Friday, October 25, 2013

Miller's Pond State Park

Miller's Pond
This was a day for a quick spin around the pond to enjoy peak fall colors at Miller's Pond State Park. According to the State's website, the pond is unusual in that it is primarily fed by spring water rather than runoff, and is therefore cleaner. 

Signage as only the state can do it.  
In case you can't read the sign in the picture above, it says, "CAUTION:  SIGNS CAN SCREW UP YOUR PHOTO" in both English and Spanish. I'm only joking.  They say not to climb on the rocks or jump off the cliff, and I'm sure everyone obeys the sign. Just like they do at Indian Well State Park, where people walk past the big warning sign to take videos of their jumps off the rocks and post them on YouTube. I don't think there is any liability for the State when people are climbing a completely natural feature, so I'm not sure what the point of the sign is.

I followed the white trail around the pond, which joins up with the NET for a bit. Parts of the white trail were as smooth as a sidewalk, but the area on the backside of the pond was a bit more rugged. The colors were beautiful. At every turn I wanted to take a picture, and so I did. Thank goodness for digital cameras. Fortunately for you, almost none of the photos were uploaded to this blog.  

Peak Color

In the photo above, we see Winterberry in the foreground. After the leaves fall, the berries remain, and are used for holiday decorating (but never harvest them from conservation areas like this -- nurseries grow winterberry for displays).   Winterberry can also be purchased for landscaping, and there are cultivars with various shapes and sizes. Planted in the right spot, they can be very attractive during the holiday season.

On the far shore, there is a bush as vividly red as Burning Bush, but it's more likely to be the native Highbush Blueberry.  So many people plant Burning Bush in their yards, but the plant goes to seed and spreads throughout nearby woods where it kills off the native shrubs.  The shrub should be banned.  Highbush Blueberry is a good alternative if you love that bright red fall color, and you even get berries from it during the summer.

Puff balls
These Puff Balls look like barnacles growing up the side of a massive tree trunk. They are said to be edible, although lacking flavor. You go first.

Good blaze, bad blaze
Dear DEEP, please hook up with the fine people from CFPA and have them show you how to paint proper blazes, like the blue blaze in the above picture.  Doesn't that blue blaze look nice?  Can we not have blazing standards for our state parks equal to the standards CFPA uses?

Blaze visibility - the crisp blue blaze is much easier to see than the spray painted one.
So that's pretty much it. Hope everyone can get out to enjoy the fall colors before they're gone.

It's not truly a New England autumn without a big chunk of rock.

Polypodies grow on a boulder overlooking the white & blue trail. 

Sigh...another balloon.

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