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Fogs and frogs and birds in bogs

Last weekend I hiked section 8 of the M-M trail, which I had done once before (about a year ago). This was different from my other hikes, in that I got up early and hit the trail at 7:15am, as opposed to hiking in the afternoon. This had the big advantage that it wasn’t blazing hot – the temp was around 60 degrees when I started out.

There was an added interesting feature to doing a morning hike. Namely, that as I drove from Northampton to the Eastern end of the trail section in Amherst, I passed through a bunch of fog that as covering the river and half of the town of Hadley.

Luckily for me, much of the fog was still there when I reached the first scenic lookout, on the Western slope of Long Mountain:

riverfog1.jpg

It looks kind of like other pictures of clouds seen from mountaintops, until you realize that the mountain I was on only rises a few hundred feet above the valley floor.

riverfog2.jpg

riverfog3.jpg

riverfog4.jpg

The only other pictures I snapped on that hike were of a beautiful spider-web in the woods, which isn’t really visible in any of the shots. Too bad. It was a notable hike, though, because I got to the Western end (the Notch visitors’ center) in about 2 hours and 25 minutes. Last year the same hike took me 3 hours and 10 minutes. It’s true that I stopped to take pictures less this time, but some of that 45 minutes I shaved off is because I didn’t have to rest as much. Spending a good chunk of this summer hiking has put me in better shape, with better endurance.

A bit later the same day, I went to the swampy portion of the Norwattuck trail to look for herons. And indeed, I saw a few. The first one I saw was closest to the trail:

heron1.jpg

heron2.jpg

I walked further along and saw one a ways away:heron3.jpg

After walking a bit more without seeing another, I headed back. When I got near the point at which I’d seen the first one, some other people walking past noticed a heron in a tree:

heron4.jpg

I think this might have been the same one I first saw, as there was no longer a bird in the spot I’d seen it. Continuing back toward the car, I just managed to distinguish one more a longer distance off:

heron5.jpg

I also checked out some water near the trail that was full of lily pads. In there, I found a frog on top of a pad:

anotherfrog.jpg

And also a frog partially submerged:

froghead.jpg

Frog head!

Posted by seaking on 08-19-2007 at 02:08 pm
Posted in Hiking

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1 Comment »

  1. How very cool!

    Comment by Stasa — August 24, 2007 @ 19:15

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