Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve in Barton

St. Paul's Church on Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas!

(I thought it has been long enough since my last post in March!)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Beavers on the Move

Clearing Out a New Beaver Dam  (1 of 9).jpg
What you would have seen when walking in from the road.

Last October the beaver from the bog had some sort of population explosion. The kids had to move out and make their own house. They chose to move across the road to our side. There is a huge culvert that drains water from a low lying grove of tamarack and apple trees. It is less than a quarter mile from the house. John noticed in October that the area was flooded. Deeply flooded. So he went to check it out. That's when he found the new beaver dam across the culvert. The new pond was about four feet deep and filling quickly. We would have a huge problem if there was a heavy rain or if the future finished dam broke. It could wash out our driveway, the culvert and the road..

Clearing Out a New Beaver Dam  (8 of 9).jpg
John manually clears out the dam from the culvert.
He is standing on top of the new dam.
Note those 6 foot tall fence posts marking the culvert.

Clearing Out a New Beaver Dam  (6 of 9).jpg
The new beaver pond.

John spent a lot of time and effort in clearing the dam from the culvert. He did it one Sunday morning and for a few weeks after that, once a week, because the beaver kept repairing the damage. The beaver seemed to give up at that point and did not rebuild.

But after nearly six weeks of quiet, they rebuilt the dam. This time, they built it deep inside the culvert, under the road, where neither John nor his tractor could reach it. John then called the town road agent, Clem, who had installed our culvert. Clem sent the town road crew that very day. They used the town's huge backhoe and hauled out the new, heavily fortified dam. Then they installed a heavy road grate to prevent the beaver from ever entering the culvert again.

The Remains of the Dam (2 of 6).jpg
The new heavy grate blocking the culvert. Note those same fence posts from above.

Below are some photographs of the damage in the same area. We returned on a hike in December to see what was going on. The damage was quite extensive. The area was trashed (in a nice, beaver sort of way):

The Remains of the Dam (1 of 6).jpg

The Remains of the Dam (4 of 6).jpg
This is what that new beaver pond looks like now. It is drained.

The Remains of the Dam (3 of 6).jpg
The remains of a lodge that was being built behind the dam.

The Remains of the Dam (5 of 6).jpg
Many trees were only partially cut or were being considered for cutting. This tree will die.

The beaver may have been discouraged. They may even have despaired. But they were never threatened. After the town blocked the culvert, they continued to cut down trees on both sides of the road and built a new lodge where it should have been built: in the beaver bog. This is the fourth lodge across the road now. It has new canals and trails, and new log slides going into the water. I'm glad the trees, such as they were, are gone, because now the view of the bog is clearer.

The New Lodge (1 of 1).jpg
The new lodge. Where it should be.

The funniest tale of these beaver has not yet been told. In January, I went for my monthly hair appointment and heard the strangest story from my hairdresser, who frequently drives by on her way into town. She was driving by one day about noon and saw by the side of the road a big beaver. He was waiting for her to drive by, looking both ways before he crossed. And what did he have in his mouth? A reflective road side marker that marks the culvert so that the town road crew does not damage it with the plows. The beaver had cut it down and was taking it home to decorate his lodge!


Saturday, March 03, 2012



I remember September 20, 2011 because of the weather. I came home from school feeling that classes hadn't gone as they should. I had to get outside but it was raining. I could tell that no birds were about and the rain would make all the bugs disappear. The cats felt they had to get out, too. The rain stopped so we went. Desperate, I began taking photographs and found these to shoot. And I found my bug.



I have put my favorite Wet photograph on my Photo a Day blog . . . . here.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Hiking the ROW Part 3

John, Oscar and Buddy Hiking on Barton Mountain-10.jpg
Buddy and Oscar will follow John to the end of the earth.

Unidentified Fungus-4.jpgAn unidentified fungus.

Porcupine Quills at the bottom of the cliff-1.jpg
Porcupine quills at the bottom of the cliffs.
John thinks the porkie may have fallen off of the cliff (and survived)
because of the number of quills that were there.

Views of the bottom tier of the cliffs-1.jpg
The very bottom of the cliffs.

Oscar Poses-5.jpg
Oscar poses for the camera.

Scarlet Waxy Cap Mushroom (Hygrophorous coccineus)-1-1.jpg
Scarlet Waxy Cap Mushroom (Hygrophorous coccineus)

Unidentified Fungus-1-1.jpg
Another unidentified fungus.

Oscar Hikes Vertically-1.jpg
Up the tree!

Insulators on the power lines-1.jpg

Transformer on the Pole on the ROW-1.jpg
The transformer is nearly eye level because the slope of the
mountainside is so steep under the cliffs.

Well, that's all there is about this great hike. To view the other photos:
Introduction: Strangers on the mountain
Hiking the ROW: Part 1
Hiking the ROW: Part 2
Hiking the ROW: Part 3


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hiking the ROW Part 2

Wild Cherry Nipple Gall caused by eriophyid mites-3.jpg
Wild Cherry Nipple Gall caused by eriophyid mites on chokecherry leaves.

In this post, I continue the photographic essay on hiking up the right of way on our land up Barton Mountain. An introduction is here and part one is here.

White Cohosh (Actaea pachypoda) (White Baneberry)-3.jpg
White Cohosh (Actaea pachypoda)
also called White Baneberry

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)-3.jpg
Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
Also called squaw root or papoose root.

Artist's Fungus (Ganoderma applanatum)-1.jpg
A colony of Artist's Fungi (Ganoderma applanatum)

Artist's Fungus (Ganoderma applanatum)-4.jpg
Under an Artist's Fungus.

Quarried Granite Buried in the Woods-2.jpg
A quarry cut block of granite far from any quarry and now buried,
over a century later, by the forest.
See more Barton Mountain granite quarry history here.

Hickory Tussock Moth larva (Lophocampa caryae)-2.jpg
Hickory Tussock Moth larva (Lophocampa caryae)

To view the other photos:
Introduction: Strangers on the mountain
Hiking the ROW: Part 1
Hiking the ROW: Part 2
Hiking the ROW: Part 3


Hiking the ROW Part 1

Fairpoint ID tag on pole in the ROW-2.jpg
Fairpoint Communications telephone pole ID

On our property there is a right of way (ROW) up to the ridegeline of Barton Mountain for electricity and cables to the cell towers up top. This past September, Fairpoint put in fiber optic cables on those poles. I wrote about this invasion in an earlier post. Because of our concern about the Fairpoint activity we saw from the house, we decided to climb up the ROW to see what damage had been done to the land. We saw plenty. Unfortunately, I didn't take photographs of the damage, but it is still visible and will be visible for years. I will return after mud season to document the damage better. The photos here in this multipart photographic essay are of our activity on the hike — of John, me and the cats Buddy and Oscar. Despite our anger at the invasion, we had a wonderful afternoon. I took only my 70-250mm lens, which was inadequate for most of the macro photos here. Next time I'll take the whole kit and caboodle.

Looking Down the ROW-4.jpg
Looking down the ROW.
Our home is through the woods to the left.

Looking Up the ROW to the ridegeline and cliffs-2.jpg
Looking up the ROW.
All trails end at the bottom of those cliffs, which is where bear and bobcat live.

Buddy Rests Down The ROW-4.jpg
Buddy wanted to rest here.
He actually wanted to turn back and go home, but continued on with us.

Black-capped Chickadee Watches Us-5.jpg
A couple of chickadees kept a close eye on us the entire hike.

Wild Apple up the mountain-1.jpg
We found even more apple trees from the orchard a century ago!

White Worm Coral Fungus (Clavaria fragilis)-4.jpg
White Worm Coral Fungus (Clavaria fragilis)

Bear Scat with Chockecherry Pits-1.jpg
Bear scat full of chokecherry pits.

To be continued . . . .

To view the other photos:
Introduction: Strangers on the mountain
Hiking the ROW: Part 1
Hiking the ROW: Part 2
Hiking the ROW: Part 3


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Latest Worldwide Meteor/Meteorite News: Breaking News - MBIQ Detects Large Bolide Entry Over New England States and Canada 28FEB2012

Latest Worldwide Meteor/Meteorite News: Breaking News - MBIQ Detects Large Bolide Entry Over New England States and Canada 28FEB2012

Full Harvest Moon-1-Edit.jpg
John saw a huge white flash in the northeast, over the mountain, at about 10:30 tonight. The cats were excited and wanted to go outside (Oscar did escape). John thought it was lightning at first, but reported a clear and starry sky. I posted the question on Facebook, and saw that Fox44 had already posted it. Dozens of people had already responded. One lady shared the link to the site above and we saw that the entire continent was empty except for northern New England and southern Canada. Reports of the light are coming in from all over the north country. Reportedly what everyone saw was a bolide: "A large meteor that explodes in the atmosphere."

I'll let you know what we find out.

11:58 PM Feb 28, 2012

7:37 AM March 1, 2012


Monday, February 27, 2012

Two Hoppers

Two-Striped Grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus)-2.jpg
Two-Striped Grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus)

Green Frog  (Rana clamitans melanota)-13.jpg
Green Frog (Rana clamitans melanota)