Last April, I visited the Pine Hill State Forest and hiked the trail on the south side of Carr Corners Road (also known as Oldro Hill Road, depending on which maps you use). Yesterday, I went back with friends to try the trail on the north side of the road.
This loop is also marked with a combination of round, red DEC tags and pink surveyor’s tape that dangles from tall branches on clip clothespins. It became clear that these are horse trails, and now I assume the pink tapes are placed in those high branches by someone on horseback.
Most of the trail meanders through fairly dense woods. But in at least one place it opens up. I imagine beginning horse riders might loop around the tree and head back down the trail. Or maybe some horse groups get to this point and camp? At any rate, it was a lovely place for lunch.
One of the most puzzling things we found was (sorry to get gross here) a pile of scat. It was remarkable for its size and it’s placement – up on a log. The only animal we could think of that would make scat like that and would leave it in such a precarious spot is bobcat. I have heard reports of bobcat sightings and this isn’t the first evidence of bobcat I have seen, but I have yet to see one in person. That would be exciting.
We did have a few wildlife encounters. We saw deer, chipmunks, a scarlet tanager… We heard plenty of other birds – some I knew, some I didn’t. I found this curious caterpillar and plenty of its brothers and sisters forming perfect little borders on the leaves as they munched. I even managed to catch a shot before the curious pups came bounding back and knocked them all from their lunches. (I’m hoping Tom knows what kind of caterpillar this is and will leave a comment with the species!)
Mozart’s habit of lying in any water he finds was not a problem, even though my friend Terry and both dogs would be riding in my car on the way back to Randolph. I don’t mind a little mud in my car. It dries. You can brush or vacuum it out. But whatever Mozart and Lolli found to roll in before getting in the car… THAT was a problem. It was pungent! It brought tears to your eyes. (After a serious bath with lots of shampoo, Lolli still retains some of the odor. Oh well… That’s part of the joy of dogs.)
When we came out of the woods, we discovered that right across the road from where we had parked there is a small fishing pond. I grabbed my net and climbed up to do a quick dragonfly survey. You can read about it at my other blog by clicking here.