Small Rewards . . .

are huge in my book of life. Today’s Mondate (Monday date) found us climbing The Mountain at GLLT’s Back Pond Reserve in North Waterford.

name signs

As is the tradition around these parts, family names are posted at the beginning of the road. A sure welcome.

5 Kezars Pond Road

Since yesterday’s precipitation, no one had traveled down the Five Kezar Ponds Road–except for the red fox and snowshoe hares that crossed it. We know the red fox marked its territory as it moved along, because even though we didn’t climb over the snowbank to follow its tracks, we could smell the skunky scent. Seems a bit late in the year for that, but this year, everything is a bit late.

Hi Ho

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It’s off to climb we go. Oh–be thankful you can’t hear me sing. My voice is as flat as the computer screen you are staring at and someone reminded me that enough was enough. 🙂

ponds coming into view

Pausing along the way, the ponds were coming into view. It won’t be long before leaves obscure this. That’s one of the things I’ll miss about winter, which I know must come to an end eventually. But it provides us with sightings we might not see during other seasons.

bear claw marks1

Like this. I was scanning the landscape, with the hope of finding this. And I was rewarded. Yes, this tree has a case of beech bark disease and exhibits the perennial cankers, but look toward the left of the trunk and you’ll see the pattern of bear claw marks.

snowshoe hare tracks

As we continued to climb, we were also rewarded with a variety of animal tracks, from mice and squirrels to snowshoe hare, weasels and porcupines. I really wanted to see bobcat, but it wasn’t to be. I’ve seen their tracks and coyote tracks here in the past. The thing I should remember is that I need to live in the moment and enjoy what I see, rather than have expectations of what I want to see.


The view of several of the ponds at Five Kezars. I’m not sure, but I think this view is of Back Pond, Middle Pond and Mud Pond. Pleasant Mountain and Shawnee Peak Ski Area are in the background.

rock tripe

As we started down the connecting trail, marked with orange blazes, the flat and  flappy growths of rock tripe lichen jumped out at me. Though it’s supposed to be edible, I think you have to do some severe boiling and who knows what else to eat this. I’m not about to try, but what I do appreciate, is that like the lungwort that I shared in a previous post, rock tripe changes with the weather–from leathery and brown to pliable and bright green.

split maple

And then there was this maple. What in the world? Talk about resilience. We decided that maybe a weather event caused the split and then the tree reacted. Some reaction. And recovery. This tree has the will to live, despite any obstacles put in its way.

bear claws 3

Yup, another bear claw tree. It never gets old. Sighting one I mean. The claw marks become more apparent with age, so getting old is good in this case–to me.


But I’ve saved today’s best reward until almost the end. Do you see it?

snowshoe 1

How about now?

snowshoe 2

This guy was big. As were its eyes and ears. Eyes on the side–born to hide. A prey animal for a predators like bobcats.

snowshoe 3

My, what big feet you have. And to you we gave thanks today for our snowshoes.



lunch rock view

We crossed the bridge and then sat on a rock to eat lunch. PB&J as usual. And the final reward–homemade brownies. Life is good.

Thanks for stopping by for another wonder-filled wander. I hope you found today’s tramp as rewarding as I did.

6 thoughts on “Small Rewards . . .

  1. Cris sent me your Blog knowing that I would love it, and I do!!!! Especially loved your photos of the snowshoe rabbitt!!! My husband and son have seen many of them, but I have never had the pleasure….until I saw your incredible photos!!!! Thank you so much, and I look forward to your next wandering!! Jacquie


    1. Hi Jacquie, And welcome! Cris told me she had shared it with you. I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog and wandering along with me. We still have our wee camp on Moose Pond.


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