Celebrating the New Year in the Sawmill Hills!

(click on pic to enlarge)

A hardy band of hikers celebrated the New Year by taking a hike through the Sawmill Hills Conservation area in Florence, Massachusetts (Sponsored by Valley Land Fund).  It was a comfortable day and everyone was in high spirits to explore the beauty of nature on the first day of 2011.   The Conservation Area has wonderful hiking trails.  Here is the trail guide put together by the “Friends of Sawmill Hills”.  Click on either to enlarge and print:

Today, we saw porcupine habitat, vernal pools, coyote scat, and blooming lichen called British soldiers!  Lichen are really two organisms (a fungus and algae) living together to form one new organism.   The British soldiers are the fungus  named Cladonia cristatella and the algae named Trebouxia erici.  The green stem is the fungus and the red that makes the tale-tell British soldier is from the algae.  Click on any pic to enlarge:

British Soldiers

A slide down the hill..                 A walk through a hemlock grove.

Here is a video I made a couple of years ago about the Sawmill Hills:

Happy New Year Everyone!

About John Body

I live in Western Massachusetts, in the incredibly beautiful Connecticut River Valley. I've been hiking, kayaking, and tracking wildlife throughout the Valley with lots of photos and videos that people may like to see. Whenever I travel I also take my cameras just in case I see great scenery or wildlife. My passion is wildlife conservation so I try to attend wildlife workshops and land preservation events (Habitat, Habitat, Habitat!). When I get a chance, I videotape the experts, they're just so knowledgeable and inspiring. I hope you enjoy my posts.
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One Response to Celebrating the New Year in the Sawmill Hills!

  1. What a great post about a fun way to ring in the new year through the appreciation of nature! As the winter wears on and temperatures drop, many outdoor enthusiasts crave ways to enjoy the season without having to brave the elements. May I suggest to you and your readers one activity you can do right from the comfort of your home.

    Mass Audubon is hosting our free annual Focus on Feeders Weekend coming up on Feb. 5 & 6.

    In a nutshell (or a suet feeder) we ask people to fill out a simple form noting the number and diverse species of birds visiting a backyard feeder. All of those who submit reports will be entered into a random drawing contest for free prizes. We’re also encouraging people to submit their wildlife photos (can be any animal species) and we will award prizes in several different categories.

    It helps us to track trends in abundance and distribution patterns of birds. We’ve run this fun event for 40 years now and over time have collected quite an interesting database of information.

    For more information or to download a reporting form, please visit: http://www.massaudubon.org/focus

    Thanks for helping us spread the word among your friends.


    Hilary Koeller
    Communications Assistant