Sunday, January 4, 2009

A snowy trail to the top

     Another splendid day for the woods, the snow still fresh and cold, the sun bright.  Today I climbed a mountain trail in Moreau Lake State Park, snowshoeing up, up, up to a view of the Hudson River valley way below, the Spier Falls catchment shining in the sunlit distance.  Across the river, I could see the foothills of the Adirondacks start their climb to the north. 
     The mountains in Moreau Park are called the Palmertown Range.  Are they part of the Adirondacks?  At any rate, they are lovely mountains, possessing a genuine sense of rugged wilderness, and only a few minutes from  home.  
     I was hoping today to find a porcupine trail, but I didn't.  I did a few years ago up here, and it puzzled me much:   no footprints that I could see, just a well-packed trough about 10 inches  across and drizzled down the middle with yellow, the whole length, like  someone had traced the trail with a squirt bottle full of pee.  No, just a porcupine full of pee.  I traced the trail to a den in a pile of rocks, quite smelly with porky poop all around the entrance and here and there a tell-tale quill.  Porcupines don't wander all around looking for food;  they find a tree to feed in and that's where they return to every day.  So their trail gets well packed down by their wide waddly feet and their even wider bodies.  

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