For years I kept journals -- in composition, spiral bound, and French graph paper books. This blog is an attempt to get back to writing and documenting the world around me using photos, newspaper headlines, and other articles.

Monday, February 24, 2014

You know you are in the woods with a scientist when...

I missed the family epic, 2-hour snowshoe adventure on Saturday, as I was putting in some overtime hours at work.  To make up for it, everybody agreed that another outing would be fun on Sunday afternoon.  We hit the cross-country trail behind the Upper Building and snowshoed in an arc until we came out at the far end of the East Field.  Besides exercise, the objectives were to see how many deer beds we could spot and if Fletcher's old cabin was still standing.

The snow was wet and deep.  About fifteen minutes into our trek, the youngest member of our troupe reconsidered the whole plan.  After a bit of cajoling, he decided that he could persevere.  And on we went.

We were successful in both of our objectives.  We spotted deer tracks right away.  Those led us to the many, many deer beds.  My picture doesn't do the scene justice.  But it was super sweet to see so many places, under trees, in sheltered areas, where the deer had congregated.

And where they congregate, they also poop.

We passed by piles and piles of poop.  As JT and Selim were shouting out "Poop!  More poop!" Robert chimed in with, "Do you guys know any other names for deer poop?"  Only a scientist would start that discussion.





Realizing that the conversation was getting a bit animated, Robert suggested the more scientific word, "droppings."  Since that wasn't as exciting of a term, the boys settled down and kept on tromping along.

Forty five minutes of trail going and bush whacking, Fletcher's cabin came into view.  I don't know that last time I was inside.  My memory of the interior includes the smell of wood smoke, a thick red carpet and something patchwork made up of velvet and luxurious fabrics and guitar music on the cassette player.  Of course my recollections could be completely off base and I could be remembering being in the sap house with Fletcher -- the smell of wood smoke and guitar music floating and shimmering on the rising sweet maple sap steam that made the interior of the sap house so warm, moist, and inviting.

The cabin is locked up now and Selim tried to get a glimpse of the inside, but there wasn't much to see.

We continued on, past more and more piles of scat/droppings/poop, until we came to the old porcupine dens.  There wasn't evidence of a porcupine in residence and we moved on.

Near by, I thought I spied the cross country trail.  We had been tromping in the woods and had left the trail a ways back.

Turns out it was not the trail, but the deer highway.

As the sun was dropping, we emerged at the top end of the East Field.  Selim had veered away a bit and clamored over some trees to make it into the clearing.  He had had enough adventure for the day.

I waited for Heather, JT, and Robert to appear.

The sun cast a rosy glow on our already rosy cheeks, as we headed down the field, past Master's House and the Hall, back to Mom and Robert's.

A most excellent adventure.

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