Amanita Muscaria Mushroom — Hardwick Trails (photo taken in the Fall)



Life on the Hardwick Trails…there’s so much out here!



1/8/16 beautiful white, long crystals on stream ice, featherlike crystals on clear and translucent ice, loads of tracks in snow, saw weasel tracks by twos, two prints close togetheroffset, each pair of tracks far apart with skid marks- this weasel was traveling fast!, saw lots of fox tracks and aset of coyote tracks, walking pattern in a straight line.

Female pileated woodpecker

1/28/16 found a chaga ( mushroom with many medicinal properties)on a Yellow Birch about 15' high, a rounded bump sticking out, looked like burnt charcoal, also saw River Otter tracks along brook, they went through a culvert onto the other side, took photos, did see the 5 toe marks with one toe mark offset on one of the tracks, some of the tracks appeared long.


5/13/11 heard a warbler call I couldn’t identify- made some pishing noises to attract him-a male Magnolia Warbler appeared among low conifers- bright yellow breast, black necklace with black stripes radiating downwards, gray back, yellow rump, wide white wingbars- later saw a hummingbird on a branch of a Sugar Maple-it looked like a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the shade, the red iridescent throat appearing black, a white dot behind his eye- he went into a lighted area- instead of a green back and tail he had a brown back and tail—I looked several times to make sure- yes he had a brown back and tail.  I  know the Rufous Hummingbird is rarely seen in Connecticut- looked him up in the guide- he did appear to have that coloring- I couldn’t see the color of his throat- this is interesting!


Scarlet Tanager

10/28/10 a red dragonfly landing on the trail leaves in the sun - a  Mourning Cloak Butterfly also rises from the sunlit trail - all these insects are staying in the warmth they can still find in the fall, - heard a Raven call, a Crow call, the same Raven call, then a Blue Jay call - all the sounds  coming from different directions in the woods- what are they saying to each other?


10/10 someone found a lower jaw of an animal- they placed it on the side of the trail-it’s way too large for a deer jaw but the molars are similar, flat, then pointed on one side, it only has two molars - a moose jaw? Horses and cows have flat molars - checked it on the internet - yeah it’s a moose jaw and based on the aging diagrams it looks to be from a 3 ½ year old moose

Leopard Frog


7/10 coming back from my walk I saw an animal jump in the grass, snuck up on him to see a frog, trying to see if it is a Pickerel Frog or a Leopard frog - the spots are brown ovals, separate and some connected on a green background, two light colored lines on each side of its body-  Leopard Frog.  This is a Species of Special Concern in Connecticut, I wonder how common they are in Vermont?


4/26/10  standing looking through the forest for wildlife - the forest is quiet, then I hear a deer give a loud snort about  20 feet behind me - when I turn around - he’s gone - the snort was meant to startle me- believe me it did !- they also snort to clear their nostrils to smell what’s around


5/4/09 saw two Hermit Thrushes, one chasing the other among the branches of the forest, gracefully flowing flight up and swerving down


4/27/09  heard the song of the Blue-Headed Vireo, i'ts similar but slower that the song of the Red-Eyed Vireo- saw male staking out its territory with its song - also probably eating insects among the Red Maple flowers, stays high in the tree, also saw female - not as yellow as male, same white eye ring, saw Broad-Winged hawk up high, almost like windows where flight feathers connect, wide black bands on tail, riding the thermal in circles


11/1/08  heard a rustle on the ground to my right- saw the silhouette of an alert Ruffed Grouse- its crested head stretched high looking around, tail pointed downward, slightly fanned- then another grouse took off from the tree above, the grouse on the ground took off and a third grouse in the tree took off!   


Late  10/08  saw Ruffed Grouse tracks winding around in the snow, one track after another


10/22/08  a large Red-tailed Hawk took off from a low area, beautiful view of its back and orange-fanned tail - there was a definite white band above tail (on rump), followed a set of deer tracks down the hill - the back foot track is landing offset on the outside of the front track- these are doe tracks - saw  fox tracks-petite in the soft mud with a back track slightly offset on the larger front track-one of the back pads looked like an upside down v like the back pad of a Red Fox sometimes registers.


10/12/08  saw set of deer tracks- it was a male deer - the back foot landed on the front track offset on the inside


10/9/08 mud areas of trail- 6”moose track later,a clear bobcat track with another fainter one 8 inches behind which I only saw because the afternoon light caused a shadow - one of the tracks shows the bobcat slipping in the mud