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Saturday, July 3, 2010
Dry, We Were Dry! - June 18
We encountered really nice trail today, with some great views, mostly of Cherry Valley. This view is from late in the day, but I'll tell you about our lunch stop after I've shown you some nice wildlife. We did 14 miles from Thumb Lake Road to Harmon Road and moved our camp. One of the best things to report is that we were dry all day long. One appreciates that a lot after a long stretch of wet clothes, shoes, and feet!
Here's a very common fungus, Dryad's Saddle. But this is an especially good-looking group
Also in the realm of parasitic plants, this is squaw root. This one is often seen in rich woods.
This soft, little white butterfly just made a nice contrast with the rough bark. I don't know what kind it is.
I do know what this one is, and I had to take a bunch of pictures before I got one with his wings open and in focus, but it was worth it! This is a red-spotted purple butterfly, Limenitis arthemis, a member of the family of Admirals. I'm no butterfly expert, but I just read that it mimics the pipestem swallowtail (similar colors but with "tails" on the hind wings). The pipestem is poisonous, so this guy gets protection just for looking like the beautiful bad boy.
Here's another familiar face, er... legs. This is a common painted turtle. We think it was quite handsome, but can't be sure, since all it was willing to show off was two legs and the tip of its nose.
Now back to Cherry Valley views and more wildlife. We took a side trail to a spot labeled as Cherry Valley Overlook. There was a small break in the trees, and a bit of a breeze blowing up the hill, so we decided to eat lunch there. Ha! What a joke on us. As soon as we got out the food the breeze went away and about 10,000 flies showed up. Some were just house flies, but most were larger (not as large as horse flies... with striped backs). They weren't biting, but they were landing everywhere and buzzing at an intolerable level. This was the fastest lunch break we can remember ever taking. In 17 minutes we were back on the trail! We are pretty insect-tough, but this was a new record!
By contrast, here was where we ate dinner. Not bad, eh? We moved our tent to the yard of our good friends, Doug and Pam Boor. These are their girls, Mary & Sarah, and a young man who is spending the summer at their house too. Sarah and the fellow were leaving in just a few hours for a week long mission trip in Guatemala. We were the lucky interlopers on a yummy dinner. The final picture, below, is of Pam and Doug. They are the couple who is also hosting the celebration in August of the completion of my North Country Trail hike.
They are a very special couple, some of the most giving and positive people I've ever met. We camped in their yard for the rest of this hike, ate with them a few more times, and went to their church on Sunday.