This page is for scenes found on the Strafford Trail System.

While doing trail maintenance I noticed something orange in the  woods off the trial. It looked like someones Kubota from a distance but as I got closer I recognized a log with some 30 pounds of chicken mushrooms. These mushrooms are choice eating and unpredictable to locate.  Finding them in May is very rare.

The town forest trail has 360 feet of  newboard walk

This walk is 132 feet long protects the wetland echosystem and keeps your feet dry.

Turtle heads are profuse in August in the Town Forest.

 More Turtle Heads

Telephone poles are often marked by bears. Note how the crosswise tooth marks have torn off a chunk about 5.5 feet off the ground. These are message boards where bears leave hair and scent messages. Looking closely sometimes you can find black hairs on the pole. This pole is next to the road at the Vershire end of the Cross town trail on Old City Falls Rd.
Climbing claw marks on producing Beech tree
This Beech grove is close to the trail and features numerous beeches that have been climbed by black bears regularly. The claw marks vary in age from the current season to many years back. They show up as 4 or 5 parallel scratches. A large bear will have a 5 inch or more span between the 5 scratches or punches through the bark. They go up for the Beech nuts when in season.
More bite marks in a white ash. The bear will first stand with his back to the tree and rub scent and hairs on the bark. He will next  reach over his shoulder and tear at the bark with the teeth. This ash was first marked 4 years ago. Hairs were found on the bark then. It has been marked yearly on both sides since then to the point where the tree is nearly girdled.
Bears nests high in a productive Beech tree
The bears go into the Beech tree tops and bite off branches and harvest the nuts. They then either jam them in a crotch or drop them.  The crotch becomes stuffed with branches they can then stand on and work from and are known as bears nests. This tree has two which is highly unusual. It is about 20 feet off the trail. Bears nests also are left where bears have been feeding on buds or catkins.
When feeding happens late in the summer  while the leaves are still green  they stay on the branches making the nests easier to see later in the season. There are piles of branches at the base of the trees as well.

On the town forest loop this tree got some serious abuse from bears over the years.

Send me a shot if you have a picture of interest taken on the Strafford  Trail System and where it was taken.  I'll add it to this page.  mhebb1 at yahoo (period)com

Vermont wild Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

If your eyes are sharp you might find some of this rare and valuable root  on the trail.

High water kissing the trail bridge  April 26, 2011

A patch of showy lady slippers numbering in the hundreds.

 Left: Porcupine highway leads usually from their rocky hole to the nearest hemlocks where they feed on the branches.


To the right is an unusual lichen. It is an epiphytic 3 way symbiote . It consists of a blue green algae, a cyano bacteria and a fungus all of which are in different kingdoms!  Lungwort is named after the Docterine of Signatures and is used to treat airway and breathing problems. Growing mostly on maples, its leaves resemble lung tissue. It is an air quality indicator since it grows only where the air is especially pure. The techinical name is Lobaria Pulmonaria.

Bears have been leaving scent signs on the trail signs.

This oak makes all the other trees look like bushes! Can you find it?  It split and fell in 2014.

A beautiful bit of art in soapstone in PWMA for Ester Bacon 1842

Mink slide - Mink follow the streams alternating into the icy water and out along the bank hunting for food. Like otters they seem to enjoy a good slide and a dive into the brook
Photo by Amy Metz in Strafford town forest.

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