Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One Mow Time...

It's no longer weeks that we'll be here, but now we're down to days.

I've been doing trail maintenance this summer and really wanted to get out there one last time before we leave.  
My Vehicle of Choice
Well used....  now in need of a thorough washing!

There are over 10 miles of trails here on the refuge 
Most are fairly easy to walk...
They offer a variety - woods, along streams, around meadows, some hilly areas...

None are paved...  all can be mowed and maintained with loppers or weed-eaters.

Most of the trails are "2 mower widths" wide.  I mow only about 7 miles of trails with this mower.  I make a pass, cutting one side, then come back to cut the opposite side.  

One of my favorite spots...
You can see a beaver dam at the middle right.

Of course I have a great view from the mower, but I often stop for a closer look...

Yesterday, when I mowed, I saw that lots of mushrooms had emerged from the forest floor...

In fact, there were lots of fungi, lichen, moss and other "woodsy" things to check out..
These trees have more than one kind of "plant" growing on them...

Until we came to Maine, I thought "Spanish Moss" grew only in the South...
I had to buy a Lichen Field Guide just to learn what does grow here.  

Another spot I have to stop and look at...
There's something about this place that draws me to it...
The Sphagnum Moss?
The Lichen?
The Spruce?
I don't know for sure....  but I always stop and check it out.

  The photo blind at Chapman Pond was overturned by vandals this summer.  So I always stop and go inside...  hoping it is still there and there is no graffiti.
Inside the blind...  looking out onto the pond.
YES!  It's still upright and clean!

I didn't see the loons today...
Didn't see the bald eagle or any ducks, either.
Saw 2 or 3 flocks of Canada Geese....
I wonder if they are on their migration route?

I didn't check the trail counter, so don't know how many "visitors" this trail got in the past couple of weeks.
But I'll bet a couple of hikers had a fun day...

I came across these "cairns" .....  
There is a rock pile right next to an overlook of the lake...
I think the top one was constructed by a girl..
And the lower one by a guy....
What do you think?

I love seeing signs that folks are enjoying the trails...
And a plus is that I seldom see litter here....  

I made it back to the headquarters office before it rained.  I didn't have time to wash the mower so I'll do that this afternoon.

I still have the "lawn" around our motorhome to mow before we leave, but my trail maintenance yesterday was the last time this year.

We are not returning here next year....
We truly love it here, but we've come 3 years in a row...
It's time to take a break and see another part of the USA.

I hope I've made trail maintenance look like the ideal job and someone out there will consider it.

That's All For Today!


  1. You HAVE made this look like a wonderful job. I hope it encourages a lot of others to do it. Not me... allergic to bees and even to insect bites, which would make for one really miserable summer! But, I have truly enjoyed your summer "vacation"!

  2. It is rare that you don't see public litter on the trails. That is a very good thing!

  3. I think that the moss there is "old man's beard." I have never seen Spanish moss there.

  4. It makes a job there sound intriguing. You do a nice job photographing everything!

  5. I love the two cairns and I agree that they were constructed by a gal and a guy. I once made a cairn overlooking a glacier in Iceland. I like to think it's still there.

  6. I thought that you went up there every summer!! They won't know what to do without you. Do you already have plans for next summer, or are you playing it by ear?


  7. It was such a pleasure to meet you! We totally enjoyed the tour! This is such a beautiful place!

  8. aw, the mow is gone... well? I can't really sex the rock sculptures... they are called calms?

    I love ... love trees. Here in Washington, I tell you! This State's nickname is the Evergreen State and there is a reason. It is chock full of green beautiful giant exquisite trees.... come this way next year. Olympic National Park is the bomb!

    I'll be leaving next week after being in this area over two months. It is absolutely a great place to be in the summertime.

    I read your blog all the time but it is sooo tedious to comment from my iPhone... it can be done but only by a 2nd grader... my old fingers and eyes like a full keyboard and screen... BUT I don't know what'd I do without the thing. ;)

  9. Love the pics of the lichen, moss and fungi. Nice to know I'm not the only one who appreciates them. Can't wait to find out where you work next summer!