Just at the end of this morning’s small snow storm I decided to pull on some boots and take a little walk around the few acres here in Falmouth, Maine that my wife and I have lived on for the last 29 years. Compared to some Mainers my age who are living on family properties that they grew up on, 29 years is no big deal, but it is long enough that I remember seeing our grown children playing in all these places when they were very small.
Over the course of the year I fairly frequently get around the fields, and down to the water, but I only get off into the woods a few times each year. I took my phone with no intention of taking these pictures, but instead to call someone if I fell on the slippery ground and needed help. Thankfully that wasn’t necessary.
Walking in snowy woods isn’t Atlantic salmon fishing, but it is a link to that same world. I’ve always loved the native flora and fauna of the North East, whether it is Cape Cod, New Brunswick, Labrador, or my home in Maine – I’m happiest when I’m out in it. It turned out to be a very pleasant morning, and I’ll show you some things that I came across.
This photo is of an old road that ran from Merrill Rd. down to the fields above the bank of the Presumpscot River. The path passes through a lovely old stone wall that you can just make out about 60% of the way up from the bottom of the photo. I keep intending to clear this all up, and rebuild the stone wall. Hopefully I will find the time this spring.
Beyond the field that the road goes to, the grade within the woods steepens up quite a bit, and I imagine that saved some of the trees from being harvested over the years. There are some large oaks and pines down in here, and a fair diversity of trees beyond that.
Here is another picture to highlight the diameter.
Not far from here, where the ground levels up, is where I put out some feed for the deer and turkeys. You can see two stealth cameras attached to trees in back of the feeder. The brown thing attached to the tree about 30 inches from the ground is where the late Howard Hurd used to run an electric fence wire to keep his horses in the pasture.
A little walk over to the east of the house passes by this ravine where the water has cut down through the marine clay for the last few thousand years. The ravine must be 75 or 80 feet deep as it approaches the Presumpscot River. I found the remains of a dead whitetail buck lying in there a few years ago, probably injured by a car.
Across the ravine is a broad promontory over the Presumpscot that reminds you just how close to the hustle and bustle of humanity this patch of woods really is. Those are triple bridges of 295, the rail road, and Route 9 in Falmouth. You can see here that the river is freezing up. Even though it has not been terribly cold this year, the freezing weather began early, and we have yet to beat the harshest days of late November. That is supposed to change this weekend.
This old apple tree is what some would call a fallen down apple tree. There are several of these down over the hill by the river growing in the middle of the woods. Really old apple trees can fall over and stick their limbs in the ground. These embedded limbs grow new roots, and a new tree. This can continue on and on for generations. Looking at these relatively young trees I think this was the lower extent of the field sometime within the last 100 years.
I’ve always liked seeing our home from this angle. To me it looks like it could have been some old colonial house that had been there since Falmouth’s earliest days, but instead we built it 1990. The late Mack Cunningham used to rib me about it. I had put 1990 in brass letters on the chimney, and he said we should add A.D. so that people would know for sure…
Oh well, this morning’s little diversion is behind me, and tomorrow brings another snow storm. I’m going smelt fishing with Chas Gill on Thursday though. According to Chas Merrymeeting Bay is hosting “lots of fat smelts.” That is certainly something to look forward to. By the end of next week this winter will be half finished, and that sounds good to me.