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.
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.
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 …