I'll start this week with a sunrise that greeted the morning on Tuesday. I am an early bird, and even with the time change, am up for such treats. The picture was taken of the view that greets me mornings at our Parker Head Road house. We look out at the Kennebec River, that same river that the beaver was using for transportation a week or so ago. As you see, we still have a snow cover, though patches of bare earth are beginning to show. It's been up to 50 degrees in recent days. Amazing.

On Monday, I hit the trails up to Ridgewell Preserve. The going wasn't easy since that hike requires climbing up snow covered areas. There were very few fresh tracks, and only deer scat was found. I was hoping to see signs of moose that have been reported in that area, but none were observed. I made it to the high Pitch Pine ridges (seen to the right) where I caught a glimpse of Seguin you know it was a clear day. There, under the pines, I found patches of Pinesap remnants that stood above the snow cover to announce a former flowering. These are non-green saprophytic plants, suggestive of Indian Pipe, but with more numerous blossoms on the arching stalk. Here again, is one of the joys of winter hiking...finding plant remnants that remain to tell a story.

I was again lured out to check the happenings at our favorite campground. Again, a diver was extracting lobsters from the pound. I went on to check the beaches on the north end. The going was easier with less ice, but as I followed the trails to Spring Beach I met a glacier-like obstacle! Spring Beach is so named because of wet sources that open out on that beach. The trail was impassable due to the ice that flowed down over the trails. No one had been on the beach, understandably. The picture below shows how the ice was covering access to the blue trail! There must have been five lobster buoys washed up, and piles of seaweed. I made my way back up the white trail to check the deer activity. There were a lot of tracks and scat, but the animals were hidden. I also looked for Porcupines, but again, they were laying low. The one thing that stood out from this outing was the fact that clammers were back plying their trade. Despite the ice chunks, the mudflats were accessible and I counted three clammers digging deep for those animals. I talked to one who said he has been able to clam over in Atkins Bay off the Kennebec while these clamflats were frozen over.

And for all you campers, you are in for a treat! I talked to Chris and he has made arrangements for Chewonki to give presentations every Thursday throughout the summer. Some of you enjoyed the one on Owls on Labor Day weekend, but there will be more on Raptors, Bats, Amphibians and other animals! This is great news.

3/15/07 Thawing Ronnie