Hiking

Reflection

Reflection

On the Appalachian Trail, Gaylordsville, Connecticut.

A few weeks ago we had a day of high winds in western Connecticut and because this area is pretty rocky and trees aren’t deeply rooted, wind can uproot and knock over even very large and old trees.

The section of Appalachian trail between the New York/Connecticut border and Bull’s Bridge is called “Ten Mile Hill” and it’s a very nice four mile hike. The recent wind took down over 20 large trees on this section and we had a big crew of “sawyers” and “swampers” to clean it up. It was a lot of work and I was pretty sore when I got home (nothing beer and ibuprofen won’t fix).

Toward the end of the day I took a few shots of a nice reflection on a small swamp. I was so tired my hands were shaking and I was pretty sure none of the shots would turn out but thankfully a few did.

Swamp

Swamp

Mattatuck Trail, Warren, Connecticut.

I took a hike along this new section of the Mattatuck trail that’s right in our little town. It crosses this swamp and I had to bushwhack in deep snow closer to this viewpoint through what looked to be a tick-infested jungle of branches to get this shot.

Around here Lyme disease is a real worry so going off trail in a place like this is a risk. I thought this shot might be worth the risk but having had Lyme disease I can tell you, it wasn’t. I like the shot but Lyme disease is no fun at all and if I had it to do over again, I’d have skipped this off-trail bushwhack.

Wolf tree

Wolf tree

South Egrermont, Massachusetts.

We snowshoed from Jug End east on the Appalachian Trail toward Sheffield. This large oak tree (sometimes called a “wolf tree” as it prevents other trees from growing up near it) is a thing of beauty, with some of its branches actually growing underground. There are a number of magnificent trees on this section of trail although this was the only one we had the energy to get to as the snow wasn’t great and the trail was unbroken.

We couldn’t get closer to this tree because of an electric fence. Too bad, closer framing would have been better.

Ice in a rut

Ice in a rut

Southwestern, Massachusetts.

I did some shooting with my iPhone 8 on our hike the other day. This is a small rut on the trail with some rather large ice crystals growing in it.

As most folks know, modern smartphones have excellent cameras in them and I’ve seen some amazing images coming from iPhones of all vintages on Flickr and elsewhere. I’ve had an iPhone of one sort or another for years but I’m still not as comfortable as others in using it as a primary camera. Not sure quite why that is, it sure is convenient and easy to carry.

Bear Rock Creek

Bear Rock Creek

Southwestern, Massachusetts (The Connecticut border is two miles south/left) in this frame on the Appalachian Trail).

We hiked from this point up onto Mt. Race on the Appalachian Trail to check the section I maintain. Cut one tree that had fallen across the trail but otherwise the trail is in good shape for this time of year. Pockets of ice that us old men have to watch out for but it was a nice hike.

This creek flows from Plantain Pond which is the recreational lake at the YMCA Camp Hi Rock down to Rt. 41. Behind me about 50 yards is a nice waterfall.

There were lots of ice “udders” (stalactites) under rocks and trees but I couldn’t get close enough to photograph them without falling in.

Ice on the Shepaug

Ice on the Shepaug

Mattatuck Trail, Warren, Connecticut.

We hiked along the Shepaug River looking for interesting ice. We’ve had plenty of cold weather but the kind of weather that makes good ice is extreme cold, a thaw, then more extreme cold. We’ve sort of had that but not quite extreme enough in either direction (warm and cold).

I did find some nice crystals near the shore and attempted to get a shot. I could not get stable enough to get steady for sharp focus so this isn’t quite as crisp as I’d like it. Consider it a place marker for better ice in the next month (hopefully).