Assorted Bob Innisfree Leaf Litter Uncategorized

Leaf Litter: Marking my territory

An orange blaze designating the property line.

As part of a forest land tax reduction, I had to mark the property boundaries and create a 10-year plan for my land. I hired a consulting forester to help assemble the plan and learned a hell of a lot in the process. While I was out doing that, I also planted ramp bulbs and started thinking about how trails will run.

One thing is certain: There will be switchbacks. The land is steep, with the two houses on a ridge that sits like a saddle above two hollows, one south facing, the other north, creating two micro-climates with different trees and conditions. The north-facing hollow has a lot of potential for mushrooms and ramps.

The forester also created some scope creep in my schemes, suggesting that a rope bridge would be awesome over one of the intermittent streams on the property. So I’m thinking about how that will play into my trail system.

Sunny welcomes spring … her hips are in bad shape and she can’t climb, so she can’t descend down into the hollows with me when I go exploring there. Well, more accurately, she can descend. It’s the climb back out that’s beyond her.

I did a little mushroom foraging yesterday. I’m really, really hoping there are a few patches of morels out there, but the soil isn’t warm enough here yet for them to emerge. So I had to settle for elf cups, devil’s urns, and witches’ butter (a jelly fungus), and a few other specimens. Great hike overall.

Elf Cup (sarcoscypha) peeking out of the leaf litter.
Two more elf cups emerging next to a red oak leaf.
Devil’s Urn (urnula craterium)

As I walked the nothern hollow, I was amazed at the poplars there. They shoot skyward on straight trunks that culminate in tight crowns. A few of them cling to the rocky hillside in ways that defy gravity. I found a cluster of three old poplars that stopped me in my tracks. Two of them already are snags, and I think the third is going to join them soon.

Here are a few other photos taken during recent peregrinations …

Assorted Bob Dog Bob Leaf Litter Uncategorized

Leaf Litter: Turkeys on the wing

Walking with Sunny in the pre-dawn hours yesterday morning, we both stopped dead in our tracks at the sound of frantic flapping in the trees above us. Barely discernible, a blob lumbers out of the branches and glides down the hill. Then several other trees start rustling with similar results. Sunny doesn’t get excited over much. But this got her dander up. We’d walked into a stand a trees where a flock of turkeys had sought refuge the previous night.

As we continued walking, we played hopscotch with one turkey who kept gliding to trees ahead of us, then moving on at our approach. Sunny soon lost interested and started sniffing for signs of the red fox who frequents that area …

I’ve captured the red fox on my game cam a few times, but so far Sunny hasn’t run into him. Maybe she’s looking for the wrong red fox …
Leaf Litter Transcendental Bob

Sunset on Peach Ridge