Monday, April 6, 2015

Bob's Way, Monterey

On Tuesday Bob's Way, a Berkshire Natural Resources Council property in Monterey, still had plenty of snow for snowshoeing, although by next week the snow may be almost gone. Bob's Way usually has lots of fresh animal tracks in the snow and we were not disappointed. We saw evidence of squirrel, bobcat, otter, coyote, deer, fisher, turkey, porcupine, raccoon, and mouse and vole tracks. Amazing to see evidence of what goes on in the woods when humans are not around!

We started from the parking lot and went around the outer loop.
Several turkeys walked along the same path. 
The little toes, claws and the pads of this squirrel are clearly visible.
Here underneath a hemlock, we found this pile of porcupine quills. 
Since the ice was thick on the beaver swamp,
we were able to walk out and examine the beaver lodge.

Migrating Geese & Ducks on Smiley's Pond, South Egremont

The ice is going out in Smiley's Pond at the junction of Rtes. 23 and 41 in South Egremont. The old mill pond is often full of birds in spring and fall. I love walking around it and using my binoculars to spot different birds. Last summer, I even spied three otters fishing in the lake.

At first site, it looks like only Canada geese; they do predominate. However, when I look closely, I see various ducks and other birds. Yesterday I saw many hundreds of Canada geese of various sizes; the striking hooded merganser; the common merganser with its very red bill; and mallards. My camera does not take closeups very well, but you can see that there were many, many birds. Most of the ones on the ice were facing the warm spring sun!