HEAD OF SCHOOL FIELD NOTES
Location: Mountain Village Charter School. Southern skid trail (logging road) to ridge and Fort Creek.
Friends: Jim, Grant, Melissa, Ethan
82 degrees F, Mostly Sunny, 61% Humidity, Last Rain- 2 days prior
I haven’t explored the southern most skid trail before, but Grant said that they had but wasn’t sure how far they had been. Right at the edge of the entrance to the trail we found a baby frog, still to be identified. I noticed the growth on the trails was similar to before, very passable with minimal bushwacking. We noticed several varieties of mushroom, and I thought it would be great to begin a mushroom inventory as part of our future field guide. Ethan began counting the mushrooms ( I think he lost count after 20). We spotted 3 red efts along the path and another adult tree frog (beige with 2 dark stripes). At the top of the ridge there was some large scat. It appeared to be somewhat fresh, contained oval seeds of about 5mm in length, was dark in color, almost like soil. Still not exactly sure what left it and need to do some research. Coming down from the ridge Grant learned a good lesson about what not to use for balance or support as he fell when a branch he leaned on broke. He was ok, and laughed it off, and we talked about using only firmly rooted trees for support. We also noticed the differences between stumps that had been cut down and those that had fallen over. Like last hike, there were some raspberry bushes in certain spots where there was some clearing and sun on the trail. However, this time the raspberries were clearly past their ripeness or non-existent. I wonder if the others in the larger clearing are still fruiting or not.
I hope you are enjoying your summers and getting out there! Happy trails to all! See you at the next one on 8/9, 9-11am!
Bonus points to anyone who ID’s some of these flora/fungi/fauna!
Location: Mountain Village Charter School. Trail to caveman rock and slightly beyond.
Companions: Dorie, Sara, Justin, Jim, Grant , Melissa, Ethan and Liam.
We headed out in mild overcast weather (66 degrees F). It rained a little before the hike so the ground was quite damp but not soaked. I had looked at the radar which showed some precipitation coming but not for quite a while. Justin and Grant led the way since they know the trails very well now. The skid trails are becoming a bit more overgrown now, but there was still a clear path to follow even when we reached higher elevations. We crossed the stream and Sara noticed two slugs on a log. They were spotted and well camouflaged. Since they were so close together I wonder if they were going to or had just mated. We continued up to the clearing just below caveman rock and decided to go for it up the steep incline to the caves. Justin showed us the first “cave” which is a large boulder propped up by several smaller ones and a narrow pass through. I attempted but my shoulders just seemed a bit too wide. Maybe next time I will make a more concerted attempt. The children had no problem getting through and continued exploring other rock caves.
We hiked a short way up the trail just above the rocks and discovered lots of wild raspberries, which were ripe and delicious! We also discovered a large pile of moose scat on the trail. It seemed fairly dry and not very fresh. Then we stopped a hundred yards or so to admire the view of Stinson Mountain. There must have been some pollen or something in that location because my allergies really kicked in and made me sneeze about a dozen times.
We decided to begin our decent back down and took a short cut towards the crevasse. I noticed how much easier it was to move under the forest canopy than on the skid trails which had been overgrown. As we worked our way back down the mountait began to rain heavily, but was surprisingly mild in the woods. As we crossed the brook I noticed a red eft and showed the group. Red Efts are juvenile newts who live on land until adulthood when they return back to the water.
We made our way back to the school via the logging road and the sky cleared as we exited the forest. What a great morning for a hike! Now back to work (or play!)