Conservation Journal: Erin

The Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) is an AmeriCorps service program that develops skills and experiences for conservation professionals. LRCC members are the driving force behind the Squam Lakes Association’s conservation efforts. The program provides hands-on conservation work experience and numerous certifications over a broad range of areas, which ensures that LRCC members are capable of independently approaching a variety of tasks in the environmental conservation field. Members remove invasive species from the Squam watershed, manage and act as caretakers at our backcountry campsites, maintain the SLA’s 50+ miles of trails, educate the public on local and regional conservation initiatives, spearhead reports on conservation efforts, lead SLA volunteer crews and ensure the daily functioning of the Squam Lakes Association’s programs. Click here to learn more about the LRCC program.

December 22, 2017

Erin

I’ve just come home to Texas for a few days for Christmas, and boy howdy is there a slight difference in weather... I went shopping in flip flops yesterday, I think that says enough. I was telling my parents about trail work up in the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail network, and they said if my water bottle was freezing it should be too cold for trail work! They were joking of course, and thankfully I’ve been taught very well by everyone at the SLA how to dress so warmly for outdoor work that I actually sweat on a lot of the below-freezing days.

I wish I could show them how beautiful and peaceful it is hiking in the snow. The other week we hiked Algonquin, and while there wasn’t snow on the ground in Holderness, once we got up to the ridge there was about a foot of snow on the ground. After a while of hiking, we began to see a lot of poop (like A LOT)… then a lot of giant hoof prints (horses?)… then some clumps of rough fur, and we realized we had to be hiking with a group of moose!!! If you remember from my earlier journal, this is one of my main goals while in NH, to see a moose. So I begin to run ahead in excitement only to be reminded by everyone that I probably don’t want to run upon a bull by myself. Slight disappointment that we never did come upon any, but it was an amazing introduction to the new world that comes in winter.

It’s my favorite thing to do during our snowy hikes, look along the path for different animal tracks and things. Last week while hiking the new Fisher Ridge trail we saw two big areas in the snow where some deer must have bed down for the night. It was really cool to see how they had chosen a spot that was perfectly hidden from all sides because it was down in a little valley along the path. I’m convinced I saw some wolf tracks along Undercut Trail the other day, although they could have been a large coyote. But the cutest by far are the mouse tracks! You can always see their two tiny feet, and they can’t jump high enough to get all the way out of the snow so they just sort of make a little trudged path with foot stamps in it along the way. Needless to say, I’m enjoying the new (to me) environment up here in NH and will continue to get excited every time it snows for at least another month.

Erin is from Dallas, Texas. She graduated from the University of Austin where she majored in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology. Click here to read Erin's bio.

Join Erin for an Adventure Ecology program on January 6th for a Squam Ranger hike to East Rattlesnake. Learn more by clicking here.

 

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