Monday, February 23, 2015

Basin Pond, Lee

It's been so cold lately that I was happy we had a sunny, and almost warm, window of time for a snowshoe hike at Basin Pond on Tuesday. We took the upper trail loop and the side trail to the wooden deck overlooking the former pond, returning by the lower loop trail, about 3 miles. This is a 296-acre Berkshire Natural Resources Council property.

The snow was 2-3 feet deep so most of the rocks were covered except for the huge boulders which stood out in the snow. Although the woods was quiet to us, we saw lots of evidence, in the form of tracks, that proved many animals had been out and about recently. The only birds we heard were chickadees.

A squirrel had dug down into the snow
 to find his/her stash of acorns hidden last fall
under the leaves.
Most likely long-tailed shrews made these tracks.
A deer leaped through the deep snow.
These could be red squirrel tracks.
Our tracks!
It was a wonderful day to be out for a few hours!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lime Kiln Farm in the Snow

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day at Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. The snow was deep and fluffy. We saw many tracks that had been partially covered by the day-before's snowfall, and a few fresh ones. The rabbits were most-recently active and left lots of prints in the snow.

This 260-acre Audubon property has many fields with great views west to the ridge over which the Appalachian trail traverses. We identified Mt. Everett, the highest; Mt. Bushnell and Jug End to the north; and, to the south, Mount Race and Bear Mountain with Sages Ravine in between. From the farthest field on the Scenic Vista Trail, there is also a view north, towards Mt. Greylock.

For more observations, check out my other two posts about this property. I love it any time of year!

One of us was on cross-country skies; the rest, snow shoes.
We noticed that the rabbits had been out recently,
hopping around in the bushes near the trail.
The bunnies had a well-worn path around the back of the old lime kiln.
The snow was deeply drifted inside the deteriorating 40-foot-tall structure. 
The sunshine felt warm and the temperature was in the 20s.
Something, probably a deer, bounded across the field a few days ago.
Mt. Everett was snow-covered in the distance. (Photo by Marina Wilber.)
Good thing we were wearing snow shoes! The snow was deep.