Frigid weather doesn’t slow photo opportunities

Posted Feb. 05, 2013, at 9:41 a.m.

A couple of hikes on Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge led the way to some great outdoor Maine outings.

First, a cold, windy hike over a transect trail through various forest growth types, out onto the meadow with a small group. The lavender bushes and mossy up-welling made trenches for blowing snow to accumulate. We donned our Tubbs in order to avoid post-holing and to trek over the unpredictable cover.

We then made our way to Baker Brook. Along the way we studied various weasel tracks, coyote tracks and some tracks we were not sure of. Two beaver lodges received our attention. The stream water had frozen at one level, then fallen, causing the ice to break in a circular pattern around the lodge. We were able to view the beaver’s larder and freshly chewed alder branches.

While restocking brochures at SMNWR I decided to hike down the Johnson Brook Trail to the beaver dam. I did a little trail maintenance along the way, moving a section of a fairly large , rotten tree that had fallen across the trail. After a short visit at the dam and a photo of the beaver lodge I started back up the trail to the parking area. The rotten tree that I had disturbed in order to clear the trail had attracted several black-capped chickadees that were busy foraging among the newly exposed wood. These guys don’t miss a trick!

The Milford Dam offered some fun photo opportunities last week. I took advantage of the early morning sun that was trying hard to warm the below-zero air. The frozen water over the dam looked spectacular … I especially liked the warning sign beside the dam!

I hope that you’re enjoying the wonderful time of season. Thank you for allowing me to share my musings and photos with you.