Gooble. Gooble. Gooble. Gooble. Gooble. Gooble. Gooble. Seriously . . . is all that noise necessary? Apparently it is. Mr. Tom felt the need to awaken us at this morning’s first light with his non-stop gobbling–his way of calling the hens to join him. Disclaimer: I didn’t take this photo until later in the day. In all his ugliness, I have to say that he really is a handsome fellow.
The hens who hang out with him don’t appear to care, but maybe they’re just playing coy.
We left them to the bird seed scattered on the ground and drove to Farnsworth Road in Brownfield for a hike up Peary Mountain. The trail is located on private property and we’re thankful that it’s open to hikers. Much of it is a snowmobile trail as well.
The Little Saco flows over moss-covered rocks beside the lower part of the trail.
As we followed it, bright green growth in the damp soil warranted a closer look.
A true sign of spring–false hellebore with its corrugated leaves.
There are plenty of other signs, including the pink and green striped maple buds. I’m missing my macro for these moments of early glory, but so it is.
While some beech trees still have a few marcescent leaves clinging until they can no more, I noticed a few buds beginning to burst.
At a stone wall, the trail suddenly turns 90˚ to the left.
But in the opposite direction–the remains of an old foundation.
And above, a ledge from whence the stones presumably came.
The ledge continues to provide a dwelling–for critters like the porcupines who keep the hemlocks well trimmed.
As we climbed to the top, delicate bluets showed their smiling faces.
And then we emerged on the 958-foot summit, where the bench view is glorious. The small mountain was named for Admiral Peary. Apparently, his mother’s family, the Wileys, lived in neighboring Fryeburg. Upon graduating from Bowdoin College in 1877, Peary lived in Fryeburg and conducted survey studies of the area for a couple of years, before moving to DC and later leading an expedition to the North Pole.
If you’ve seen similar views of the big mountain, its because it’s part of our place.
I followed my guy along the ridge line to the end–where the view turned homeward.
If you look closely, you’ll notice a horizontal line just below the bog–that’s the Saco River. And the little mountain to the left of Pleasant Mountain–Little Mountain in West Bridgton.
The only part of the view that we don’t get–the new road that was constructed up the backside of the mountain within the past year. It worries us. And that is why we appreciate the efforts of Loon Echo Land Trust for protecting most of the rest of the mountain.
We headed home for lunch and to pull out the lawn furniture.* And then we parted ways, my guy to attend a celebration of life for an old friend, and me to climb Bald Pate. My purpose–to look at the pitch pines and jack pines.
In bundles of three, the stiff needles surround the male pollen bearing cones on the pitch pine.
Jack pine features two needles per bundle–think Jack and Jill.
From the summit, I paused to take in the view of Peabody Pond and Sebago Lake beyond. It doesn’t matter how often I climb to the top of this 1,100-foot mountain, the view is ever changing.
And again, I could see Pleasant with Mount Washington in its saddle. This time, however, I was on the opposite side looking at the front of Pleasant Mountain. You may wonder about the road–it leads to two cell towers near the Southwest Ridge summit.
As I made my way to the Foster Pond Lookout, I stopped frequently to enjoy the ever-artful presentation of sweet fern.
And I noticed another sweet offering that many of us will enjoy this summer–blueberry plants in bloom. A year ago next week, I saw the same on this very mountain. Seems early, but I think they’re well protected in a sunny spot.
I’m sure had my guy been with me, he would have named a color chip that matched Foster Pond–perhaps turquoise blue best described it in that moment.
Heading back to my truck, I noticed some bird treats dangling from the trees. Perhaps our turkeys will fly to South Bridgton.
Apparently not. Back at home, Tom had returned. He’s a frequent visitor to our place. And we’re frequent visitors to the area beyond our backyard. It’s all really his place and our place.
* If you live in our area, expect at least one more snowstorm. It always snows once we pull out the lawn furniture.