Sunday, May 3, 2009

Warming Up

Now that the weather is warm and the snow is gone, it's hiking season for us!! (I know other, more hardy sorts, hike all winter long....but not me, not yet!)

There's still snow in the mountains in northern NH, so for now we're hiking southern mountains.

View of Middle Mountain from North Mountain

Recently we hiked at Pawtuckaway State Park. It's about 20 miles (36 km) from here.

The hike we took was 5 miles, with about 1000 feet of elevation gain (and then loss), up and over North Mountain, then looping back around the base of the mountain.

Mountain top survey marker

This area was the top of a volcano, approximately 100-150 million years ago. In this newspaper article, you can see a good picture of the volcanic ring from the air. We hiked up and over the top left side of the ring, and then back along the base of that edge of the ring - avoiding the swamp in the middle of the ring.

Middle mountain and swamp

Unfortunately for Bailey, dogs are not allowed at Pawtuckaway State Park.

Hiking down North Mountain

Tree that reminded us of a moose

Elephant ear lichen (I think)

Was something hungry enough to gnaw on this tree?

If you have an idea of what made this mark, please let me know! I'm curious!! It's about 4 or 5 feet off the ground, and is an evergreen (either white pine or hemlock....probably white pine). There was a downed white pine bough within 10 feet, and the tips of the branches were gnawed too.

Our hike was a good warm up for longer hikes we'll take later in the spring.

Hope you had a fun weekend!!


Sharon said...

Wow, to think that was a volcano. I remember the peneplain from my geography class but for a former mountain range, it sure looks flat to me - and gorgeous. And green.

Alette Siri Ane said...

So fun to go hiking wonderful places you have to walk in.
Can you and your weaver friends look at my blog and see if anyone has seen this befor .I am talking about the iron pieces to my loom?

charlotte said...

What an exciting hiking trip, I like the thought of walking on an old volcano. About the marks on the tree: In our forests, the moose gnaws bark off the trees in winter, but I guess the mark was a bit too low for having been made by a moose or moose calf? What about deer (I'm thinkin of the Bambi kind)?

Theresa said...

Very hungry deer. The goats will gird and chew on the trees like that too if you don't watch them. Of course it's unlikely you have a wild goat running around. ;-)
Beautiful pictures. Isn't it neat walking around old volcanic areas? The Cascades and Siskiyou's are both volcanic chains. Of course we don't have all the beautiful granite and stone you have in the northeast.

Jennifer said...

Ah ha - I almost took a picture of the geological marker at the top of Casears Head too! Sometimes our similarities scare me!!! Trust me I think you are really hardy stock for going out as often as you did this year!

On a side note I met someone last weekend in person who started following my blog. She lives just 2 miles from me. But she found me through YOUR blog. Scary isn't it???

bspinner said...

Wonderful hiking pictures. Somthing sure did take a chunk out of that tree. No ideas about it from me. I agree on the moose tree. Nice weather to take a hike.

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks for the tree bite guesses!! Based on what you guys are saying, I'll bet it was a deer. There are deer and moose in the area, but it does seem like the right height for a deer. Plus, it was right next to a large hemlock grove where deer like to spend winter when there is deep snow (and this winter counts!)

I never knew deer or moose would do that!! (Goats I could imagine would do that, but I'm 99.9% sure that there are no goats running around in Pawtuckaway State Park!!)

Jennifer - that's too funny that some one who lives near you found you through my blog. Recently, some one emailed to tell me she thought I'd like your blog....and I thought...well, I already do like your blog!! (And yes, the similarities are pretty funny!)


Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures!

I think the deer theory about those marks does sound quite likely. Do keep in mind though that the height can be misleading if it was done in the winter. We have a trail with a tree that looks like a 6 foot beaver worked on it. All it is though is a beaver that worked on it in the winter, with a 6 foot snow pack under him. It can really make things look strange though!

I can't tell for sure just from a picture, but that doesn't really look like the style of a beaver though - so I'd probably go with the guess that it was a deer.