Wandering the Lyme woods

I never quite know where I’ll go or what I’ll find.

Last weekend’s hike to Holts Ledge emphasized the end of winter/snow hiking, despite the spectacular powder snow I encountered on Kinsman Ridge two weeks ago. That change, coupled with area roads swallowed under a mud season of “biblical proportions”, led me to stay close to home for my hiking this weekend: literally out my back door. It’s a common mud-season opportunity for me, while the trails remain muddy in the mountains and the river is still shedding its winter ice. Today’s outing led to two interesting finds! Read on.

As I followed the faint path left by a skidder from a logging operation over a decade ago, I came across this curiously large collection of deer hair – white tail hairs close to me, and brown coat hair further back. Although this is an area I know to be common for deer bedding in winter, as it is sheltered from snowfall above by hemlock branches and from the west winds by the hilltop nearby, I’ve seen many deer beds and never a collection of hair like this. I suspect this hair is all that remains of a deer kill – even the bones have been nibbled or carried off by critters large and small. Check the photo and movie for a closer look, and the scat found at the far edge.

A large amount of deer hair scattered in a compact area, under some hemlocks, on southern end of Lyme Hill.

Downhill, along Shoestrap Road, I could hear the roar of Hewes Brook, its cascades swollen with snowmelt. I carefully slid down the steep slopes of this deep ravine to capture some photos and ten-second video clips (see gallery).

The large waterfall on lower Hewes Brook, beside Shoestrap Road, Lyme.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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