Soldiers delight – Choate Mine trail

June 26th

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” Summer heat is proof that Mother Nature is menopausal.” Maxine

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It’s 7:30am and already in the upper 70s. We have parked on the side of Deer Park rd across from the overflow parking area since the Nature Center’s lot only opens at 9. Here the car is in the shade until we get back. Choate has two entrances, we’ll be using the further set to get through both grasslands before we bake out there on the sun.

Until we get to the plains the trail here is a bit wild. Since it’s early, I catch all the spiderwebs flexed between the bushes. Lovely.

Here is one I have missed.

Getting over the first grassland takes about 5 minutes. I would melt by that time in the afternoon so I am glad we came early. Depending on the season this area can be full of birds, butterflies and other cute little critters. I can hear a beautiful melody sung by – maybe – an Oriole.

White Ermine moth, Ridged yellow flax, wild berries, Crofton weed

As soon as we arrive at the tree-line, temperatures drop at least 5 degrees. Just before though, we take a small bypass to the left onto a small path taking us down to the creek to cool off.

Walking back to the bushy zone and up the little hill, we get to an “intersection of paths”. Taking the left side again still “climbing” up, will lead us to the small plain.

Crossing this grassland is pretty quick and we will have a nice surprise at the end. Nature presents us with a lush meadow, in the middle is the previously small creek swollen into Red run. It’s still modest in size but looks amazingly inviting.

We spend about 15 minutes here, Mag is fooling around in the water and me just taking pictures. Lovely to be in the shade in this pretty valley, surrounded by ferns, singing birds and all sorts of dragonflies zooming everywhere. Keep looking around for magical deer or at least a unicorn to appear….

Catching back up on the path we have a bit of an uphill, following the red markings on the trees.

Good that I have my eyes open for hidden little treasures along the way, peeking from underneath the fallen leaves. I always hope for seeing wild orchids but any pretty or interesting find will do.

Amanita caesarea
Indian pipes

The only distraction is the far away traffic noise filtered through the woods (795?).

When reaching the top of the hill – parallel some row homes (?) – we’ll follow Choate trail (red) to the right. This section is mostly swampy after rain but now when it’s dry the forest looks younger and lets more sunshine in. I haven’t heard the birds since the creek but here, they are back again.

Bigger branches help to get through the muddier areas

Before we get to the crossroads – keeping right again – I hear deer huffing in the bushes but they stay “invisible “.

This part gets super muddy after a storm. Boots are a good idea.

On our left, there are some fenced in small parcels with audio options to learn about the miners life – back in the days when the area was used for this purpose -, but it’s not in working order. Keeping to the right the gate to the parking area is just a minute away.

Checking Mag for ticks revels 7 bloodsuckers! Ouch!

We have done 2.1 miles in sloth pace. Might be a new record! And it’s still before 9 am. Awesome! Another 12 hours to find something to do…..

Ta-ta!

Published by magzilla44

Magzilla our pit bull has rescued us in 2017 on a rainy day in May. It was a rough start because we didn’t know anything about him after him walking up on our property. But he has showed us what an amazing person he is and things became happily ever after pretty quick. He is very social, both with people and other pets. He loves his cat sisters and brothers and off course hiking!

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