The Gorge Along Falulah Brook

Lately I’ve been thinking about the smaller wild places. Just now, I don’t have the time it takes to travel to the Adirondacks, the Maine Wilderness, or any of my other favorite areas. So I’ve been using the time I do have exploring some of the out-of-the way places closer to home.

This mini-gorge is only about two miles from downtown Fitchburg, Massachusetts, but it might as well be a hundred miles away. It’s tucked away in a cleft between two hills in the city’s watershed area. It’s not a deep-dark secret – a lot of people know about it, but many more don’t. There is a trail that goes by it, but you have to know where to look. In the summer the brook that runs through it is just a quiet gurgle. But today, on the first day of spring, when it’s swollen with all the recent rain and the spring run-off, it creates quite a roar.

It’s mid-afternoon, and there’s not a lot of bird activity. The woods are a mix of hemlock, pine, oak, maple, ash and birch. There’s some scat on the trail. Could be fox or coyote, but judging from the size it’s probably coyote. The ground is too hard for me to see any tracks. The fur in the scat looked like it might have belonged to a rabbit. A little farther down, I see some deer tracks wandering through. And then a crude lean-to. It doesn’t look recent. It also doesn’t look like a serious effort at making a shelter. I look inside. It was on a pretty damp spot. It wouldn’t have been dry or comfortable under the best of circumstances. In any case, whoever it was didn’t leave any litter behind. That much was good.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to make some improvements to this blog. Maybe add some pages to divide posts up based on the different things I want to write about. Anyone who happens to see these and has suggestons, let me know. I’m still getting used to the idea of bloggng.