Report by Linda Pearce. A warm and sunny autumn morning awaited the thirty-one hikers that gathered to walk at Milford State Forest. We were pleased to welcome two “first-timers” to our group – Anne Carroll and Dave Steen.
We went a short distance down State Land Road (a dirt road) and then onto a trail that loops through the woods. Along the path we encountered large patches of two colorful lichens, one with red knobs known as “British soldiers” and the other with pink knobs known as Pink Earth lichen. When we saw these patches a few years ago, Currie Marr explained to us that a Lichen is a composite organism of algal cells and fungal filaments living together symbiotically. The alga provides sugar (energy) to the fungus and the fungus provides essential minerals to the algal cells. We also encountered several blow-downs on the trail – some we stepped over, some we went under, and some we had to go around. Coming back out on State Land Road, we had done about a 2-mile hike.
A few of us extended our hike to the south side of State Land Road to the beaver pond. As we neared the pond, a Great Blue Heron took flight.
It was a very enjoyable morning for our outing. Photos by Scott Fielder and Janice Downie.