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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Beaver Brook Association - Hollis, NH

When walking in
Beaver Brook I take my camera just in case I see something interesting.  I found a couple nice areas where the deer consistently move from the swamp up the ridge and down the other side.   I jumped a couple deer but didn’t get good pictures of them. 

When I hike I want to be prepared so I carry my smallest pack with first aid, water, hand warmers, flashlight, headlamp, knife, multi tool, matches, rope, space blanket, tree saw, extra socks, gloves, granola bars, etc.  I tell Pam where I am going but I still want to be prepared in case something happens to me or I walk up on someone hurt.  If I am on a 3 or 4 mile hike and something happens I could be miles from my vehicle and could be on my own for a night.

As the ice on the ponds started to melt I was on a trail and spotted a Hooded Merganser.  When I tried to get close it flew away up the pond.  I followed in the woods, tried to get close again and the same thing happened.  I decided to go further in the woods and loop around from the other side.  It worked !!  As I approached I spotted 3 males and one female.   I got close enough to take a couple pictures.  The female was a good decoy as the males lost interest in my movement. 

Ice gone … bugs out … leaves coming out to block the views … critters warming up.  Forgot to pack the Deet … Pam hiked with me around one of the new ponds I found.  She is afraid of snakes so isn’t real interested in going with me once the weather warms up.  We had a great time exploring some new trails.

I spotted this 3 foot Northern Water Snake cruising close to shore looking for fish, frogs, or anything else edible.  Pam would never go back to this part of Beaver Brook if I told her where I was.  Shhh … I tell her I only take her to “Posted” areas where "Snakes are Prohibited”.  I have a picture in one of my previous posts from Beaver Brook of a water snake in the process of swallowing a fish.  It spotted me and tried to spit the fish out and run but the fish was too far in.  The snake ended up swimming off with half the fish in and half out.

Megan and Kevin hiked in a new section with me.  She spotted this male tree swallow off the trail.  We continued to some large rock formations with open cracks.  I saw porcupine scat below one of the openings.  As we were contemplating looking inside Megan spotted what she thought was a big earthworm.  It was 4 ½ inches long.  As I went to pick it up it rolled and I saw lots-o-legs … BOO …  It was a Millipede.  I grabbed a stick and lifted it off the leaves.  Megan held the stick while I took a picture.   Most comments from the picture are along the lines of gross, ewe, sick … what’s with that?  

I researched and this is an eastern millipede (Narceus Americanus) and is common in the woods of New England.  It cannot bite and defends itself by rolling up in a tight spiral and/or uses its orange/brown chemical defenses that must make it taste bad and maybe smell bad.  We didn't stress out this millipede so no spiral or chemical defense.  I set it back down and watched it disappear in the leaves.   

On one of my hikes I walked the Porcupine trail.  I often asked myself "What's with the name?"  That is until I spotted this little fella off that trail.  Go figure!!

Always a work in progress … 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

A Quick Hike in Monson Village

It was a cool windy day with clouds rolling by.  I thought I would take a quick hike at Monson Village to see the Great Blue Heron in their nests.

I counted 11 nests this year.  The distance to the nests, the mostly grey sky, the color of the trees, and the bird colors all blending together, made it difficult to spot the birds without a zoom or binoculars.  I had both.

Birds in flight can be interesting.  I watched and waited long enough to see a couple Heron make their approach and land by their nests.

I saw a couple geese also.  The prior year I didn't see any geese or ducks.

I didn't expect to see synchronized swimming on my walk in the woods?

The Heron were paired up.  Each nest had one of the pair sitting.  I saw no little ones in the nests so the eggs have not hatched yet.  When not moving around in the nest it is hard to make out anything but a head and beak.  I spotted a couple heron on the ground gathering more nest material.  I may return in a few weeks to look for the youngsters.

As I headed for my jeep, dark clouds rolled in.  Unexpectedly, it started to hail.  Hail makes lots of noise in the woods!  Once I cleared the woods to the open field, the hail slowly turned to rain so I picked up the pace.  I wasn't expecting to get wet with my camera and all.  Next time I will check the weather report and plan better.


Red, White, and Barns of New England

Red, White, and Barns of New England
Red, White, and Barns of New England