Sunday, September 20, 2009

Machimoodus State Park

Karen went out this early morning alone for a bit of letterboxing. I came here about a month ago, found a few boxes, and planted Foraging Wineberry at the vista. I returned today to find a few more boxes, taking a different trail.

This is a fantastic place for letterboxing and foraging alike. It appears to be an old farmstead, with fields, outbuildings, ponds, and plenty of stone walls. For boxers, this presents lots of great hiding places, like old gnarled trees, random boulders, and of course, stone walls. Personally, I don't like stone walls as hiding places for boxes. I don't like moving rocks, and am scared of the bugs that are hiding in the dark spots. This is a good place to bring a dog. The trails are pretty easy--old farm roads along mostly level areas. The exceptions are the trails to the vista. The upper vista trail is easier, taking a slower, more gradual uphill way to the vista. The lower vista trail offers two viewing areas, but the trail to the higher viewing area is pretty hairy for that last couple hundred feet. The view is still a bit obscured by leaves, perhaps we'll come back later in autumn. Several boxers have hidden their treasures here--Mojo612, Flutterby, Donutz716, Hez and Grumpy, Bicko and Sniggles, Butterfly, and now The 3 Foragers.

For foraging, old farms present great environments. Represented are often clear fields, overgrown fields, ponds, roadsides, disturbed areas, deep woods, and possibly old fruit trees still bearing fruit. Machimoodus has an abundance of overgrown fields, ponds, and woods. Right at the driveway entrance is one pond ringed by autumn olive bushes, their berry laden branches bent over and touching the ground. I picked a few, they were pretty good. Along the trail in an overgrown field, I saw milkweed, wild carrots, sweet fern and grapes. There are cattails growing in another pond. There are plenty of white oaks producing acorns, and a few hickory trees, along with a lot of beech. At the vista and along the way on the lower vista are wineberry and black raspberry canes.

I did not gather anything this morning, I was focused on the boxing. It was a gloriously chilly morning, the ponds at Machimoodus misty and the grass quite wet with dew. Overall, a good boxing day, with a nice walk along with the chipmunks and chickadees.

On another note, I stopped at Babcock Pond on my way home to check on the Foraging Water Lily box we had planted there. I had noticed the water level was very low, probably due to the lack of rain lately. I ended up moving the box from the root ball in the water to a 3 sister tree right near to where it was. I removed the "extreme" designation, as the box is now easy to walk to with no watercraft needed.

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