On A Clear Day
A gorgeous Monday afternoon took me to the Witch Hole Pond carriage road, and hiking what is called the “Paradise Hill Loop”. The photo below gives you a good idea why.
The body of water in this picture is Frenchman’s Bay, and it is approximately seven miles across to the mainland at its widest point. Most historians say that it is named in honor of Champlain who discovered the island, and was French, but the more colorful version is that the French used to hide their ships behind the Porcupine Islands to surprise the British.
Spring is definitely in the air here, and it was fun to note the changes occurring along routes that I had hiked during the winter. Wildlife was in abundance today. A deer crossed my path, I saw my first dragonflies of the season, goldfinch, mallard ducks, and the biggest surprise were several brown bats!! I have never seen a bat flying in the middle of the day before. A little research later, and I concluded that it was one of two things: 1.) The bats have come out of hibernation and they are very hungry or 2.) They are infected with a fungus called “white nose syndrome” that causes them to act erratically. I am truly hoping that it is the first one, and based on what I read I am inclined to think so. However, this white nose syndrome is threatening bat populations all over the northeast.ern United States. Very sad. But the mosquitos have hatched and the bats I saw were flying above the water, so I’m hoping they were just enjoying a mosquito buffet!
As you can see from the photo above, the trees are budding and blooming. One of my favorite sights of the day came from a pair of mallard ducks who “ducked” below the surface of the water at the same time. The view of their “duck butts” sticking up in the air really gave me a chuckle. It was like duck synchronised swimming!
I also observed that the water lilies are coming back to life as evidenced by the spread of red leaves appearing just below the surface. I can hardly wait to see them blooming this summer!
Aside from the mosquitos, the whole marsh area just looked really beautiful today. My new “bug hat” (with netting built into the top – concealed in a zipper pouch) was waiting for me when I got home. It will get put to the test on my next hike!
The next photo is looking across Witch Hole Pond toward Cadillac mountain. It seems strange to see the glint of cars driving up the mountain, now that the road is open (after being closed for the winter). If you look closely at the center of the photo, you can see a beaver lodge. I liked the way the shape of the beaver lodge mirrors the shape of the mountain. I’m hoping to come to this area near dusk some evening soon and hopefully see some beavers and/or otters.
I hope wherever you are that your day was as delightful as mine was today!
Posted on April 30, 2012, in Hikes and tagged Acadia National Park, Brown Bats, Carriage Roads, Hiking, Maine, Mallard Ducks, Water Lilies, Wildlife, Witch Hole Pond. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.