Today I purposefully went out for a walk again, for the first time in 2 months! I guess I led myself to believe that living out here in the country would minimalise the need to go out and roam through the woods.... How wrong I have been! So today I skipt the householdchores, left the garden alone and the firewood in peace. With the wife of to work and the kids of the school I took off.
I wanted to see what the woods around here looked like without the snow. Makes me feel a lot more at ease exploring new terrain without winterly conditions. I headed to the cliff or rockformation I showed in an earlier post at the beginning of the year. That was a referencepoint I knew and from there I would venture on onto new terrain. I kept to the "road" and paths. I'll have plenty of more opportunities to wonder off and get lost later. ;) The "road" was almost entirely covered with natural debris, like needles, leaves, branches and mosses, but half way up to the cliff there was one patch of bright grey rock showing through and as I approached it I somehow could not keep my eyes from it and I could not just pass it by. I felt drawn to it and I had to get down and lay my hand on it... Touch it. Feel the land... reconnect. A shiver went through me as I felt the cold rock against my hand. Maybe my mind was playing tricks on me, but I felt different afterwards.
I passed the rockface I aimed for and a bit further up the hill the road split up. I kept left and immediately the underground changed. Allthough it was still recognisable as a wide, 2-tracked path, it became much more overgrown. The woods here are crisscrossed with loggerstrails, at least I guess that's what they are, and all of them are overgrown to some extent. Makes accessing the woods easier....
After a few meters I came across my first animaltracks for this day; if I am correct, these are the dropping of a western capercaillie or wood grouse, here known as tjäder (Tetrao urogallus)
Further on on the trail I found some more, but more decayed ones. eventually the trail led up to a sort of clearing. The only thing remaining war large pine, no undergrowth. I found my next animaltrack. Something had been digging up the grass...
|These guys were bravely standing up|
I went further back, seeing moosetracks coming from one of those luggerstrails and went down the trail untill I reached the rockface again. It looked very different and I went to check it out more closely and I most say I was impressed by it! It wasn't just the view or the panorama, but the entire feel and atmosphere felt just right. I wondered around a little, marvelling at the accumullation of mosses and lichen, feeling excited (for no appearant reason) like a little child.
|This it the kind of terrain I really feel at home in!|
I dubbed this place "mooserock".
|my wife thought this one looks like a painting...|
Within 50 meters I again came across moosedroppings, older ones, but I found others too. If I am correct, these are the droppings of a black grouse or locally known as orre (Lyrurus/Tetrao tetrix).
|there are 4 piles here|
No idea what these are. Looks like something a bird might have thrown up. These balls were quit small, about 3cm in diameter and the greyish one was full of white hair.
|This is the trail, by the way....|
Following the trail I came across many piles of moosedroppings, one after the other. Most of them older, but some fresher ones... and with different sizes. All in all at least 15 piles over a 3-4km stretch of trail! I also saw many young trees being broken in the typical way, when a moose feeds on them. Must have been a pretty big one, since some of the breaks where so high I could barely touch them and in some cases I could not! Some trees were a few cm's thick, so some force had to be used to bring them down and there was one area, a few 100 square meters, which had practically no young tree left standing....
I kept following the trail, untill I came to another clearing, this time manmade, and as I stept away from the trees I was surprised by small blotches of colour everywhere.
By now the weather had turned. The sun was gone, the wind had really picked up and I could feel that the rain was soon to follow. Time to head home again, which was a perfect excuse, because I was actually feeling quit beat after walking through the woods for a few hours. I'm in a pisspoor shape and I really need to work on that. The trail I followed was actually nothing more that a narrow path of grass and rocks between the trees and, given the tracks I found, I'm guessing it is more frequently used by moose than by man. These tracks are not made by one animal, judging by the varying size of prints and droppings. And given the large number of droppingpiles and broken trees this trail is being used very frequently; Moosealley.