It’s a small trail system of three interconnecting trails (Norman, Dancy, and Allen), all together only 1.38 miles. (Online sources claim 1.63 miles but I have tracked it numerous times on my Fitbit, mapping it, and it’s consistently 1.35 to 1.4 miles, unless I rewalk a loop or two, which I often do.) The trail rolls a bit but there is not much steepness — only two places really with any bit of a climb at all — so it’s an ideal trail to bring friends who are not hikers but who want to be in the woods.
The only downside is that it’s very close to Interstate 89 (in fact, that’s how and why it was built, because the location served as a staging area for the creation of the highway there) and you can always hear vehicle noise. But you can also hear birds, see snakes, occasionally glimpse a duck in the pond, and discover a great deal of interesting plant life. This is the one place in NH where I’ve found stinkhorn fungi (Phallaceae), which are amazing to come across because of their smell (either bleachy or corpsey) and their often geometric shapes and their colours (red, orange, white, black). As I walk the trails, I’m always sniffing!
And now, without any further ado, images from the trails from 2017 and 2018 in Spring (May), Summer (the two Julys), Autumn (September and November), and Winter (February).
“Life must be lived amidst that which was made before. Every landscape is an accumulation. The past endures.” — Donald Meinig, from “The Beholding Eye”
Some bellwether spring plants and flowers:
Fungi, lichen, and ferns:
Animals and Views:
Fungi, Lichen, Slime Molds, Ferns:
Animals and Views:
FALL (September and November)
Fungi, lichen, ferns, club mosses (which aren’t real mosses):
Views and Animals:
In most of these photos, if you go back and look, you’ll see the accumulation of leaves and needles on the forest floor. Brown leaves, needles and branches, fallen flowers and berries, disintegrating insects, bird feathers, desiccated animal bodies — they hold the tableau in place, comprise the backdrop and foundation for the green, the flower, the berry, the bird, the walking human of today.
The past witnesses. The past nurtures. The past endures. The past is held within the present, remembered in the flesh of the living, remembered like a place you know only in dreams, and so intimately.