Pawtuckaway, April 2012
A short hike to three very small peaks. I had three goals: to photograph hepatica, to photograph bloodroot, and to reach the tops of at least two of Pawtuckaway's three small mountains. As I'd done on the Willey Range, I brought along a doll representing my child, who has bagged a few peaks in utero but who will have to wait 'til he's ex utero to bag many more.
By the end of the day, my tally was three peaks, hundreds of photos, plenty of hepatica, but no bloodroot.
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My first destination was North Pawtuckaway Mountain. The trail I took climbs a south-facing slope, so I found some early wildflowers.
View from North Pawtuckaway.
I took a shortcut downhill, still facing mostly south, and found even more wildflowers.
Shagbark hickory, Carya ovata.
Unknown animal scat
New leaves of hepatica
After lingering over the flowers, I hurried to Middle Pawtuckaway.
View from Middle Pawtuckaway
Just like on the Willey Range, I hurried back to the road to meet Smaranda at our agreed time. (I took another shortcut.) When I reached her, she upbraided me for passing within half a mile of South Pawtuckaway without taking "baby" to the peak. So we went back, together. Smaranda walked with me as far as the site of the Goodrich homestead, and I sprinted to the top from there.
Inside the fire tower
Fire tower view
Meanwhile Smaranda had discovered the Goodrich family cemetery. Sally Goodrich must have had a hard life. We learned later that she married Barnard when she was twenty-two; she must have been considered an undesirable old maid, but Barnard (age 37) was surely very motivated to find someone to care for his six children after his first wife, Eunice, died at age thirty. He married Sally the same year, 1808. Sally and Barnard had seven children together: six sons followed by one daughter, but the daughter died at age two. Something must have happened in 1834: Barnard (age 63) and three of his and Sally's teenage sons died a few months apart. Sally lived another fifty years, to age "101 yrs. 6ms. 21das." Her house has been bulldozed, but the foundations of the barn and other outbuildings are still there, along with the cemetery.
Sally Goodrich, age 101
Her husband died 50 years earlier
One teenage son died in 1833
One of the ones who died in 1834
One died in 1839
Elderberry, Sambucus sp.
Returning to the car, I tried unsuccessfully to approach a pair of wood ducks. They led me along a stream to some more evidence of busy beavers. The stumps must have been cut during the winter; in spring the rising sap stained them red.