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Posts Tagged ‘Shiny Clubmoss’

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
Thanks for stopping in

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