Trails in the trees

It was a long year of social distancing, hand sanitizing, masked shopping and generally staying out of harm’s way. The Bluecircle’s original Gator – all-purpose (but fun) vehicle – found a new owner a few months ago and was replaced by a winter-ready Gator that’s now leaves its tracks in the somewhat snowy woods.

Gator footprints twice around

A trails network has been part of the farm plan since tree planting started. Some of the original locations have already been abandoned as pines reached their branches across potential trails, and the early demise of one poplar planting enabled a new trail along the eastern boundary.

Trails in the “old woods” show the legacy of the Woodland Conservancy where young maples were slashed and left to regrow as brittle, multi-trunked specimens. The carnage left by summer stormbursts is now starkly visible. Mature ashes killed by the emerald beetle have now mostly fallen and add to the mazes of broken limbs.

Tulip poplars, maples and little oaks mark the downhill to N. Watervliet Road

On a shadowless December afternoon the hues of Winter are browns and grays with a touch of muted green. The images raise the question, are there no straight trails in the Bluecircle? An aerial view would show that most of the seedlings planted over the last decade were evenly spaced and aligned. As the canopy of pine branches rises a straight trail or two may cross these sanctuaries. Until then they are reserved for the rabbits, deer, crows, hawks and fox.

In the distance, the older woods of the Conservancy.