I went out searching for liverworts. I found lots of moss. On the ground.
At the base of trees.
On dead branches.
On more tree bases.
Lichens galore. Isn't the first one a beauty?
Just getting started.
Moss or lichen?
I started out in the woods. It was beautiful, quiet and still. I noticed the difference immediately. There were no bird sounds.
But, when I got to the Great Meadow, things got exciting. First of all, I found these tracks. They're old, and distorted. They're about the size of my fist. What do you think they are?
And, right near the tracks, I found this scat. It's old, too. All that's left is vegetable matter. And, it's big, maybe as round as a cheap cigar.
OK, OK, I know, it's probably dog prints, and, maybe, dog or fox scat. But, it was fun, for a minute, to pretend that it was some fabulous wild creature. Alas, common sense ruled and I put that out of my mind.
But, that was only the first of the surprises. The meadow was FULL of robins. Not just one or two, but a couple of dozen at least. So much for them being a migratory bird any more. I wonder what they were all finding to eat?
And, there were other birds in the Great Meadow, also. I found this cheery little chickadee poking around on the ground.
And, feasting on sumac heads, this cute little downy woodpecker.
I also took another look at the bittersweet that I had seen earlier. I learned from The Adirondack Naturalist /http://adknaturalist.blogspot.com/ that Asian bittersweet was rampant in the US. I wanted to see if what I had seen was the native bittersweet, or the invader. Sadly, I think it is the Asian variety. The berries are more red than orange, and that is one of the defining differences.
Before I left the trails, I took a quick trip over to look at the swamp. I know that this has been right in front of me, every time I have been there, but it's only now, when all the green has died away, that I noticed the muskrat house right in the middle of the now frozen water.
That is one thing that the starkness of winter helps you do, see things more clearly.