Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Bunny Comes to Libby Hill!

Another great weekend to get out on the trails! Snowshoeing is beyond excellent as you hardly sink in the morning crust and in the afternoon a soft 1 inch cushion forms as you move almost silently across the 24 inch base of snow still left in the woods. Today I did my normal bushwhack (you can go almost anywhere) to check out the beavers activity. I found 2 more trees downed since last weekend and lots of evidence that they are coming out every day to gnaw on bark from the large trees they toppled in the fall. You can see their ice holes in the brook, although most of the brook is now open. Crossing to the Outback would be quite a challenge this weekend since the melt off is over powering the beaver dams causing the brook water level to rise over the crossing stones.

We continued to see much evidence of deer and coyotes all over the hill. Deer continue to since in the softening snow however coyotes are barely breaking through the crust.

We did come across our first rabbit ever on Libby Hill today (see track to the right) as he flew over the snow on the ridge above us. He seems to inhabit the pine thicket just north of Libby Hill road near McPike's Hike off the Moose Odyssey trail. We caught sight of him twice but could not get a photo. I guess this must be the Easter Bunny since the timing of his appearance was so obvious!

We also checked out the famous 'buttonwood' tree and are quite sure it has an offspring. This is a good thing since this tree is over 200 years old and quite rare in Maine. I'll devote more to this unique natural attraction in a later blog this spring. I also hope to host a tree tour walk later this year for those interested in seeing this unique specimen.

Tracks abound everywhere. The afternoon sun provides a good media for the foot prints which freeze hard over night and you can investigate the results the next morning. We did see what looked like crow or raven tracks. They are similar to turkey tracks but much closer together and about 1/3 as large.

You still have another day this weekend to get out and explore. Don't let the winter fence you in, come out and play!
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