Thursday, July 14, 2011

Piper Mountain Trail & Bowser Pond Trail Blazing 7/13/11

"Two Hours of Time, One Mile of Yellow" (pictures)

After two days of humid weather it was a rather nice day Wednesday ... hot, but a nice breeze blowing. So I decided to head back to Moose Mountains Reservation to work on some more trail blazing. I decided on blazing the Piper Mt. Trail to Bowser Pond. I drove up past the kiosk, checked the new map box to find 2 more maps had been taken! Guess I better print some more up! I continued driving taking a right at the North Road junction and parking at the landing where Piper Trail enters on the right. After some thought on the trail names on the property I am thinking this trail should be called Piper Link Trail as it doesn't actually climb the mountain, rather it links over to Piper Mt. Road.

Anyhow I clipped some trees leaning over in front of the snow mobile trail information signage and began my first blaze at about 12:45pm. The sun was hot but the breeze kept things mostly comfortable. I was thinking about the SPNHF crew on Mt. Monadnock doing trail work the past few days in the horrible heat! I would have liked to join them but the drive is way to long, especially having to head right to work when I got back. Besides, I have plenty to still do here!

After finishing the first two blazes at the entrance point I noticed a dragonfly landing here-and-there on the tops of dried up flower stems. It was so beautiful! I kept trying to get close so I could get a macro shot of it but it just wouldn't sit still. I chased this guy (and it is red, so litterally a guy!) around for 5 minutes thinking I was supposed to be blazing trails, not chasing bugs around with my camera! The dragonfly then hovered and circled around my head several times as if to say, "get lost! This is my territory!" My patience finally paid off though and I got a beautiful shot of this Calico Pennant :)

Then it was down the road spotting ahead for a good tree, cutting the brush back, and slapping on a blaze. This continued until I reached the banking high above Bowser Pond. From here there is a grown-in woods road on the right. I cut the overgrowth back just enough for a visible trail and conitnued my blazes about 100 feet. Here there is somewhat of a clearing down the banking to the pond that Scott and I had found before. I built a small cairn here with nearby rocks and decided to put my "Blue Moose Marker" here.

Then I trimmed the trees and blazed down to the waters edge. I was a little dissapointed to not see any herons or ducks. Probably not a good time of day for them and perhaps the noise scared them away! The pond is pretty just-the-same with a few dots of yellow water lily buds on top of the water. I also spotted a couple turtles sun bathing on some logs further up along the shore.  I stood here for a few minutes relaxing and scanning the pond. I watched as half-a-dozen swallows catching bugs swooped over the water. Then I climbed the banking, clearing the rotted logs and what-not from the foot path.

Indian Pipe is coming up and blooming right now, so I had to take a picture of one. It was so cute there next to the trail. And they are my mothers fasvorite. My mission half complete it was now time to blaze back to my starting position! It was getting hotter out and I was already getting a little exhuasted, sticky and hot. And it was nearly all uphill going back. I spotted a very bright yellow Clouded Sulpher Butterfly and really wanted a picture of it! It was very quick and would not sit still for more than a second. It kept making it's way back down the trail. I was getting tired and was not about to go back the other way, so I gave up on this one. Better luck next time! I ended my day at 2:45. I have been surprised at just how long such a simple looking task can take ... A total of 1 mile of trail blazing in 2 hours! It is very rewarding and exciting though to be putting the first blazes on this property!

Updated MAP 7/13/11

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