Monday, January 09, 2012

KLT - MacDonald Conservation Area

Toby promised himself to take more pictures this year, so yesterday I suggested we go hiking and photographing the MacDonald Conservation Area, one of the Kennebec Land Trust properties that is just a mile from our house. Today, as usual, I got caught up in chores and forgot about hiking/taking pictures until Toby reminded me (gently, of course). I'm so glad he did!
I've been wanting to walk these trails for a while now. Today was perfect: crisp clear January air with scattered clouds and plenty of sunshine, little to no snow on the ground which made for an easy walk over the easy-to-moderate trails, good company, and no need to watch the clock or rush our way through. It took us a couple of unhurried hours to work our way through a variety of woodland settings and take a few minutes to snap photographs.
We saw a hairy woodpecker on a paper birch, turkey and rabbit tracks crossing over a thin layer of snow, and dry leaf litter that looked tousled by turkeys. We saw steep rugged terrain covered in moderately mature forest, regenerating woodlands on flattened ground suggesting old hay fields, lone wolf pines surrounded by pole-sized stands in what may have once been pasture land, and a monoculture of tall white pines near an old homestead.

We found an abandoned cellar hole of a house and a barn foundation that mark the location of a second homestead, and at the top of a nearby hill we walked through a cemetery scattered with markers of various sizes, shapes, and stone. We heard creaking branches, tapping woodpecker, gurgling brook, whispery breezes, and the sound of our feet crunching over crusty snow and dry twigs. Toby took a lot of pictures (and I took a few myself), and we had a great day.

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