Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hiking Montezuma

The snow is almost gone (for now, LOL). What's left is crusty on top and soft underneath... hard for walking when you get to those snowy patches. But the ground is mostly clear, the sun has been shining and the skies have been blue, so yesterday afternoon the pups and I headed out to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

We first headed up to Savannah, to the north section of the refuge. There we parked and decided to follow the Malone Creekside trail. We've never been to this part of the refuge so it was really exciting... unfortunately, the trail flooded out after about a quarter mile, so we had to turn around. Probably for the best. The trail was covered with that snow that you fall through a second or 2 after stepping on it (the crust breaks) which is really annoying. Cliff didn't mind it, but Lucy (who is a bit wobbly in the back-end) and I were getting impatient.

Lucy was a champ. I'm so proud that she can still go for -and enjoy- a good hike! We walked at her pace (which caused Cliff a bit of impatience- oh well) and the trail I picked for the day was short and flat, but still. It's GOOD to get those older doggies out and about! :o)

We headed south towards the main section of the refuge and stopped at several viewing spots where, as usual, I failed to see a bald eagle. I don't get it. EVERYONE sees eagles at Montezuma except me-! LOL! I thought I saw some eagles in their nests last year, but they turned out to be osprey. No osprey this time and no eagles either.

From the South Spring Pool we took a back path that headed to join the Esker Brook trail system. Less snow than at the Malone trail and better walking. The trail was .8 miles each way- perfect for Lucy. Some muddy patches, but no flooding. Both dogs enjoyed it and I did too.

We didn't drive the main preserve, but Rt. 89 has some great views of the swamp and I did pull over and take some pics of a Great Blue Heron who was resting:

Animals we saw that afternoon: the Great Blue Heron, 3 flocks of Canadian Geese, a few sea gulls (unsure of variety), those brown sparrows, an English setter and a few people.

I will have to go back up to the Malone trail when it dries out a bit. It looked like a neat area.
View over the Montezuma swamps from the tower on the Tschache Pool:

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