Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The west pond

Dog and I enjoyed a pleasant walk down through the valley between Roundtop and Nell’s Hill. In this area, many of the valleys between mountains have been cleared and homes built through them. The steep hills remain largely forested and undeveloped, but the flatter valleys are usually considered prime territory. So I am lucky to have a forested valley so near my doorstep.

The habitat down in the valley is moister and shadier than up on the hills. Sunlight doesn’t penetrate until midday. Down in here are lots of ferns and other moisture-loving woodland plants. In the summer the valley is filled with ferns, thousands of them. The little Beaver Creek runs through the center, and the temperature is much cooler.

During the fall, sunlight penetrates a bit earlier in the day, though is always filtered by the trees of the forest. Except for the ever-green Christmas ferns, the other species are brown or gone by mid-November. There’s a nice pond down here just under two miles from the nearest public and paved road. The pond is the only nearby opening in the forest, and I enjoy coming down here and just sitting, listening to the quiet on a calm day when there are no leaves to rustle and break the silence.

Sometimes I find interesting birds down on the pond or near it. Not today. A dozen wary Canada geese eyed me suspiciously but I saw nothing more unusual than that. You can see them in the second photo, somehow blending in with the browns of the trees and cattails.
The blue jays screamed, the turkey vultures took advantage of thermals over the pond to swirl overhead. A Red-tailed hawk caught the air and joined the turkey vultures. Dog sniffed in the mud along the banks.

It was a pleasant hour or so. Nothing too much happened. That was the best part.


The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

"Nothing too much happened. That was the best part." Isn't that so true. Of course, a lot happened, just not in the way most people expect. That's be the ones who find the woods and fields and remote places "boring."

Hey, my turkey vultures are long gone. And I miss 'em.

I did see three red-tailed hawks today while I was out and about—all of them beside a road, two sitting on the same section of fence maybe a yard apart, the other on the ground worrying something. Couldn't tell what and couldn't stop because I was try to make an appointment. But I've never seen three hawks together like that before.

Amazing how geese can blend…

Cathy said...

Ah, peace and quiet from human. That can be wonderful!

Carolyn H said...

Griz: I have never and will never understand how people find remote places "boring." Of course, I find cities boring....nothing but people.

It is unusual to see three hawks together like that. Could you tell if they were young ones? Sometimes siblings hang together for a while, and it's not that uncommon for the parent birds and offspring to hang together for a little while. Usually that's just two birds, though. Three is kind of unusual as far as I know.

Carolyn h.

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I look forward to going places where I can't hear any human sounds, at least for a while. Eventually, some airplane eventually intrudes or a distant chain saw. But I usually get a few minutes respite from that.

Carolyn h.