Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Witch hobble is aptly named. Maybe not the ‘witch’ part but the hobble is accurate. I can think of another word that rhymes with witch that gives you a good sense of this plant. It literally reaches out and grabs you by the legs (as in ‘to hobble’.), or the ankles, the shoes, the shoe laces, anything it can quickly glom onto and then it whips you to the ground and roughs you up a little. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, of course, but I can tell you that it is principally why they made trails in the first place—because of witch hobble. It was pretty much the sole motivation for the vast network of trails we see in the mountains today. Witch hobble and bogs I should say because that’s what we ran into next. We found a huge upland bog of several acres size that was right in the path of our ascent route. To make it even worse there was fresh bear scat everywhere.

Okay, I’ll be serious. We stayed the course and navigated through the bog. It is a remarkable niche. There were animal tracks everywhere and a vast array of plants—kind of a little Eden. On the lower, western-most side there were moose signs including fresh indentation of matted ferns where they has been lying down. And there really was a lot
of fresh bear scat.

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