Back to Turkey Trot Trail, a local favorite. I headed up the powerlines, leaving the trail and climbing all the way to the top. Wild Yam, a native species, was growing alongside the powerline road, with these really distinctive seed pods. The roots of the plant look just like the the yams you can buy in the store, but taste nasty. Or so they say, I haven't tried them.
Here's the sun glistening off of some fuzzy Sumac, with the Wild Yam growing below.
Here's a pan that includes 5 photos stitched together. Youl'll need to click it to see anything. On the left is Silent Waters and on the right is the powerline corridor stretching south past Route 108. The Trails Committee is clearing the "Northwest Passage" along this route north to property near the High School.
Here are some parasitic Beech Drops. The plant has no chlorophyll because it just steals food from Beech trees. That's why you only see them growing next to Beeches.
Near the top of the hill there is plenty of Sweet Fern, which is not a fern but a small shrub. The leaves are fragrant in summer, but here they are curled around the seeds.
The powerlines were teaming with birds. I heard a Rufous Sided Towhee, which I don't remember ever hearing in the winter before. And nearby there was a flock of Robins, which have become a common sight in winter as the climate warms.
Goldenrod, a classic winter weed.
There weren't many tracks along the powerlines because most of the snow had melted. Heading back towards Silent Waters, there was a tiny track, probably left by a deer mouse who crossed the trail and climbed up a tree.
And here's evidence of a tunnel, perhaps left by a shrew.
Silent Waters was lonely and much colder than the adjacent powerline corridor (where I was hot in the sun). I walked around the shoreline a bit but the snow was deeper and tracks were rare.
Near the dam you can really see the old foundations for large piping (there are 3 pair in the photo below) that once served the reservoir at Silent Waters back in the 1800's.