A natural history of the White Mountains of New Hampshire
Monday, June 7, 2010
5-31-10 Alces alces: A Splendid Moose
These photos were taken by a dear friend of mine, Stefi Reed Hastings, on the morning of May 31st over on the Maine side of the White Mountain National Forest, up along Route 113 towards Evans Notch and the Baldface Mountains.
It's not often that you get to gaze directly into the eyes of a moose and it's nice to see that he's so healthy.
What an elegant, handsome lad! Thanks, Stefi!
Another friend, Bill McDonald, was in the southern Mahoosucs over Memorial Day weekend and got photos of a young moose wading across Gentian Pond early in the morning. I've yet to see the photos.
White Mountain Sojourn offers an accessible and hopefully exciting way to interact with the landscape and the richly diverse natural history of the White Mountains of New Hampshire through a series of “snap shots”. These snap shots will include photos, research articles, and some personal observations from folks that work in and/or spend a lot of time in the mountains as well as observations provided by you (the readers). These snap shots will focus mainly on the natural history of the Whites during the past 10,000 years, or so, and they'll have the potential to show the subtle as well as dramatic changes in the natural history of the White Mountains over that period of time. The idea is that we often look at our landscapes from a single dimension of time, namely the immediate present, and then miss a lot of what is really going on there. The exciting part can be returning time and time again and seeing and understanding what goes on when we're not actually looking. The White Mountains are also a back drop for myriad human activities that took place all those thousands of years. White Mountain Sojourn will also be looking at some of the changes occurring at the present interface of human activity within this wild, beautiful forest ecosystem.
I grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I lived in Intervale and North Conway, NH, from the late 1940's to the late 1950's. In 1961 I started working for the Appalachian Mountain Club as "croo" in the huts and eventually as a guide and naturalist. I continued working for the AMC during my college years. I took an inordinate amount of time to finish my undergraduate studies in plant ecology. To make it look like I was being productive I began writing what I hoped was an impressive-sounding Ecology of the White Mountains. With that grandiose title I received some useful notoriety but the problem was that I never really wrote anything. I kept up a facade the secret of which was just to act really cool. I pretended to be busy with small research projects that were supposed to relate to my Magnum Opus. One was titled "Comparative Frost Hardiness in Two Species of Larch." It was ingenious if only because it allowed me a great deal of free time during the warm months. I did manage to help others finish their research projects. I assisted L. C. Bliss for a while as he put together his brilliant Alpine Zone of the Presidential Range and also helped my friend and colleague Larry Collins with his limnological study of the alpine lakes of the White Mountains. So, to bring you up to date Ecology of the White Mountains is still unfinished--a collection of musty, dog-earred notebooks just itching to get done--if only for old time's sake. So come along while I get it out of the box and rethink and redesign it. You can help by adding your thoughts, articles, insights, photos, criticism, etc. We can revisit every mile of the "Whites", bask on the summits, run down the trails, delight in the beauty.
Bibliography for White Mountain Sojurn
Note: Appalachia is the journal of the Appalachian Mountain Club. It is published twice yearly. It is now in it's 133 year of publication. Information on Appalachia can be obtained by contacting the AMC, 5 Joy Street, Boston, MA 02108.
Billings, Marvin P., Katharine Fowler-Billings, Chapman, Carleton A., Chapman, Randolph W., and Goldthwait, Richard P. The Geology of the Mt. Washington Quadrangle New Hampshire, The New Hampshire State Planning and Development Commision, Concord, NH, 1979.
Bliss, L. C., Alpine Zone of the Presidential Range. Bliss, 1963. Copies available from Alex MacPhail, 19 Hancock St. Northamton, MA 01060.
Borman, F.H. & Likens, G. E., Pattern and Process in a Forested Ecosystem, Spring-Verlag, 1981, New York, Heidleberg, Berlin
Cobb, Boughton, A Field Guide to the Ferns, Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1956, 1963. A Peterson Field Guide book.
Eusden, J. Dykstra, The Presidential Range Its Geologic History and Plate Tectonics, 2010, Durand Press, Lyme, NH. (An up-to-date, well constructed map of the bedrock geology of the Presies with an informative guide book attached.)
Fernald, M.L, Grays Manual of Botany, American Book Company, NY, Boston, Tornonto, 1950.
Goldthwait, Richard P. Mountain Glaciers of the Presidential Range in New Hampshire, Arctic and Alpine Research, Vol. 2, (Spring 1970), pp. 85-102. Available on Instarr, University of Colorado, Boulder
Goldthwait, James W., Goldthwait, Lawrence, Goldthwait, Richard P. The Geology of New Hampshire: Part I- Surficial Geology, The New Hampshire State Planning and Development Commision, Concord, NH, 1951, 1958.
Goldthwait, Richard P., Geology of the Presidential Range, New Hampshire Academy of Science, Bulletin Number 1 1940. out of print. Copies available from Alex MacPhail, 19 Hancock St. Northampton, MA 01060.
Harris, Stuart K., Plants of the Presidential Range, a seven-part series published in Appalachia 1940-1946 with reprints published by the AMC.
Harris, Stuart K., Merriam Underhill (and a host of other botanists), Mountain Flowers of New England, AMC Boston, 1964. out of print.
Leopold, Aldo, A Sand County Almanac, 1949, 1987, Oxford University Press, NY
Likens, G. E. & H. F. Bormann, Biogeochemistry of a Forested Ecosystem (2nd Edition) 1995, Springer-Verlag, NY, Berlin, Heidelberg, etc.
Monahan, Robert S., Mt. Washington Reoccupied, Stephen Daye Press, Brattelboro, VT., 1933. out of print
Monahan, R. S., Timberline, Appalachia, Dec. 1933.
Newcomb, Lawrence, Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown, Boston, 1977. A comprehensive manual of plants in the Eastern US.
Ostrom, Elinor, Governing the Commons, Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Pope, Ralph, Lichens Above Treeline (A hiker's guide to Alpine Zone Lichens of the Northeastern United States), 2005, University Press of New England, W. Lebanon, NH.
Slack, Dr. Nancy & Bell, Alice, New England Alpine Summits, AMC Boston, 2006, $16.95.
Steele, Frederick L., At Timberline; A Nature Guide to the Mountains of the Northeast, AMC, Boston, 1982. out of print.
Thompson, Will F., The Shape of New England Mountains, Appalachia, serialized in three parts: Dec. 1960, Dec. 1961, & Dec. 1962.
Washburn, A.L. Periglacial Processes and Environments, Edward Arnold, Ltd., London, 1973. out of print