DICKEY NOTCH: 4/16/09Another in a string of fabulous spring days, sunny and up to 60 degrees in the afternoon. The open hardwoods of Dickey Notch are a joy this time of year. This peaceful little backcountry nook between Dickey and Cone Mountains is traversed by the Dickey Notch Trail, a mountain bike route also called Brown Ash Swamp Trail. I poked along the little brook that drains south from the notch, investigating an active beaver pond (downstream from the string of old beaver ponds that the trail runs by) and a couple of mini-cascades.
Then I made a steep hardwood whack to a favorite ledge on the north face of Cone Mountain. On a sunny slope I saw a few spring beauties - the year's first wildflowers. Wood frogs were croaking down at the beaver ponds, and the staccato tap of a sapsucker echoed through the forest - classic signs of the season. At the ledge I stepped carefully to avoid trampling the abundant lichen. I found a grassy spot to sit and admire the unique view north to the sprawling spurs of Mt. Tecumseh: the endless ridge of Bald guarding Haselton Brook valley, West Tecumseh with its talus slopes, ledgy Fisher, spiky Green at the head of Shattuck Brook, and familiar Dickey and Welch. From the west and south Tecumseh is a whole different mountain - vast and wild, with no ski trails in sight.
The snow-capped Franconias gleamed far off to the north.
After a snooze in the sun, I picked my way carefully down the rocky hardwood slopes and was back to my car in less than an hour.