A certain acquaintance says that, "If you don't get wet, you don't have no fun." I had a lot of fun on Sunday, Aug. 2.
I was on the trail to Fish Ponds south of Baker's Mills by 8 a.m. knowing it was probably going to rain by afternoon. I had my "Blackjack" 12.5 pound canoe over one shoulder, a too heavy back-pack on my back, holey "cross-trainers" on my feet, and a net shirt on (the deer flies banging at the window while I was still in the car were scary-how do they know you are in there?).
On the trail I slowly opened the hiker's register, wondering if the deer mouse was still living there in a leaf nest. Yup, with a squeaky family. Right away I had to wade through water in the trail (you can't bushwhack easily carrying a ten foot boat). I was so glad I had dried my shoes overnight. This early wetting made the rest of the trip easier as I didn't try to dance around puddles.
The trail was open hardwoods, with many big white ash, which need to be appreciated before the Emerald Ash Borer gets them.
There is a major effort to contain this very destructive insect in western New York but there is very little hope of doing this. It will kill all the ashes of many species if it gets loose. Those big purple hanging things have attractant in them. Seven percent of our forests are ash, though it must be higher along this trail.
By 9 a.m. I was on the water of Upper Fish Pond. The point of the trip was to check the status of the beaver dams between the two Fish Ponds in preparation for a possible through trip by boat to Cod Pond, about eight miles south.