Spring Comes to the Scotia Barrens

It was a beautiful spring morning, sunny with blue skies, when we lit out for the Scotia Barrens. Clouds were expected later, but the early part of the morning was perfectly lit. And much to our delight, we found much to see there. The beaver ponds have thawed, and the vernal pools are chock-full of frogs. As it should be in spring, the woods rang with the happy song of spring peepers.

This is one of the larger ponds in the Barrens, and one of my favorites. If you look at the center of the picture, you'll see there the same shot I provided in late September, wrapped in some of the first autumn colors. How I love to watch the seasons unfold in the Barrens!

My husband tells me that this part of the Barrens strongly resembles Maine, especially walking on the Appalachian Trail heading north into Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park. He and I visited Maine together just once; while I attended a conference in Augusta, he climbed Katahdin (and visited Thoreau Spring - which was possibly the thing that made me most envious, as I'm not sure I could have made it all the way up Katahdin), but the only part of wild Maine that I saw was Acadia, on the coast.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Scotia Barrens was mined heavily for iron ore; Andrew Carnegie bought much of the land and named the town he built there Scotia, or "Little Scotland," after his home. When I stopped at the local historical society on Thursday, I spotted several books about the history of the Barrens.

I will probably have to go back there and pick up one or more of those books, as local history fascinates me. It enriches my understanding of how things have become the way they are, and why; and fills my heart and mind with new and interesting stories.

On this particular Saturday, though, the story was simply this: the ponds are thawed, the snow is gone (at least for now), the vernal pools are full, and the woods ring with the sounds of birds and amphibians. Hooray! The only warning I would provide is that those hiking in the Barrens check themselves, and especially their children and pets, for deer ticks, which are vectors of Lyme disease.

I know that this is not technically a bayou, but it might resemble one just a bit with all that water. So the song to accompany this posting is Creedence Clearwater Revival, with Born on the Bayou. (And yes, for once, I enjoyed scrolling through the YT comments. My favorite is the most recent: "Thank God I wasn't there - I would have been known as the screaming colored girl they had to carry out on a stretcher.")

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