Fire and Stone, January 23, 2012
We headed west from Sunset Lake through a hardwood forest of beech, maple, birch and ash, cross-hatched by chains of tracks in the snow: deer, fox, weasel and more. Earlier and indoors, we looked at the Newfane USGS topo map and looked at our destination and discussed contours, elevation, scale, longitude and orienting the map to the landscape using a compass.
read on for pictures and more!
With a game of Camouflage and each of us pretending to be a forest predator, we moved silently through the woods, senses alert for deer. As the elevation increased, so did the size of the trees. They changed to red oak, hemlock, birch and American hop-hornbeam. At the top were deer beds, out of focus with a glaze of precipitation, followed by beds and tracks in sharp focus with sharp smells of urine and scat as if we spooked the deer just minutes before. We investigated, gathered information and made predictions about the deer: where, when, how many?
Along the plateau, we gathered fire wood in a mature hemlock, red oak forest, stunted by wind and browsed by deer and porcupines. At the misty overlook of the Auger Hole valley, we divided into teams to build a fire with tinder bundle and hand-drill (see pictures). We shared food and grilled hot dogs, roll-ups, chocolate snow and sausage. We shared our stories of the day and our gratitude. The weather was perfect. The rain held off until our descent and return.
Posted: January 25th, 2012 under Fire and Stone.