OK, so it wasn’t three seasons all packed into one Monday date, but walking up the Mountain Trail at GLLT’s Back Pond Reserve in Stoneham today brought back memories of previous visits by my guy and me.
The woods are awash in golden-green yellows right now, especially where the trees include beech, big-tooth aspen and striped maple.
Climbing higher, variations of red join the carpet display.
We were surprised by how quickly we reached the summit, which is what got us recalling previous visits. Today, the water of three of the Five Kezars sparkled while Pleasant Mountain stood watch in the background.
As I looked through my photo files, I realized we have never hiked this trail in the spring. In the summer there are wildflowers to make us pause, and winter finds us exploring mammal activity–thus our treks are slower.
Today’s view included snow on Mount Washington, the grayish-white mountain located between the pines.
As we enjoyed the view, we topped off our PB&J sandwiches with the last couple of truffles we had purchased at Ganong Chocolatier in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, earlier this month.
And water, of course.
Instead of letting the arrows confuse us, we turned 180˚ and followed the connector trail between the Mountain and Ron’s Loop. It’s not on the map yet and still needs some work, but it’s full of surprises–only a few of which I’ll share right now.
We’ve always enjoyed this trail and today realized that though it’s much easier to follow than it was a few years ago, many trees have blown down along the way.
They’re easy enough to climb over. If you go, do know that there are two or three mucky spots along this trail as well, but again, easy to get around.
This lone red pine always makes us wonder. Perhaps it found its way here via a seed on a skidder?
Today we found moose tracks, plus red fox and coyote scat. If there was bobcat scat, it was obscured by the leaf litter, but we know they frequent this area.
We also know the bobcat’s favorite meal lives here–we saw this guy in early March and of course, always see his prints on winter treks.
A couple of fun finds along the way–artist’s conk, crowded parchment and an old lion’s mane.
The bridge on Ron’s Loop is all decked out with autumn colors–a contrast to its winter coat.
We’re forever thankful to Ron for his leadership and foresight,
even when we can’t see the plaque that honors him.
We met no other people on the trail today, but one of my fondest memories dates back two years when one of GLLT’s interns, Kendra, offered her arm to Jewell for a safe journey. Once upon a time, Jewell was Kendra’s Sunday School teacher and on this summer day, Kendra was Jewell’s guide.
As we walked into the parking area of Ron’s Loop, we noticed that someone had left behind a water bottle. If it’s yours, it’s still there.
Each time we visit, we take a moment to check out the wasp nest at the kiosk.
We can’t remember when we first noticed it, but it’s been there for a while.
One last thing to note before we walked back to the Mountain trailhead where our truck was parked–Magnolia coffee. Wish I’d ordered more than one this past year. Dark roast.
One Mondate–three seasons. And now the quest is to turn it into a four-season destination. Stay tuned.
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