A Breath of Summer

If you read my blog with any regularity, you know that we love winter at my house.  A big snowstorm, in all its fluffy white glory, is about as good as it gets for this family of skiers.  But every now and then, we start to miss colors like green and red and purple.  Yesterday, the Montreal Botanical Garden provided a welcome breath of summer.

The best part?  Butterflies Go Free…a special exhibit of thousands of butterflies, set free in the main greenhouse. (Those within striking distance of Montreal may want to know that the exhibit runs through April 26th.) The butterflies were purchased from free trade butterfly farms in Costa Rica, and they are spectacular.

Journal in the Woods – Part 3

Two more miles through the woods…seven more mosquito bites…and Mystery Writer remains a mystery. 

The boys were off getting haircuts this weekend, so E and I decided to take the little black nature journal on another hike.  This time, we checked out Silver Lake Bog, a beautiful trail that starts with a half-mile boardwalk stroll before climbing through the woods to a bluff overlooking Silver Lake.

For a couple weeks now, we’ve been trying to track down the owner of a beautifully sketched and written nature journal that a student’s father found by the side of  a hiking trail.  It chronicles seven years of Adirondack hikes and includes the names of every bird and wildflower spotted along the trails, but no name of an owner.  Last week, we checked the log book at Poke-o-Moonshine mountain to see if we could figure out who hiked there on the date noted in the journal, but the log book didn’t go back that far.  We ran into the same problem at Silver Lake Bog this weekend.  The first entry in the book is from just over a month ago.

We didn’t find our Mystery Writer, but here’s what we did find:

Many, many lovely bunchberry plants,

A pitcher plant (Did you know that this is a meat-eating plant?  Doesn’t it look alien?)

A White Admiral butterfly,

A friendly toad, and a tiny garter snake, no bigger than a Number 2 pencil, who slithered under a log before we could snap his picture.

We enjoyed some writing time up on the bluff, so close to all the things Mystery Writer loved, but no closer to knowing her name.

We’ll hike again next week, but I’m afraid we’ll run into the same problem — log books that have been replaced since Mystery Writer’s last visit.  Where are the old ones?? 

This afternoon, I called DEC headquarters, where a woman told me that I should check with Chris.  Chris might have them, over in Lands and Forests.  She transferred me to his voice mail.  He’s out of the office until June 25th. 

Part of me is glad.  I am loving the sunshine, the warm rocks, the leaves under my feet.  Besides, nothing ruins a good mystery like having it solved too soon.