Bristol Trail

As the late Mr. Rogers would have put it, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Temparature around 60 with a clear sky.  Exactly what we requested, showing that the Allmighty listens to his chosen people.  However, just to be sure, we rented a covered pavillion for the social and that act was sure to keep the rain away.

3 hardy souls, led by Ann, made the workout climb up Cleveland Hill and were treated to a great view at the top.  The rest of us enjoyed the gradually decending 3 mile trail. from Ontario County Park to CR 33.  The beaver pond was still there, as well as their lodge, dam and stumps of saplings that they felled.

This again proved to be the prime time of the year for wildflowers.  We were treated to a big bunch of wild azelias, something not often seen.  Trilliums are coming to the end but there were still a few faded ones.  Also blooming were wild geranium, mayapple, fringed polygala, false solomon’s seal and bellwort.

The forest was primarily hardwood.  Shadbush and maple leafed viburnum were identified as well as many saplings of mountain maple, the leaves of which make a good substitute for Charmin, should the need for it arise while hiking.  If you use any leaf for that purpose, it’s a good idea to make sure it isn’t poison ivy.

This is also the prime time to learn birds.  Cocks are in their attractive breeding plumage and are singing to proclaim their mating territory and attract hens for nesting.  If you don’t want to take the time to look for them, many can be identified by their unique songs that can be heard as you’re hiking.  We heard several red eyed vireos, who have a 2 or 3 syllable song that sounds like “see me, here I am”.  Also identified by ear were chickadee, peewee, ovenbird, redwinged blackbird, crow and tree swallows were seen over the beaver pond.

Mushrooms are also starting to come up.  Along the trail, we found a yellow morel and a batch of fresh oyster mushrooms, which were gathered and enjoyably consumed with scrambled eggs, this morning.  We also found one that we think was a deer mushroom, which was not taken.  Although the deer mushroom isn’t poisonous, it’s as tasteless as my jokes, and there are some poisonous ones that look like it.  If you’s like to try some wild mushrooms this summer, fold a small paper bag in your pocket (plastic makes them sweat, and rot).  We’ll point out ones that we know are safe and will gladly share them with you.  Never eat one that you’re not sure about.

As it got dark, in a clear sky, we were treated to the 3 planet grouping described in the nature column.  The next morning, we saw that the much anticipated frost did not come to our flower garden so we saw, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed, at the twilight’s last gleaming.  Nice to be the chosen people.

Till next Sunday, may the Schwartz be with you. .   .

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