Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

I went into the town forest this afternoon, because it was such a spectacular day and I wanted to get out there and enjoy the weather. It was an interesting experience for several reasons.

First, I noticed lots of scat. I assume it's deer scat, but I'm no expert. This was interesting to me primarily because I have an established history of not noticing scat in the woods. So to notice so very many piles of it today was unusual.

scat, deer scat, poop
I suppose it might be moose scat, but I doubt it. It's rare to see a moose in this neck of the woods. I think they mostly only come down this far south when they're forced to (by flooding, for example).

I spent most of my hike climbing. I ascended over 400 vertical feet, covering a distance of just about 0.7 miles. That's pretty steep, especially when you do as I did and pretty much just aim up, instead of aiming for the most convenient paths. I saw several frisbee golf holes as I was hiking today. I had either not known or forgotten that there is a frisbee golf course up there. Nice to know. Maybe we'll go frisbee golfing one of these days. I think we still have our discs somewhere.

When I got to the top of the hill, I heard this odd mewling noise coming from some pine trees. I first figured that there must be some sort of baby bird up there calling for food. Then I started to think that wasn't right, as I couldn't see a nest and there didn't seem to be a mama bird anywhere in sight. So I started to consider other options. It was definitely not the sound of the wind whistling through the trees. However, it did turn out to be an interesting result of the wind hitting the trees. What I discovered after some observation was that branches of two of the trees were touching each other, and as the trees swayed, one branch was "playing" the other like a bow playing a violin string.

I had started out thinking that this was not mosquito season. Why I though that is something for which I have no explanation. I sure was wrong! There are lots of mosquitoes, they are quite large and very thirsty, and they seem to think I am quite tasty. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the wildlife I saw today was in the form of mosquitoes.

Mosquito
So, now I get to hope I didn't catch the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) that seems to have been popular among the mosquitoes here in New Hampshire in recent years.

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