About the confusing part: the trail and blazes didn’t match the map after a couple of miles, so even though the trail was clear and we kept following the blue blazes, we couldn’t figure out why we were in a low pine wood getting eaten by mosquitos instead of climbing Lamentation Mountain.
Then we heard cars, and pretty soon we came out to a road. The same road, we realized, that we’d driven in on. So we were a mile or two away from our starting point – by road – and not all that close to our intended end point, where my car was waiting for us.
So we followed the road, taking a little detour around a pond and through a cemetery and then back to the road, and it started to rain, and a car honked at us (for what? Walking? Existing?), and just as the rain turned to a downpour we reached our starting point. And drove to my car, and tried to figure out where the trail had diverged.
We found out later that they’re in the middle of moving the trail but haven’t gotten around to, oh, putting up signs saying that you’re about to go in a huge and confusing circle.
Anway, for the good part. We saw:
- Tons of ladyslippers. I’ve never seen so many in one day. And a bunch of jack-in-the-pulpits.
- Three snakes. Two of them were a pair, a pretty big one paralleled by a slim little young thing, sunning themselves on some rocks. They might’ve been black rat snakes. The other one was pretty small.
- A mama quail acting like a spastic, injured freak in order to distract us from her babies. But soon the babies startled, too, and about six tiny dark chicks jumped up and starting running deeper in the woods, crying, “peep! peep!”
- Two families of geese and their goslings. A pair of swans and their cygnets. A bunch of ducks, including mallards and one white duck.
- A great blue heron, taking off in slow motion above a lily-covered pond.
- A low-lying pine grove, damp and cool and lovely. And full of mosquitoes, but that’s okay.
I’m heading back into the woods this weekend. Can’t wait.