Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today, Hiking!

The last two days other than take care of the rabbits, I haven't done anything homesteading related. Partially due to fatigue, partially due to rain, and partially because I didn't feel like building or digging. This led to me not having any idea what to post about today, so I figured I'd post about what I have been doing, hiking around behind the house. All of these pictures are from within a 30 minute hike from the house. As a caveat, my hiking pace is a little faster than some consider to be a normal pace so take 30 minutes with a grain of salt.

 The first picture is  the first clear view you can see through the swamp to the hill beyond the ridge line behind our house. The swamp is fairly extensive though remarkably lacking in bug life for a swamp. Probably because all of the water is moving water.

To the left there are two pictures of the same swampy area from about 5 minutes further on down the path.
 The terrain looks a lot more solid than it actually is in these two pictures, but I hadn't thought to bring one of the cameras so was relying on my phone camera unfortunately. The picture directly to the left I took to show how prevalent the invasive Barberry Bush is even out in the fairly wild areas. One of our projects has been exterminating any we find. I didn't have gloves with me to do so today, though in the case of the shrub in the picture I'd need either pruning sheers or an axe to deal with it!

 The photo on the right is one of the little creeks that flows down into the swamp from the ridge line above. By best guestimation this is pointed nearly directly at our back yard, though a bit of a hike away. Not the route I'd take back though, going straight over a ridge line isn't usually the best option. As you can see the water level is fairly low in the stream, despite the rain lately it has been spotty rain, and coming on the heels of a nearly bone dry April.

 Just a few moments further down the trail from the swamp is this area. This is dry and scrubby, but just beyond the tree line of scrub trees is the same swamp, though you can't tell from this point of view.

Below you can see a picture of where the swamp and the river that feeds it first meet. It's hard to really see through the tree cover, but the slope is fairly steep there and without a hiking partner other than the dog shaped blur in the photo, I didn't want to risk hurting myself. 

The river looking down stream into the swamp itself.

On the left you can see the river that feeds into that large swampy area. I think I need to get waders, or be willing to go knee deep into cold water if I really want to get good pictures of some of this. On the right bottom is a picture of a huge old tree that must have gone down some years ago. I just thought it looked really beautiful. Below is a blurry shot of what looks like the work of beavers just at the mouth of the swamp where the river meets it. I really wish I'd brought the camera for that one.

Last but not least is a picture of one of the smaller scats I found of the same kind. The Lady of the House thinks it is likely Coyote or Bear droppings. From her guess from just looking at my blurry pictures she thinks it's been eating rabbits and squirrels. For scale, the fully opened leatherman is 8" long.

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