I’d been meaning to get back here since the first time I explored this little swatch of conservation land. It contains the middle branch of the Piscataquog river and has some interesting aspects to it like a pond and some defunct bridges. Unfortunately the light wasn’t overly cooperative and when the sun came out I had to pack it in. While it lasted though, I got some decent images and I think they show why this river is so special.
For this first one I had to dodge poison ivy, a pretty regular thing in these parts. The bank is high and steep and I liked the vantage point. At the very back of the shot, the river takes an abrupt turn, just like the one in the very front of the shot. A zig-zag. It’s pretty great. The ferns in the foreground (and some of the rest of the greenery) are royal fern and I just had to use them to frame the shot.
If you stayed at this position, you could have watched me take this next shot. It’s looking back this way from just in front of that bend down there. I loved the juxtaposition of the dead tree and the live, bendy tree and so I got in the river to frame them together. The ferns on the banks are a combination of royal and what looked like cinnamon fern, although I didn’t really look closely for the cinnamon-y spore stalks. Might have been interrupted fern which is of a similar height and leaf structure.
A neat feature of this property is the old mill pond that is now semi-dammed by beavers instead of humans. The trail actually includes the beaver dam and you have to walk along it. The pond helps to create a slightly different habitat for local color.
Not all of the trail around the pond is so accommodating, but there are some helpful walkways and bridges. The light wasn’t good enough to shoot the pond itself, but it was terrific for adding much needed depth to the woodland trail. Just back beyond those dark trees, I scared a deer half to death. Sorry deer!
If this entices you to get out into the woods – go! And if you’re in southern NH, you can get a map of this bit of the world here – Middle Branch map. When you get there, be kind, be responsible, pick up other people’s trash (and don’t leave any yourself) and enjoy reconnecting with nature.