After a delightful morning following friends in New Hampshire as we traversed their trail adjacent to the White Mountain National Forest, they told us of a different route to try before we headed off for our afternoon adventure. From the parking area at the trailhead, they said, begin hiking in a certain clock-face orientation and you’ll reach the falls that only the locals know about.
Bingo. We did as they further suggested and listened for the water, crossed a dry stream bed, and then made our way carefully down a steep embankment to the very spot they’d described. After pausing and enjoying the sight and sound for a little bit, we both came to the same conclusion. Rather than head back up to the trail, why not follow the stream to its source.
That meant walking beside moss-covered rocks as the water flowed forth.
At first it was on the easy side as we followed its course.
Our route became more challenging when we crossed slash at various times. (Can you see my guy?)
And ducked under and crawled backwards to get past some downed trees.
Hobblebush and Witch Hazel slowed us down. Well, maybe it only slowed me down. Again, can you spy him?
And then there were boulder fields to work our way around and through. Despite the sometimes challenging terrain . . .
as we continued to follow the water flowing south to its northern source . . .
the bushwhack provided us with delightful moments, such as the sight of a few Wood-sorrel flowers still in bloom.
The same was true of a Mountain Maple, its flowers splashing forth like a display of fireworks.
Occasionally damselflies known as Emerald Jewelwings landed nearby, he of the darker colors and she with a white dot at the tip of each wing.
At last we arrived at the pond that is the source of the brook. Whenever we are there we scan the landscape in hopes of spying a moose. A few tracks along the brook reminded us of their presence, but no actual sighting on this day.
We did spy more than a dozen Chalk-fronted Corporal dragonflies sunning on a rock.
And what I think was a Frosted Whiteface stuck in a spider web. Of course I had to free it.
Before setting it upon a Steeplebush, I did try to unfold its wing for the mosquitoes were thicker than thick and we’d been the source of their lunch. We only hoped this female could fly again and gobble up the pesky insects.
We could only imagine that the man in the buff we encountered as we hiked beside the brook must have provided the mosquitoes with an appetizer and dessert. We don’t know for sure because as he walked toward us, we quickly diverted for a short distance before returning to the brook, all in the name of social distancing, of course.
For our return trip, we stuck to the public trail, but gave great thanks to our morning hosts for telling us about the secret brook.
P.S. Happy Birthday Dr. Bubby! Thanks for letting us be a part of your birthday celebration.