We have a trail that circumnavigates the perimeter of our acreage. It weaves and winds around, in far enough from the edges that while walking it, we are invisible from the road which borders the south and west side. The exception to this perimeter trail, is a section on the NE quadrant, where our property abuts our N and E neighbour's properties.
This is a wet area, where the water seeps out below a spring, that never
freezes over. Especially in the spring, one can see where the water
bubbles up, fine pebbles of white sand dance in its flume. In winter, the water shimmers over the boils.
Hubby built a cedar box and put it over one of the biggest up-wellings
that, a lovely mat of water cress grows, it's leaves now submerged,
but a sure sign of spring is when they begin to grow up above the water's surface.
Water cress beneath the 'frost creations'
The water spreads out from there, a much less defined water course, seeping into the soil that has been built up from eons of fallen trees and dead vegetation.
This out flow area is pinioned between two ridges, running more or less, E - W, which guide the moisture off to the east, on down the hill through the bush to join the creek at the bottom, many acreages away. The area is V-shaped, the apex being the pool where the water bubbles up, the valley widening out as it continues E.
On the dryer bumps and knolls, there are yellow birch, hemlock, some iron wood and a few white pine. The wettest, lowest areas are a labyrinth of criss-crossed roots, old, moss covered logs, and leaning trees, their roots not so firmly rooted in the wet soil.
In the spring and summer, it is a fairy land of ferns and mosses, goldthread, wood sorrel and other plants I want to ID.
of this winter's projects is to create the outline of a trail through this area. The trail begins as an offshoot of
the path through to our N neighbour's property, continues down through a
mixed hardwood bush, mostly beech, past the spring, into and through the
swamp, finally going up the side of the bordering S ridge to connect to our existing trail along that ridge.
heading up toward the south ridge
We have bushwhacked through here in all seasons of the year, in fact one of the first exploratory trips we had up here in the spring of 2017, was to walk the N property line which involved stepping from hummock to root, grasping any handy tree to try and keep our feet out of the boot miring black muck. The previous owners invited us up and we stayed for a weekend in the little cabin on the property and did some extensive exploration.
We have snowshoed through many times in the winter and have a good idea of the best route to follow that will involve the least brush cutting and the driest footing. There will still be some bridging involved to avoid the boot sucking black holes.
This trail has been on the
planning table for quite a while. We have marked out the route,
weaving through the boles of the big cedars, easy going now, with a
good pad of snow. There are a few flat spots, places where the water
has pooled out and frozen. They will need to be bridged somehow. I'm sure the trail will not be exactly where we have marked it now. Its route will change slightly, depending on what is revealed when the snow melts.
Cutting out an obstruction on the upland region
The swamp is a magical, fascinating place to me, full of a diverse array of plants. It is a place the critters like as well, as there are martin, fisher, deer and many other small animal tracks in the snow. A clearly defined trail will make it so much easier to explore. There is a lot of work to be done yet, especially once the snow melts and the spring flush of moisture subsides.