply drops. We climbed this trail up to Piper Mt. Mostly over-grown ledges where seen here and we were not sure where the view ledge exactly was. Rather than follow the trail downhill we walked back to Moose Mt. Rd. Looking at a report and map now I believe the ledge was lower down on that trail and has a nice overlook across the pond.

Piper Mt. Road
Back on the road I wanted to keep exploring, so we walked down the steep road and a view opened up to Phoebes Nable and Moose Mountains. Continuing on we arrived at another intersection where to the left the snow mobile trail runs down Piper Mt. trail to Bowser Pond and over to the rest of Moose Mountains Reservation. We noted a massive fire pit littered with old wheels, dozens of beer cans, lighters and other trash that will need to be cleaned up at some point...if at all.

Flower Buds
On our way back we where attacked by a ruffed grouse, the second in two weeks. These little birds are brave little creatures! After the scare and subsequent laugh we climbed back up the hill and back down to where I parked. For future reference I would recommend parking at the Moose Mountains parking lot on New Portsmouth Rd. and take the route up this road, take your first right onto North trail, the next right onto Piper Mt. trail which brings you by Bowser Pond and then at the road junction take a right and at the top of the hill another right onto the spur trail to Piper Mt. I will hike this route soon so I can get better info. for this trip.

Moose Mountains Reservation 6/3 & 5/11

"Bowser Pond" (pictures)
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)

Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From downtown Farmington, NH take Rt. 153 North into Middleton about 5 miles. Continue onto King's Highway for .9 miles. Turn right at the police station onto Ridge Road. At 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Road. Bear left onto New Portsmouth Road Exd. The trail head and kiosk will be seen ahead.

Stats (Round Trip): Mileage> About 4 - Elevation Gain> About 200' - Our Time> 2hrs.  

Dragon Fly
Report: Having a short time before work Friday night Scott and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and make a short trip to Moose Mountains. We parked at the kiosk happy to see the "no wheeled vehicle" signs still up and the gate still closed. We walked up New Portsmouth Road and after crossing the river we took a right, crossing a landing area. Thousands of dragon flies were covering the road and flying every which way as we passed through.

Pointed Blue-eyed Grass
We continued up the hill and at the next landing took a right down a smaller woods road. The road drops into a pine area laden with a multitude of pink moccasin flowers. It curves left and drops more steeply and continues to turn left. I spotted a small bunch of Pointed Blue Eyed Grass, something I hadn't yet seen in the wild. And we also found a Northern Leopard Frog crossing the road. They usually don't sit still for anything but this one allowed me to take some pictures of it :)

Bowser Pond
Soon we saw a glimpse of Bowser Pond which I had been wanting to check out for some time now. Scott spotted a Heron, and before I had a chance to pull out a camera or even focus my sights on it, it took off into the woods. We took a right onto an overgrown woods road and then climbed down the banking to the pond shore. We noticed a female mallard in the water that I took some pics of, only to realize it wasn't moving the slightest bit. Turns out it was a decoy, LOL! Got me! We took in the view then headed back up to the road. A tick check revealed two wood ticks on Scott.

Piper Mt. Road
We retraced our steps back to the truck and along the way I heard "Fee B" ... "Fee B". Ah hah! It was a Phoebe! I had just done some searches into why Phoebes Nable mountain was called what it was. Carrie with the Forest Society popped the question. After doing some google searches I determined the mountain was named for the Eastern Phoebe who likes farm land and open woods which is what this area was. And 'Nable" was a Greek word for music. Thus the meaning I got was "Phoebes Song". Hearing the Phoebe sing here made me all the more confident that I was correct!

"South Ridge Point" (pictures)

Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From downtown Farmington, NH take Rt. 153 North into Middleton about 5 miles. Continue onto King's Highway for .9 miles. Turn right at the police station onto Ridge Road. At about .7 miles there will be a yellow gate (snow mobile trail) on your left. Park here.

Stats (Round Trip): Mileage> About 2.5 - Elevation Gain> About 229' - Our Time> 2hrs.  

Snow Mobile Entrance on Ridge Rd.
Report: Today instead of getting up early for a long hike in the Whites we slept in a bit and decided to check out more of Moose Mountains. Hope your all not sick of hearing about this property but there is so much for us to explore and we are trying to find, and learn the trails so that they can be marked! We pass by a gated snow mobile trail I have been wanting to check out for some time now. According to my studying of the maps and satellite this road should take us to a view point on Moose Mountains South Ridge off of South Road.

Northern Red Spotted Nute
We parked and headed up the trail. After swatting at some mosquito's we grudgingly applied the bug spray. The road passes by a marsh and climbs very gradually. There are grown in skid roads along the way so just be sure to stay on the main road that is more open. Pink moccasin flowers were still in bloom along the sunny road side. Dragon Flies were also scattered about and Red Spotted Newts were here-and-there along the trail.

Ruffed Grouse
A little ways in we were startled when a ruffed grouse came booking down the trail! It's head was down and it had it's body crouched to the ground as it squawked right on by us and into the woods. "OK then!" We passed through a small grassy landing and then were really startled by another grouse that jumped out of the woods at us squawking! It went back in the woods and Scott noticed it had babies with it! It jumped back out at us, puffed up, and spun around kicking up dirt and spreading it's wings out at us. It was quite the spectacle! I managed to get some great pics of this display!

Moose Mountains View
Continuing on we passed through a couple more landings, mud ruts (from off road vehicles) and passed the red blazed property line into the Forest Society Land. We came to a three way intersection and took a right here. The trail continues a gradual climb up to a larger landing where a mud pond was present. The trail then becomes more overgrown and steep from here up to the next intersection. Here you want to take a left but we went right just to check things out. We came out to a large landing with a restricted view North to the Moose Mountains. 

View of Blue Mts. and Prospect Mt.
Back at the intersection we continued down to a fork in the road. Taking a right the road climbs moderately. Views begin to open up to the East and the road then makes a tiny loop called "the Cul-de-sac" around the high point (all of which has become overgrown). There is a partial view to Moose Mountain to the North and various mountains and hills to the South and East including Prospect, Nubble and Hussey Mountains. Perhaps we can clear some of the small trees here to open the view back up to the North.

Ruffed Grouse
Our goal achieved we headed back down the way we came. And no, it wasn't a boring trip back! The grouse jumped back out at us again scaring the crap out of us! This time it came right up close to us, squawked and flapped it's wings. Then it ran back into the woods. This was such a neat experience! As we reached the start point we were met by a lady hiking up. We introduced ourselves and told her about the "killer" grouse. This was a great trip! Plenty of wildlife to enjoy and saw deer and moose tracks too! We hope to blaze this trail this summer!!

Moose Mountain East Knob 5/26/11

"More Moose!" (pictures)
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)

Difficulty: Hard (steep/loose/rocky up Burrows Farm Trail)

Directions: From downtown Farmington, NH take Rt. 153 North into Middleton about 5 miles. Continue onto King's Highway for .9 miles. Turn right at the police station onto Ridge Road. At 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Road. Bear left onto New Portsmouth Road Exd. The trail head and kiosk will be seen ahead. You can park at the kiosk or continue 400 feet on an unmaintained road to an upper parking area just past the river.

Pink Moccasin Flower
Report: My third day at Moose Mountains Reservation. I wasn't sure just how much time I would spend as a land steward of this mountain range, but there is so much to see here I will never tire of it! Wildflowers, frogs and so much more! We returned to remove the cable I put over the gate the day before. Apparently it can't be locked because it is a class 6 road. So hopefully it can be locked elsewhere to keep the off road vehicles off the fields and hiking trails! Wendy, a Forester with SPNHF will be giving a tour soon and we will be discussing these things.

Green Frog
Anyhow, once this was done we hiked up New Portsmouth Road passing mud pits from the off road truck use which the Green and Northern Leopard Frogs were enjoying. There were dozens of them! Up to the junction with Burrows Farm Trail which is straight ahead. A left here brings you up to the Burrows Farm Site and field and up to Phoebes Nable Mt. Scott destroyed a fire circle here making sure not to leave a single rock, kicking them down the banking. The trail enters a timber landing zone then climbs passing carpets of violets and patches of pink moccasin flowers.

Ledges on East Knob
Once passing a "No Motorized Vehicles" sign the trail began a steep, rocky climb up a slippery, rock filled skid road. The heat and humidity was really killing us but didn't slow us down one bit! We passed a ledgy stream then over some ledgy parts of the trail. Soon we were passing by blue berry bushes and more ledge. Snow Mobile trail markers were present up here. The trail levels off and enters a semi-open plateau of Pitch Pine, Red Pine, Blue Berries, rock erratics and ledges. It was a beautiful area!

Pine Flower/Cone?
The breeze was blowing a welcomed coolness and helped keep the black flies at bay. We found deer and moose tracks as well as some fox scat. We also found a 10 gallon plastic pail chained and locked to a tree and wondered what it was there for. We passed through some high brush and came out with a few ticks, one of which was a deer tick, yuck! We did good all day until we hit the tall brush! Getting late, we had to head back down from here to have a quick dinner and head to work. This hike took about 1.5 hours.

Moose Mountain Reservation 5/25/11

"Tigers and Leopards and Wildflowers Oh, Yah!" (pictures)
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)

Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From downtown Farmington, NH take Rt. 153 North into Middleton about 5 miles. Continue onto King's Highway for .9 miles. Turn right at the police station onto Ridge Road. At 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Road. Bear left onto New Portsmouth Road Exd. The trail head and kiosk will be seen ahead. You can park at the kiosk or continue 400 feet on an unmaintained road to an upper parking area just past the river.

Pink Moccasin Flower
Report: I returned to Moose Mountains Reservation Wednesday to do some work in the access road culverts and to attach a cable to the gate. It was such a beautiful day! I drove my truck up to the point where a stream crosses the road and parked. I did a quick walk up to the Burrows Farm area to make sure no one was up here in a 4x4 or ATV. Such a wonderful spot. Mountains all around, new leaves on trees a bright green, apple trees flowering and blue sky with white wispy clouds. Ahhhh, so lovely!
Green Tiger Beetle
I then noticed a bug flying ground level across the dirt. It was an Eastern 6 Spotted Tiger Beetle! I love these florescent green beetles! I returned to the main trail heading back and spotted a couple Northern Leopard Frogs. They are so darn quick and blend right in with the ground cover. I did manage to coax one back out of the leaves for a photo op! Wild Flowers caught my attention again as I traveled along. Yellow Downy Violets and Pink Moccasin flowers where the choice today. Surprisingly after having so many ticks on us the day before I did not have a single one today! Must be they come out later in the day. Or because I was staying away from tall grass, mud and trees!

Temporary Signage
After getting my hiking, photo fix I then got back to my truck and stopped at each culvert to clean the leaves out and get water flowing again. Black flies began to attack as I affixed a cable over the gate and put up "No Wheeled Vehicle" signage. I kind-of felt bad about blocking this 4x4/ATV paradise, not my thing but every one is different and if that's what they like they should be able to have a place to "play"! But it's not allowed, and even if it was, the property is being abused. I can only hope this doesn't end up being a never ending battle! I don't give up easily and this is a beautiful property needing some TLC, so I am in it for the long haul!

Moose Mountain Reservation 5/24/11

"Wildflowers, Mud, Ruts and Ticks" (pictures)
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)

Common Blue Violet
Difficulty: Easy

Directions: From downtown Farmington, NH take Rt. 153 North into Middleton about 5 miles. Continue onto King's Highway for .9 miles. Turn right at the police station onto Ridge Road. At 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Road. Bear left onto New Portsmouth Road Exd. The trail head and kiosk will be seen ahead. You can park at the kiosk or continue 400 feet on an unmaintained road to an upper parking area just past the river.

Pink Moccasin Flower
Report: Recently completing our Land Steward training with the SPNHF I thought we would check on the Moose Mountains Reservation property when Scott got home from work Tuesday. A quick 15 minute drive and we pulled into the parking lot. Someone had put the gate back in place but is still in need of a lock. Wildflowers were out in full force as we walked the road. Black flies were a little bothersome but not all that bad. As we walked the road signs of ATV use was evident worse than when we were here exactly a month ago. Muddy ruts were numerous. As we reached the Cemetery section that passes through private property we noticed the cable had been re-attached and locked across the bridge. Again ATV users had dug up the road along the cemetery and up the field entering the Burrows Farm area.
Burrows Farm Site
Once up at the Burrows Farm fields of wild strawberry and grasses were torn up by mud tire tread. It was rather upsetting to see so much disregard to this scenic, historic area. We walked up to what we determined to be the home site and found a boulder with a plaque on it. The apple trees were in bloom and it was such a nice spot. Someone had done target practice on the farm site itself filling some old tin pales up with bullet holes. The over shots had nicked the pine tree that marks one of the corners to the Burrows 1800's cemetery. This got me on a vendetta to do everything in my power to stop the illegal use of this property. To add to all this dismay ticks were racing up our clothing and backs quicker than anything I've ever seen!

Damaged/Flooded Road
Past the field we made our way through muddy ruts and up the RV trail. I rolled a large rock into the large pool of water here for easier crossing and to discourage ATV use across it. We continued to the junction below Phoebes Nable Mt. From here we headed back down the main trail where we erected an old gate across the road that had been thrown in the woods. More ticks and black flies we headed back out and to the truck. We have a lot of work on our hands here. Once we can stop the ATV use on this reservation, trails need to be repaired, foot bridges built, blazing needed and culverts cleaned out! All told Scott had 12 ticks on him in just an hour of hiking and I had 6 on me. YUCK!

SPNHF Moose Mountains Land Steward

MMR Trailhead Sign
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)
Scott and I just finished taking a two day SPNHF core training coarse to be land stewards of the very large Moose Mountains Reservation in Middleton and Brookfield, NH! Comprising of 2,325 acres and three mountain ranges Moose Mountains Reservation is one of the largest non-developed forests in Southern New Hampshire! It is a crucial tract of land, harboring important headwaters of the Salmon Falls River.  For directions to MMR see my trip report HERE.

Phoebes Nable Spur Trail
The forests and hills contain a host of native wildlife such as black bear, moose and a heron rookery. Hiking, bird watching, hunting, snowmobiling and other low impact outdoor recreation can be enjoyed on the property. With more than 8 miles of woods roads and foot paths, several ponds and marshes, open summit peaks and ledges, early 1800's cemeteries an farmland there is plenty to explore! The Forest Society will work to retain public use for recreation and to protect the properties water shed and natural resources including sustainable forestry or harvesting.

Growth on Tree Stub
Since the term harvesting and the sheer thought or even sight of logging makes you quiver, as it did us. It is important to understand what SUSTAINABLE Forestry is! It is defined as such: "The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems." Thus our States economic value in it's vast and lush forests are an important piece of our way of life, as is the pride we have of our natural and untouched woods, mountains and ponds. These aspects are all kept in balance for the future generations to benefit and enjoy from! You can learn more by joining the Forest Society on a tour of an active timber harvest. Meet logging contractors and Consulting Foresters; learn about sustainable forest management in relation to improving timber quality, wildlife habitat, and recreation; and get the latest news about logging practices, equipment, wood products, and the timber markets where products are shipped and sold. Check there field trip page for these tours.

Phoebe's Nable Summit
Where do we come into play? It is our job as volunteer land stewards to be the caretakers and ambassadors of this forest. Our responsibilities are numerous from picking up trash, monitoring property lines, marking/building/maintaining hiking trails, watching for illegal uses, assisting in sustainable tree harvesting and speaking to land abuttors. Trails on this property are in need of signs and marking and that will be our main focus over the next two years as we explore the vast forest ourselves, learning the features and finding the best suitable paths to those features. We look forward to be able to care for such a large tract of land so close to home! While sustainable tree harvesting is an important part of these forests for our economy and the future, it is our primary goal to retain and improve the recreational, scenic and natural benefits of this Reservation. These aspects of SPNHF land are all weighed in harmony as necessary parts on a balanced scale.

New Portsmouth Road Trail
Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests "envisions a living landscape where managed woodlands, farms and wild lands are woven into the fabric of community life. We envision people caring for lands that sustain dynamic communities with clean water and air, forest and agricultural products, habitat for native plants and animals, scenic beauty, good jobs, and recreational opportunities."

Check the SPNHF Blog for a post on the 2011 Land Steward Class!