Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Walk In The Woods

No, not the book or the movie.

When I talk about “my woods” I mean this Bog Rd, Wilson HillRd, Rte 13 triangle.(hope that works)

There are trails on the other side of Bog Rd which I use as well, but those are less dear to me.  It’s a little less than a square mile, all of it wooded, so that you can’t see more twenty yards in any direction, sometimes less than five.  There are a few elevated places where you can look out in one direction, and patches that have been logged in the last few years where you can see fifty yards or so, but the brush comes up quickly.  You can pack a lot of trails into a place like that, and sometimes I can sense that I must be running parallel to another path 50-100 yards away, unseen.  I have learned, however, that my sensing is pretty inaccurate when the leave are on the trees.  The sunlight coming through seems to help my sense of direction.

There were ATV tracks in the spring, but I can’t detect any of them now.  Someone has covered a lot of this on a fat-tire bike in the last month, but only once.  No footprints since the leaves fell, and possibly none for quite some time before that, though they wouldn’t show most places.  I do see the place where 2 bowhunters came through, coming off Rte 13.  The slopes are gentle; I don’t think there’s more than a 400’ rise from the lowest to highest points.  As is usual with USGS, the part you want to see straddles two maps, but you can see it at the bottom of Concord and the top of Milford maps.
Some trails are nearly invisible, and I can still find an old one I hadn’t noticed even now.  One trail along the center of this gets a lot of use and some misuse by ATV’s.  Snow machines go through as well. They keep me from getting lost in winter.  There are still small orange diamonds directing them around the place, but the words washed off a couple of years ago, so now there are only arrows pointing out the obvious: this is a trail, and so is that path to the right.  They both go somewhere.  The center one was called Tall Pine Trail, ending in Tall Pine Loop, but its pines aren’t any taller. A half-dozen fire circles dot the place, but only one gets any use, in winter. Someone put up flat bridges for snow machines over the dips – mere platforms or pallets, really, 3-6 feet long – I know who but I’m not saying, because the Forest Society doesn’t like it, and they own a good chunk of the middle.  I admit those create a way for the forbidden ATV’s as well, but I’m just as glad they come through and clear the trails a little.  If there were more of them some year I might upend a bridge or two and hide them off to the side. New sign:  Bridge out. Only fair to give them warning when you change expectations.

I can tell you about the trees if you like, but I only care once in a while.  Same with the wildlife.  I like guessing at the tracks in winter. I’ll see or hear something and notice that. I recognize some birdsong. I want to be fascinated by natural history, but my brain doesn’t hold that knowledge like some others seem to hold it.  I’ll tell you about the bear and the coywolves if you like. 

I have no idea why I wrote this.


RichardJohnson said...

I have no idea why I wrote this.
Attachment to the land. When I was back in NE earlier this year, I did some walks in the woods. One walk I did was the walk through the woods from my childhood home to the post office, which I first did when I was in first grade. It was interesting to see changes over time, such as a swamp that is now drying up, or former fields that are now forest. Ironically, the swamp had in a previous visit been converted into a beaver pond, a change which didn't last. From more water to less water, compared to how it was in my childhood.

Sam L. said...

Filling space to please us proles, downloading a little piece of your life for our possible enjoyment. I got some.