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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Hodenpyl Dam Pond in Winter

  Loren and I hiked today along Hodenpyl Dam Pond, which is a really lovely stretch of the North Country Trail. I hadn't ever hiked it in winter. Of course, Koa was there too. She loves the snow! Hodenpyl Dam Pond

Warning: This is a picture-heavy post. Just to prove we were happy, here's another goofie selfie. The temperature stayed right around 20 degrees, but both of us had overdressed and had to shed a layer before we'd been out very long. friends

This bridge crosses an arm of the lake that isn't really a creek, it's more of a bayou. footbridge in winter

Here's the view out toward the lake from the bridge Hodenpyl Dam Pond

There was light snow falling almost all the time we were out. However, on our way back it started coming down a little heavier. This picture makes it look like a real white-out! That's kind of funny because the flakes never got really heavy, and it wasn't windy, but it sure softened the view. Hodenpyl Dam Pond

Now for the tree "damage" section of this post.

An energetic beaver has been hard at work here. I've seen them try to take down even bigger trees, but this one is certainly a long-term project. large tree chewed by beaver

We found this hemlock tree striped with yellow-bellied sapsucker holes. And here's where I learned something new. After I got home I looked up hemlocks and sapsuckers because I haven't noticed them drilling their lines of holes in hemlock before. Guess I just wasn't paying attention! They love hemlock. Sapsuckers, as beautiful as they are, do a lot of damage to trees. I found a table with the mortality rates for live trees drilled by sapsuckers. It's as high as 67% for gray birch and 51% for white birch (more common here). They also like red maple, red spruce and hemlock. But the mortality for hemlock is only 1%. The hemlock seem to tolerate it better. This tree was completely riddled with their holes, but seemed healthy. hemlock with sapsucker holes

And we saw another interesting burl. With the swirling snowflakes, it almost looks like it has white Christmas lights strung on it! burl

Now for the extended hike section of this hike!

So, we got back to the car after doing 6 miles. I wanted to do a little more. I wondered if I could make it to 10. I looked at the map, and I'd have to go beyond Eddington Bridge and back. Think DOWN to the creek, UP the other side, then ditto on the return. Decided I'd see how I felt. It was neat to look down and see Eddington Creek winding along the bottom of the valley (the wavy dark line in the middle). You can't really see the creek that well in the summer. Eddington Creek

Then up the other side, with a look back at the bridge. (But this is only the very start of the climb.) Eddington Creek Bridge

I had to go all the way to the top of the hill to get to the turnaround point! But I did it. I walked 10 miles in snow and don't even feel too beat. Yeah!

Hike 100 Challenge 2021 is at 46.5 miles.

North Country Trail, Wexford and Manistee Counties, MI, South of Eddington Creek to middle of Northern Exposure Campground and back. 10 miles

Believe me, there is no other news. I'm not whipped, but it was enough. Made a grilled cheese sandwich when I got home. Yum!

See Teeny's First Overnight


Unknown said...

Nice report. Feel like I was there, but I would've eaten a lot more than a grilled cheese when I returned! Lol. Sapsucker 1, Tree 0 - Circle of life! Debi Pilkington.

Ann said...

I wonder just how long it took that beaver to get that far with the tree.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "Somebody needs to buy that beaver a chainsaw. And some gasoline!"

Sharkbytes said...

HI Debi- Thanks!

Ann- I really don't know how long they spend on these big trees.

Lulu- they build dams fast enough without power tools!

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