Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rain at Jug End Reservation

Showers were predicted yesterday, with temperatures in the 40s. So, since I had canceled last Tuesday's hike because of below-zero wind chill factors, I decided to hike anyway. It was actually steady, sometimes heavy, rain all morning! However, it was warm enough that we were very comfortable even in the damp conditions. The four of us enjoyed the trail.

This is the third time this winter that the snow has melted away in the warm rainy conditions. Talk about a January thaw — this year we have had three of them and one was in December!

Water was dripping from every pine needle.
This white birch really stood out in the dark surroundings.
The rain was still coming down as the mist rose from the field and hills.
Lots of standing water on the trail.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Appalachian Trail in Egremont

Last Thursday I was out on the Appalachian Trail in an agricultural area of the Housatonic Valley in Egremont. It was between snow storms. It had snowed about two inches the night before and snow was in the air but it was not too cold. There was just enough snow to create beautiful contrast on trees and shrubbery and highlight the animal tracks, but not impede walking. It is one of the few flat sections of the AT. A wonderful walk!

I loved the snow on the bright sumac seeds. 
Here, the trail is on a farm track between two corn fields.
Snow resting on last summer's hay. 
It was peaceful and quiet in the young hemlock and hardwood forest. 
A couple of turkeys had been here earlier.
A squirrel had leaped between two trees.

In early spring, along this boardwalk is always
the first place I find skunk cabbage!
I loved the contrast of the lichen, moss, bark and snow on this tree trunk.
The beautiful subtle colors of winter on the farmland. 
Looking across the fields to Jug End Mountain.
Mt. Everett is barely visible in back to the left.