Archive for December, 2012

Up until Christmas we’ve had a snowless winter here, more or less, but we woke to a dusting on Christmas morning and Wednesday night into Thursday we had a real snowstorm that dropped 4 or 5 inches. These pictures were taken before all of that happened though, so you won’t see much snow here just yet.

1. Christmas Eve Moon

The moon rose early on Christmas Eve.

2. Lumix

I was surprised to find this under the tree on Christmas day. Not too long ago I bought a Canon SX 40HS camera and I’m real happy with it, except when it comes to macro mode. It’s probably me doing something wrong, but I just can’t get as close as I want to with the SX40. Melanie at the Lemony Egghead blog uses a Panasonic Lumix camera and does some amazing things with it, so I decided that I’d get one sometime. “Sometime” came a little earlier than I expected, because my kids got it for me for Christmas. You can check out Melanie’s blog by clicking here. You won’t be sorry that you did.

3. Dec. 26th Witch Hazel Blooming

The Panasonic is a great camera. I took a picture of this very confused witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) with it on the day after Christmas and the Leica lens is just as clear and sharp as you would expect anything with the Leica name on it to be. Our native witch hazel blooms in late fall, but I’ve never seen it bloom on Christmas.

4. Orange Rock Posy Lichen aka Rhizoplaca chrysoleuca

I’ve never been able to get this close to a lichen with any camera I’ve owned. This bit of orange rock posy lichen (Rhizoplaca chrysoleuca) was about as big as an aspirin tablet.

5. Lichens with Lumix

Lichens take on an other-worldly appearance when you get in real close. One of the reasons I think macro photography is so much fun is because it always reveals things that I couldn’t see when I was taking the picture. These lichens appear to be some kind of rock tripe but I can’t find them in books or on line.

6. Orange Witch's Butter 2

This orange witch’s butter (Dacrymyces palmatus ) was frozen solid and even had a little snow on it. The color becomes more intense as it dries and I was able to spot it from quite a distance.

7. Rose

This rose has seen better days, but I still find it fascinating to look at.

8. Partridge Berry

The twin flowers of the partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) have a fused ovary and form one berry, but you can always see where the two flowers were by looking for the dimples on the berry. This berry had a face on it.

9. Black Eyed Susan Seed Head

A common Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) seed head, looking uncommonly geometric.

10. Inner Bark of Staghorn Sumac

I switched back to the Canon to get this shot of the colorful inner bark of a staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina.)  At least I think it’s a staghorn sumac-I visit a spot quite often that had several old trees blow down last summer so I’m assuming this is one of them. The inner bark of staghorn sumac was used to make dye by Native Americans. It looks bright red to me but my color finding software tells me that it’s brown. 

11. Moon and Jupiter on Christmas Night

Something I wouldn’t ask the Panasonic camera to do is take a shot of the not quite full moon and Jupiter like the Canon did on Christmas night.

12. Christmas Kisses  

But when I need to get in real close I’ll call on the Panasonic every time.  I’m sure it will see a lot of use as I walk off the Christmas goodies!

When there’s snow on the ground, I like to pretend I’m walking on clouds ~Takayuki Ikkaku

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and that the weather treated you kindly. Thanks for visiting.

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Chesterfield, New Hampshire is a small town that lies west of Keene between Keene and Brattleboro, Vermont. There is a mountain there called Rattlesnake mountain, named after the timber rattlers that called it home many years ago. These snakes are now endangered and rarely seen. In the 1930s a lady named Antoinette Sherri bought several hundred acres on the east side of the mountain and built a house there.  The house, which some called a “castle,” stood until 1962, when it was vandalized and burned. The picture below shows some of what little is left. I’m sorry about the harsh lighting, but the sun is low in the sky.

1. Madame Sherrie's Stairway

Mrs. Sherri was a costume designer from New York City who called herself “Madame Sherri.” Anyone from New York comes to a small town with rumors in tow, but this was especially true of Madame Sherri, who blew into town in a cream colored, convertible, chauffeur driven, Packard Touring car. Her interesting story is too long and involved to go into here, but if you are interested an article that is about as close to the truth as anything can be found here.

 2. Sherri House

Everyone always wants to know what the house looked like in its heyday, so here is one of very few pictures of it. It was said to be “chalet style” and allegedly had 15 rooms. If you stand in the middle of the foundation however, you quickly realize that if this place had 15 rooms they had to have been squirrel sized. My guess would be 6 rooms, including one on the second story and one in the basement.  Even that is a stretch-it probably had only one or two rooms on the main floor. The house ruins and 488 acres of land are now part of a forest preserve open to the public.

3. Girl With Parasol

I used to visit this place when I was a teenager just because it was so unusual. It was always a quiet place in the woods where you could get away for a while, but not now-now it is a circus. The day I stopped in for a visit there must have been 10 cars in the lot and there was even a professional photo shoot going on-with beautiful live models balanced on the old stone walls.

4. Stone Wall at Madame Sherri's

This is a closer look at the wall that the model was balanced on. This used to be one of the walls that surrounded a small man made pond on the property. The walls have crumbled over time and the pond has mostly drained away, except for a few inches of water.

5. Beaver Dam Behing Stone Wall

Beavers had a better idea and the dammed the small stream that fed the man-made pond. This dam is very big and very old.

 6. Beaver Dam Breech

It was easy to tell that the beavers had moved on-they would never put up with a breech in their dam like this one. When I took this picture I was standing in just about the same spot that the model was standing in earlier.

7. Beaver Lodge

Beavers often build their lodges at the pond edge, but I’ve never seen one on dry land. The only explanation is that the water level has dropped considerably. This, coupled with the fact that there were no trees recently felled, were more signs that the beavers had moved away.  There is still a lot of activity at their pond though-a deer family came to drink while I was there but was almost immediately scared off by a lady walking the trail with two dogs. This outraged the professional photographer, who told me just what he thought about people who brought dogs into the woods-probably because I was the only other person with a camera around their neck.

 8. Black Witch's Butter

I decided to get away from the carnival atmosphere and see what nature had to offer. I didn’t have to look too hard-this oak limb was covered with black witch’s butter (Exidia glandulosa.) It was a bit shriveled-probably from either the cold or the lack of rain. One old yarn about this fungus says that throwing a log that has witch’s butter on it into a fire will counteract a witch’s spells.

9. Turkey Tails

Colorful turkey tails (Trametes versicolor) grew on an old beaver stump. 

10. Yellow Lichens

On stones near water is a good place to look for lichens. These yellow lichens covered a large part of this stone.  I don’t see yellow lichens that often, but the way these fade to white at their edges means they could possibly be sulphur firedot lichens (Caloplaca flavovirescens.) 

11. Blue Hills

If you climb high enough, you can see the Vermont hills.

I suppose that I could complain about finding so much activity in a place that was once so quiet that you could hear chipmunks rustling through the leaves, but since I am someone who is forever telling people that they should get out and enjoy nature, I think that would be a bit hypocritical. I will say that, since the conservation commission took it over, the land here is much tidier.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world ~John Muir

Thanks for stopping in.

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I thought, just in case the world didn’t end on the 21st, that I’d take a few pictures for today. As usual, these are photos of things that didn’t seem to fit anywhere else.

1. Mackrel Sky

When cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds look like fish scales it is said to be a “mackerel sky.” An old saying says that “a mackerel in the sky means three days dry,” but whether or not it remains dry depends on the amount of moisture in the lower atmosphere. A mackerel sky in winter is said to mean eventual snowstorms and flurries, and that’s exactly what we saw here 3 days after this mackerel sky.

2. Cirrus clouds

Mare’s tails are the uncinus (hook shaped) form of cirrus clouds and form high in the sky where it is cold and very windy. They are made up of tiny ice crystals and are often a sign of a cold front moving over a warm air mass. This can signal bad weather is coming and these appeared the same day that the mackerel sky did. Cirrus means “curls of hair” in Latin.

3. Cable in Tree

If you have ever been cutting up logs into firewood with a chainsaw and have run into a nail or piece of wire, then this scene will send shivers down your spine. This is a very dangerous set up for a future logger, not to mention the trauma caused to the tree. Loggers and arborists have found bullets, wedding rings, cannon balls, saws, garden shears, beer bottles, hubcaps, horse shoes, and just about anything else you can imagine inside live trees.

4. Bracket Fungi on December 19

We’ve had snow, ice and freezing temperatures but these fungi appeared recently on a tree that is a favorite perch of red winged blackbirds. Unfortunately the birds might have to find another spot to roost, because fungi on a living tree almost always mean its death. I think these are late fall oyster mushrooms (Panellus serotinus.) Late fall yes, but I never expected to see them in mid-December.

5. Hoar Frost

When water vapor turns into ice crystals instead of liquid water, it makes frost. When the frost grows beyond the typical fine white coating and forms “needles” it is called hoarfrost. Frost forms similar to the way that snowflakes do, except that it forms near the ground while snowflakes form around dust particles floating in the air. I learned these fascinating facts by reading Jennifer Shick’s blog, called A Passion for Nature. It’s a blog that is worth visiting if you have the time.

9. Oak Tree Growing on a Stump

I found this colorful oak seedling growing in an old lichen covered stump. I was surprised that it still had leaves at all, and stunned that they were still so colorful in December.

10. Rose and Bittersweet

Two of the most invasive plants in New Hampshire are the multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) and oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus.) Here the bittersweet twines around the rose in what will eventually become a death grip, with the bittersweet strangling the rose. Oriental bittersweet is strong enough to strangle and take down trees and that is why the forest service wants it eradicated. After fighting it for years as a gardener I have to say-good luck with that.

11. Barberry Fruit

Another highly invasive plant that is found all over the state is Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii,) and these little red berries that are prized by birds are the reason for its great success. This plant is actually a native of southern Europe and central China that was imported as a landscape specimen. It is now scorned and considered a noxious weed because its sharp thorns impede the movement of wildlife. I can say from experience that they also impede human movement.

12. Beech Bud

Leaf buds on beech trees (Fagus) are a favorite food of deer and one theory of why young beech trees hang on to their leaves says that the dry, papery leaves are unpalatable to the critters. According to the theory, this makes deer search for other food and leave beech trees alone.

13. Dead Bracket Fungi

Sometimes there is beauty even in death. I thought these dried bracket fungi looked like miniature white roses from a distance.

14. Empty Bee Balm Seedhead

The birds have eaten all the seeds out of the bee balm (Monarda) in my yard, so maybe they should get some bird seed for Christmas.
Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store ~Dr. Seuss
Have a Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks for stopping in.

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I don’t know why, but for the last two or three months I’ve had the urge to go places I’ve never been and see things I’ve never seen. Recently I walked into a forest in Winchester, New Hampshire, which lies south of Keene on the way to Northfield, Massachusetts to see a waterfall called Pulpit Falls.

 1. Stream and Bedrock

The directions weren’t the best; follow an old logging road until you hear running water, and then bushwack your way upstream until you see a waterfall. In other words, once I left the logging road there was no trail-just me and the woods.

2. Stream

Being so late in the year there was little actual bushwacking to do. What few shrubs grew near the stream were easily skirted. Since there was no trail the meandering stream became the trail.

3. Mt. Laurel Thicket

Mountain Laurels (Kalmia latifolia) grew here and there. These native shrubs often grow in large impenetrable thickets that are always best to walk around rather than through. This place must be beautiful in the summer when the laurels are covered with pink and white blossoms. Native Americans used to make their spoons out of the wood, which is why it is also called spoon wood.  This plant was first recorded in this country by the Swedish / Finnish botanist Peter Kalm in 1624.

4. Pulpit Falls

We’ve had such a dry summer that the falls themselves weren’t much to write home about, if indeed this was them. But, easily seen was evidence that this small stream could become a raging torrent several yards across. I’ve seen pictures of the falls when the stream is running like that and it would be worth the hike to see it. I’ll come back during the spring rains, if we have them.

5. Boulders at Pulpit Falls

Upstream from the falls, the stream appears from under these huge pieces of stone. The biggest of them was as big as a delivery truck. I didn’t see anything that looked like a pulpit, so I’m not sure where the name Pulpit Falls came from. Uphill above these boulders was nothing but forest-no stream or any sign of a stream, so it must go underground somewhere uphill and then reappear here. What bothers me is that this area doesn’t look like the pictures I’ve seen. The rocks are much flatter than round in those pictures.

6. Fern on Stream Bank

A thin shaft of sunlight fell through the trees and lit up this fern as if it were on a Broadway stage. It was growing on a boulder at the side of the stream and I think it was a polypody fern, also known as rock cap fern. These ferns are evergreen.

7. Clubmoss Fruiting

The clubmosses here were covered with fruiting “clubs” where spores are produced. I think this is common ground pine (Lycopodium dendroideum) which is native and which the U.S.D.A. lists as rare. The people at the U.S.D.A. have obviously never hiked through the woods of New Hampshire, because this plant is everywhere now. It was once endangered after being over collected for use as Christmas greenery. The dried spores of this plant were also once used in photography as flash powder before flashbulbs were invented.

 8. Beard Lichen

I found a tree branch on the ground that was covered with lichens, so I put it on this mossy boulder and took a picture.  I think the larger hairy examples are bristly beard lichens (Usnea hirta.) The others are foliose lichens that I don’t recognize.

9. Ledges

On my way home from the falls I stopped to get a few pictures of a local hill that has had its heart torn out by a construction company, which crushes the rock and sells it. To give you an idea of how massive this really is-the “shrubs” on top of the hill in the upper left hand corner are actually white pine trees (Pinus strobus.) White pines can grow to around 160-190 feet tall are the tallest trees in eastern North America, but the youngsters in the photo were probably closer to 100 feet.

10. Icy Ledges

You know it’s cold when stone doesn’t absorb enough heat from the sun to melt the ice that clings to it. But at least we saw some sunshine!

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere ~Frank A. Clark

Thanks for stopping by.

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The small town of Gilsum, New Hampshire, which lies north of Keene, is a Mecca for rock hounds because of its wealth of minerals and abandoned mica and feldspar mines. Each July the town holds a rock swap and people from all over the world come here to talk, trade, and buy rare minerals and stones. I became familiar with the town when I was a mineral hunter, but on this day a couple of weeks ago I visited Gilsum hunting for unusual geologic formations instead of minerals. 1. Bear's Den SignI’ve driven by this sign for many years and have always been in too much of a rush to stop. This day though, curiosity got the better of me. This is a state forest of almost 100 acres containing cliffs, caves, and geological potholes. 2. Bear's Den TrailThe trail led up at a rather steep angle. Why does it seem that anything worth seeing always involves a walk uphill?3. Bear's Den LedgesHuge boulders and high ledges are the first clue that you are about to see something out of the ordinary. This piece of stone was bigger than an average house. 4. Witch's Butter on StumpWitch’s butter (Tremella mesenterica ) was growing all over one side of this stump. The scientific name of this fungus translates as “trembling intestine” and that’s about what it looks like. 5. Witch's ButterHere is an orange witch’s butter close up. Though witches’ butter appears to grow on wood, the fungus is actually parasitic on other wood decay fungi. The mycelium of other fungi, which grow in the wood rather than on it, is its food. Parchment fungi (Stereum) are a favorite. 6. Slime Mold 2Slime mold grew on the shaded side of a log. I was surprised to see it since we’d had a few cold nights. 7. Bear's Den PotholeI have to say that the “potholes “ weren’t quite what I was expecting. My imagination led me to believe that I’d see something like bowls carved into the granite bedrock. Instead they were more like what is seen in the picture. It seems kind of unimpressive until you realize that this was done by ice, water, and sand. 8. Bear's Den PotholeAnother example of granite bedrock shaped over millions of years by nothing more abrasive than sand.9. Bear's Den PotholeThis was the largest feature that I saw. Two or three people could fit comfortably in this scoured out area. After poking around a bit and not seeing anything remarkable, I decided to head back down the trail.

11. Unknown LichenI saw some nice lichens that I’ve never seen before. I can’t find this foliose lichen in books or online.10. Rock Foam LichenI’ve seen rock foam lichen (Stereocaulon saxatile) before, but not growing in spires like these. This lichen looks very brittle and fragile in person, but is actually quite pliable.

It wasn’t until I got home and started reading a little more about this place that I found that there is a large cave that this area was named for. It is supposed to be about 20 feet long and is between boulders at the base of a cliff, but I didn’t see it. Oh well-another hike for another day.

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day ~Henry David Thoreau

Thanks for coming by.


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We have been wet here lately, but have seen more liquid than the white fluffy variety. Still, our local weatherman is hinting at big changes coming next week so we may see some snow before Christmas. Or maybe not-the Weather Channel is saying rain.

1. Misty Forest

It’s getting harder to find the sun lately and the forests look like the one in the picture on most days. Though it’s easy to think that not much is going on in the cold and damp December woods, nothing could be further from the truth-there is still a lot of nature happening.

2. Fallen Tree One of the nice things about this time of year is that you can see the bones of the forest. If all of the underbrush still had leaves I never would have seen this twisted, mossy log.

3. December 3rd Aster

Though it’s not the prettiest aster I’ve seen, this one was still blooming on December 3rd.

 4. December 3rd Mushroom

This pinkish brown mushroom was trying hard on the same day.

5. Fan Shaped Jelly Fungus aks Dacryopinax spathularia

I’ve read that jelly fungi like witch’s butter can absorb so much water when it rains that they turn white. I wondered if the same thing was happening to these- what I think are- fan shaped jelly fungi (Dacryopinax spathularia.)

6. Evergreen Christmas Fern

Some people say that the leaflets (Pinna) of the evergreen Christmas fern ( Polystichum acrostichoides) look like little Christmas stockings. You can see why if you look at the leaflet just to the right of the gap, and right up near the stem in the photo. Each leaflet has a little bump or “ear.” This is the only fern in the New Hampshire woods with this feature, so it makes a Christmas fern very easy to identify. The short leaf stems (petioles,) serrated leaflet margins, and hairy central stem are other things to watch for when looking for this fern.

7. Pixie Cup Lichen

Lichens are also very easy to see at this time of year but some, like these pixie cup lichens (Cladonia pyxidata,) are small enough to still make them challenging to find. A single drop of water would be far too big to fit into one of these little cups.

8. Foliose Lichen

Lichens dry out quickly when it is dry but plump right back up again when it rains, as this foliose lichen shows. It had been drizzling steadily for two days when I took this picture. I haven’t been able to find this lichen in any lichen books or online.

 9. Orange Brown Lichen

I’ve never seen this orange-brown crustose lichen before and can’t find anything like it in Lichens of the North Woods.

 10. Turkey Tails

I’m seeing turkey tail fungi (Trametes versicolor) that are more colorful than those I saw just a month ago. Blue is a hard color to find in nature so the different blues in these examples really caught my eye. I still have a feeling that cold weather has something to do with their color. They seem to be brown/tan in early fall and then as the temperature drops they get more colorful. Of course, it could be that I’m just seeing both brown/tan and colorful varieties. I’ve got to find one example that is easy to get to and watch it over several months.

11. Lemon Drops and Turkey Tails on a Log

The much more common brown turkey tails and lemon drop jelly fungi (Bisporella citrina) decorated the end of this log.

 12. White Cushion Moss

White cushion moss (Leucobryum glaucum) isn’t really white but it does form a cushion. It can also form large mats, but the ball shape shown in the photo is more common. This moss needs plenty of shade and water.

 13. Dead Mushroom Gills

It’s not just growing things that are interesting. I liked the color and shape of this dead mushroom.

14. Woven Beech Trees

This is something I don’t see in the woods every day; when they were much younger than they are now somebody wove these three beech (Fagus) seedlings together. As they grew and finally touched, they rubbed against each other in the wind until the bark had rubbed away. Now they have grown together through inosculation, which is a natural process very similar to the grafting done in orchards. One day they may grow into a single, twisted trunk.

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy ~Anton Chekhov

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Last Saturday we had a little snowfall but then we had temperatures soar into the 60s, so it didn’t last long.

1. Snow Covered Trail

This is what the trails looked like Saturday Morning. There was probably about an inch and a half or maybe two inches in places-just barely enough to cover the ground.

2. Snow Covered Twig

Under the hemlock trees there was just a light dusting.

3. Squirrel Tracks

A squirrel had passed this way.

4. Ice on Pond

5. Snowy Seed Head


6. Snowy Evergreen Christmas Fern

Evergreen Christmas ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides) lived up to their name. Heavier snow will bury them but they will stay green.

7. Foggy Pond

By Sunday afternoon it was 45 degrees and the melting pond ice was making fog.

8. Mallards

Mallards enjoyed the open water. ..

9. Trail After Snow Meltand the trails were snow free once again. Last year they looked like this all winter long due to a severe lack of snow.

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
~J. B. Priestley

Thanks for stopping in.

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NOTE: After trying for several hours I am again able to upload photos to this blog, but now the text formatting changes to what WordPress wants it to be, so I’m afraid this will have to do for now.

History tells us that Mount Caesar in Swanzey, New Hampshire was named after Caesar Freeman, a freed black slave and one of the original settlers here.

According to The History of Swanzey, New Hampshire, written in 1862, land was granted to Caesar Freeman on July 2, 1753. I’m assuming that this mountain was part of that original grant. Some believe that Caesar is buried somewhere on it.
Personally, since it is only 962 feet high I would call it a hill, but there is no clear distinction between a mountain and a hill. It certainly felt more like a mountain the day I climbed it because the trail was quite steep. My goal was the ledge in the photo below.
1. Mt. Caesar Ledges from Below

History says that these ledges were once used as a lookout by Native Americans. This photo is deceiving; the ledges are quite high up on the side of the mountain.

2. Mt. Caesar Trail

The trail was a constant, steep, uphill climb with no level areas.

3. Number 3 Made From Lichens

I’m not sure what these lichens were trying to tell me, but they had grown into the shape of a 3. The trail was nowhere near 3 miles long so they must have had something else in mind. I can’t imagine how or why they grew like this.

4. Reindeer Lichen

15-20 foot wide reindeer lichen “gardens” extended for several yards on both sides of the trail for a while. The name “Reindeer lichen” (Cladina) is used for any of several species that are eaten by reindeer or caribou. The animals kick holes in the snow to find the lichens and will feed on them all winter.

5. Stone Wall on Mt. Caesar

Many of the hills in this area were once completely cleared and used as pasture or farmland by the early settlers. Mt. Caesar is no different, and the stone walls show evidence of its history. You have to wonder if Caesar Freeman himself built these walls in the 1700s.

6. Mt. Caesar Ledges

This is what you see at the top of the trail.

7. View from Mt. Caesar

And this is the view when you stand on the ledge-looking directly south, toward Massachusetts.

8. Mt. Monadnock From Mt. Caesar

This is what you see when you follow a small trail to the east from the summit. It is Mount Monadnock, which has appeared in this blog several times. The word Monadnock is a Native American term for an isolated hill or a lone mountain that has risen above the surrounding area. At 3, 165 feet Mount Monadnock is taller than any other feature in the region and is visible from several surrounding towns.

9. Shiny Clubmoss aka Lycopodium lucidulum

Shiny (or shining) clubmoss (Lycopodium lucidulum) is easy to identify because it grows straighter and taller than other clubmosses.

10. Log

I liked the look of this log. It might have been a standing tree in Caesar Freeman’s day.

11. Little Brown Mushrooms on Stump

Little brown mushrooms grew on a stump. Our nights have been below freezing but the days are still warm enough for mushrooms. They must last for one day and then freeze at night.

12. Reindeer Lichen

A closer look at Reindeer lichen.
According to the History of Swanzey, New Hampshire Native Americans “rendezvoused on Mt. Ceesar in 1755. From this mountain they would come down as near as they dared to the fort on Meeting-house hill and execute their war and scalp dances, and exhibit themselves in the most insulting attitudes to the people in the fort.” After many of their number were killed the settlers were forced to abandon the town, but returned several years later and built more forts.

The mountain and surrounding lands were extremely valuable to the Native Americans, called Squakheag, who lived here and they put up a mighty fight for them. In the end of course, they lost the fight. It was interesting, and a little sad, to contemplate these things as I climbed their mountain.
After Col. Henry Bouquet defeated the Ohio Indians at Bushy Run in 1763, he demanded the release of all white captives. Most of them, especially the children, had to be “bound hand and foot” and forcibly returned to white society ~James W. Loewen
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Hello all,

I’m sorry, but today’s post will be delayed because wordpress refuses to let me upload photos even though I haven’t used anywhere near the alloted space. Without photos this blog is dead, so until I figure out what is going on there will be no new posts. It seems like every time WordPress makes an “improvement” I have to go through something like this and to be honest, after 2 years I’ve starting asking myself if blogging is even worth all of the headaches that go along with it.

I’ll try to figure out what the problem is when I have more time. Thanks for stopping in.

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I thought that I’d try my new camera out on the full moon Thursday night, but almost as soon as I clicked the shutter clouds appeared.

1. MoonriseThis is the single shot that I was able to get before clouds rolled in and clouded over the moon’s face. I should have been using a tripod, but instead used a monopod. 2. Moon and CloudsI went on taking pictures though, because I wanted to see if I could get both the moon and clouds in focus at the same time. This was a failure-the moon is a white, featureless blob, but I like the look of the clouds. 3. Moon and CloudsThe moon played peek-a-boo with the clouds for a while and I kept clicking away. 4. Moon and CloudsBefore long though, the clouds won the battle and that was the end of my moon shots. 5. Moon and Clouds

1. Moonrise

Until the next morning, that is. I was up and out early enough to get a shot or two of the setting moon.

7. Moonset with Clouds

But the clouds saw what I was up to and before I knew it, they had rolled in again. When you try to take pictures of the moon you quickly learn how surprisingly fast the earth is turning and how fast clouds can move. 8. Moonset with Clouds

I liked the sky color in these last two pictures so I saved them, but they are really more sky and cloud shots than any serious pictures of the moon.

Aiming for the moon and missing it is better than aiming for the ditch and hitting it ~Anonymous

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