Thursday, February 20, 2014

Alford Springs, Alford

The Berkshire Natural Resources Council property, Alford Springs, has wonderful wide paths for snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Last week the snow was perfect and although the temperature was in the teens, I was soon very warm. Snowshoeing is a good workout!

A great start to a morning of snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
I don't know how small animals stay on top of this fluffy snow.

View of Alford framed by beautiful white birches.

This stream was 90 percent frozen, but still running!

I am drawn to this hill. It is part of the BNR property and this year,
I will find a way up to its summit.
Doesn't it look inviting?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bob's Way, Monterey & Sandisfield

Tuesday, the sun was shining brightly and the temperature rose into the twenties to provide a wonderful winter hike at Bob's Way in Monterey. Bob's Way is a 260-acre Berkshire Natural Resources Council property named after a prominent Berkshire conservationist, Nion Robert Theriot, who preserved over 4,500 acres in Berkshire County. Thank you, Bob!

We saw many fresh animal tracks in the new snow. I'm not an expert in identifying tracks, but we pooled our knowledge and believe we saw tracks of squirrels, chipmunks, coyote, fox, bobcat and small rodents—maybe mice and voles. Turkey and otter tracks were still obvious but older. Although we did not see any fresh deer tracks, many of their older degraded tracks were still visible. Obviously, there is much wildlife activity here although we saw and heard only some birds—woodpeckers, chickadees and nuthatches.

We walked in a figure-eight pattern covering all the trails, about three miles. After a moderate, but short, climb up Cathcart Crossing Trail, there is a view through the trees to the hills beyond with a long stone bench. It's a great place to pause for a snack and enjoy the woods. Many thanks to Janice Tassinari and Marina Wilber for the photos. (I forgot my camera!)

There was about four inches of fresh snow.

We thought this was a bobcat track.
The view at the stone bench.
Which way do we go?

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