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Pictures of Mountain Flora and Fauna

Hobble bush

Each spring the hobble bush briefly flowers in mid-May. The hobble bush grows slowly and is found around the base of Mount Monadnock. Deer find the hobble bush very tasty so the hobble bush tends to "disappear" when the deer herd becomes too large. Generally hobble bush stands about four feet high and looks rather nondiscript for most of the Spring and summer. The leaves, are unusual, and there is a closeup in the next picture. This leaf was about 1 3/4" in diameter.
Hobble bush leaf

Trillium in bloom

Here is a trillium. It bloomed in the woods at the base of Mt. Monadnock around May 15th.

wood turtle
This is is a very large male woods turtle. Using standard measuring techniques, this turtle measured 8 1/2 inches across. As I recall, the record is about 8 and 3/4 inches. It looks somewhat like the common box turtle. However, if you are able to recognize the common box turtle you will immediately notice that the coloration is different. It visited our home for a few days and would not eat usual turtle fare such as hamburger or lettuce. However, this old turtle chomped down strawberries with gusto. We let him go a few hundred yards from the house at the edge of a swamp. A couple of days later he was back at the house thumping at the back door. Most likely a coincidence but who knows? We kept him a few days more and took him further away from the house. Perhaps he will return again some day.

Caution! -- A turtle this big could easily dismember a child's finger. Turtles tend to grab food very quickly and they can easily confuse fingers with what the fingers are holding. It is also unwise to place bare toes near a turtle's head.

ladyslipper in bloom
Around June 15th the pink lady slippers appear. Look for them in areas that are thickly wooded. This patch was at the base of the mountain about 600 feet from the Marlboro trail at an elevation of about 1300 feet.

blackberry in bloom
This is either a blackberry or a red rasberry. Note that this picture also shows a couple of Devil's Paintbrushes. The soil was poor here and the plant was only about 10" tall. An established plant may be several feet tall. The white flowers are about an inch in diamerter. The picture was taken in late June along a logging road at the base of the mountain.

devil's paintbrush
I took a picture of a patch of devil's Paintbrush* along that same logging road on the same day as the previous picture.
* Also known as Orange Hawkweed (hieracium aurantiacum)

In late June, I discovered a logged over area which was well grassed and had this small yellow flower. The flower was about 1/2 inch in diameter. It appears to be a rough-fruited cinqfoil (potentilla Recta). Note the heart-shaped individual petals.

On July 2nd, I found this small, blue flower. I can't find it in my wild flower books and would appreciate your identifying it if you know its name. The photo was not as clear as I would like and I will try for a better photo as the opportunity arises.

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On June 24th I took a picture of this "unknown" flower that was near a small stream. The flower is about 5/8 inch in diameter. The elevation was about 1200 feet.

Most people climb the mountain and race to the top. They stay up there for an hour and then race back down. If you bring a map and a compass you can explore the base of the mountain and have a rewarding experience.

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A moose is fun to see but can be quite dangerous so don't try to sneak up on one. Usually they will simply trot away but don't count on it. This moose photo was taken in October before the sun came up over the mountain. Sorry for the poor quality but the digital camera is not nearly as sensitive as old fashioned high speed color film. This was a small moose (note the antlers). I estimate him at about 700 lbs. (9/25/05).

You may wish to see a couple of the horses that travel the trails & roads around the mountain. Please watch out for horses, cyclists, and pedestrians as you drive around Monadnock.

Or, you may want to see some high resolution photos of the mountain.