Mount Cushman

A short hike to a delightful remote peak, Mount Cushman, in central Vermont.

No, I’ve never heard of it either. This small peak in Central Vermont is not on anyone’s peak-bagger list, or on any long-distance trail. But when I was looking through the guidebook of dayhikes in Vermont, this one stuck out as an interesting new place to visit.

The trail along the ridgeline to Mount Cushman.
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American Bittern

Some of our many neighbors.

I was out for a paddle along the Connecticut River near home, this afternoon, and took a side trip among the reeds and brush that form the ‘delta’ at the mouth of Hewes Brook. This area is popular with ducks, herons, geese, kingfisher, beaver, and countless other residents. Today, a pair of American Bittern posed for me in the brush of a tiny islet while I came by. More photos.

American Bittern, in the brush near the mouth of Hewes Brook, Connecticut River, Lyme NH.

Earlier this month I’ve seen white Egrets and Great Blue Herons feeding nearby, as well as Canada Geese, many varieties of ducks, and a pair of loons. Need to bring my camera more often!

Mount Hale

A morning hike to a 4000-footer.

It was a beautiful day for a hike, so I was pleased to have a chance to join friends for a climb of Mount Hale – one of the 4000-foot peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Much of the trail follows Hale Brook, including several pretty cascades.

Waterfall on Hale Brook, White Mountains.

More photos (and a video) on SmugMug.

Hike stats (round trip):
Distance: 6.64km
Time: 2h48m
Gain: 678m

Daniel Doan Trail

A pleasant surprise.

I have climbed Smarts Mountain many times, by many routes – including some now-abandoned routes and by bushwhacking Grant Brook – but I don’t think I have ever hiked the Daniel Doan Trail.* Finally, today, we did.

The first half of the trail follows old logging roads.
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Moosilauke

Although today began cloudy, conditions slowly cleared throughout the day. Lelia and Andy and I headed for Moosilauke, climbing Gorge Brook, and then heading down Carriage Road and Snapper.

Andy and David on summit of Mount Moosilauke.

Unfortunately, there were many, many other people out hiking today – a holiday here in the US – because it has rained for the past five days and this was the first (somewhat) nice day for a week. Still, a fine day for a hike! Read on and check the Photo gallery.

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Mount Cube

Cloudy but beautiful.

Rivendell trail, Mount Cube.

On Independence Day it finally stopped raining. It has rained, more or less non-stop, for four days. True, it was a welcome respite from the hot and humid weather at the start of the week, but it the rain was getting a bit tiring. So I was eager to get outdoors, and jumped at the chance to hike Mount Cube with an old friend. The trail was wet – to be expected on Mount Cube under almost any circumstances, but especially now – but the forest was lush green, and the bugs seemingly washed away. Although there were no views – low clouds still clung to the hilltops everywhere – it was a fine day to be out.

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Vernal pool redux

Repeat visits over five weeks.

Last month I wrote a short note about the spring phenomenon of vernal pools, which can often be found in pretty, magical glens in the midst of the forest. Since then I have made repeated visits to that same small, shallow vernal pool located just a ways up the hill behind our house. I’ve photographed it from the same vantage point just to see how it evolves over time. Although these photos were taken at different times of the day, in different lighting, and not on a regular schedule, it’s interesting to see the succession of plant life as the pool dries.

June 14: A vernal pool near home.