Peak Foliage

Peak Foliage
October on Preston Pond

Brief History of Preston Pond

Born from glaciers about 13,500 years ago, the original pond was only what is now the wider north end. Probably about 10,000 years ago, as the modern forest started to take root, beavers colonized the pond and expanded it (old dams are under the water surface).

With the arrival of Europeans in New York and coastal New England, a vigorous fur trade grew in the 17th Century. Beavers are particularly vulnerable to trapping since they are easy to find and they were wiped out by the 18th Century. With no beavers to maintain the dams, Preston Pond drained and appears on 18th and 19th Century maps as only the smaller original glacial north end.

Reintroduction in the 1920's and 1930's led to beavers recolonizing Preston Pond. By chance, they arrived the same year my grandfather bought the property in 1946. Ever since then, beavers have lived unmolested (by humans) on Preston Pond - until February 2016. They have never caused flooding problems or over-eaten the surrounding forest stand to the point that they abandoned the pond. Their population has doubtlessly had its ups and downs, but they have managed their affairs here for the last 70 years as beavers did for millions of years: on their own, despite some of their top predators having been exterminated by humans.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

There must have been a party out on the pond this morning. The ski tracks and foot prints literally cover the surface! I was head down working in the office (not the studio today, or I might have seen them) and didn't hear a thing. The ice is OK ... mostly. The rain and slush has refrozen, but there are spots along the edge that are very weak.

 Nainette loves tunnels, culverts, caves - any enclosed mysterious place. She spent quite a while exploring this one. There must be some terrier in her. This was off trail.

I left the house much earlier today, but wandered off trail a lot, so still didn't get up to Libbys much before sunset. Trails are very icy even with the big melt, so some sort of grips on your boots are a good idea (I use Microspikes).
This is the rocky bald north of the Pinnacle. I first found it when I was about 10 or 11. Have done some painting from it over the years.

As a matter of fact, I did a very detailed sketch of this very tree (the tall one on the right) about 25 years ago. Oddly, it looks about the same. I'll have to dig through my files and see if I can find the sketch.

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