Wild Edibles

by on January 24, 2017 in Agriculture, Home Page, Promote, Wildlife

This Saturday, January 28th 11am
Al Stoops will be lecturing on Wild Edibles
at the Olivia Rodham Library
Come for coffee and donuts and stay for the talk.

Learn about easily identifiable edibles, Al Stoop’s lecture is sure to be informative, and thought provocative.

You will leave thinking differently about our woods in Nelson.

If you enjoy Al’s talk, perhaps you would like to join Al and Kathy on their Monday forays into the woods.

Photos by Kathy Schillemat

Nelson Trails Update

by Rich Church (May 12, 2012)

The Nelson Trails Committee is working to add two to four new trails this year. The two most active projects are on Cobb Hill and in Munsonville.

Pair of Canada Geese

Pair of Canada Geese

At 1900’, Cobb Hill is one of the area’s highest points. It is flanked by two old roads that join Nelson and Harrisville which run on the east and west sides of the hill. The Harris Center already maintains the Jane Greene Trail that comes up from Hancock to a lookout on the east side of the hill with a beautiful view of Mount Monadnock.  We hope to extend the Jane Greene Trail so hikers from all three towns can enjoy visiting the lookout and the high bush blueberries growing on the windy summit and loop back to their starting point.  Further work with the landowners must be complete before a trail can actually be laid out. The trails committees of Nelson and

Eric Sandberg spots proud parents with 5 goslings

Eric Sandberg spots proud parents with 5 goslings

Harrisville are co-operating with the Harris Center for Conservation Education on the project.

Further along is the development of a trail that explores the wetland across Granite Lake Road from the Nelson School.  This opportunity offers a visit to an old gristmill site and bird habitat long of interest to the Audubon Society.  The trail will be laid out so as to afford opportunities to enjoy this important piece of habitat without intruding unnecessarily on bird life.  Troy Tucker has already started to clear the portion of the trail that runs through his property. Kathy and

Julia Lennon and Kathy Schillemat spot spring flowers

Julia Lennon and Kathy Schillemat spot spring flowers

Duane Schillemat have generously offered their driveway as the access point.

The Committee has been learning about trail making from the experts. Tom Duston, chair of the Chesterfield Conservation Commission, has spoken to the group and recently spent a rainy morning walking Cobb hill to share tips on good trail layout and construction.  He’s produced a six-page guide on the subject to help inform our work.  On May 12th, committee members Susan Hansel, Julia Lennon, Kathy Schillemat, Eric Sandberg and I walked the Audubon Society’s Cove Trail at the Sucker Brook Sanctuary to observe good trail making practices in wetland bird habitat.  The views of Mount Monadnock over Silver Lake were beautiful. A pair of Canada Geese announced their landing in the cove with loud honking. Another pair paddled by with their five youngsters.  A plethora of  wildflowers including numerous painted trilliums graced the side of the path.

Painted Trillium

Painted Trillium

I can recommend the Sucker Brook Sanctuary for anyone wanting a comfortable walk through hemlock groves, past boulder strewn landscapes and rock outcrops with beautiful forest flowers, water foul and song birds to add to your enjoyment. Parking is on Breed Pond Road. Directions and a trail guide can be downloaded from New Hampshire Audubon .

A Hike Up Rollstone Mountain

Editor’s Note: Rollstone Mountain was also the inspiration for a contra dance tune written by Ralph Page. It was recorded in 1975 by Rodney Miller (fiddle), Randy Miller (piano) and Peter O’Brien (harmonica), on one of the first local recordings of dance tunes: “Castles in the Air“. It was arranged for the Nelson Town Band to play in the town’s musical history, The Hotel Nelson, in 1997, and the band continues to include it in their repertoire. You can hear the original recording by clicking on the link below.

by Al Stoops

Three inches of fresh snow greeted us Nelsonites that morning, two days before Christmas. Our weekly Monday hike was on Friday this week, and we looked forward to exploring the extreme northeast corner of town. We hoped to check out some rumored trails around Rollstone Mountain, an intriguing area on USGS maps and Google-Earth satellite views. Rollstone Mountain and Holt Hill make up the uplands in the extreme northeast of Nelson. Strangely, the hill is higher than the mountain. Years ago Sue and I had followed a bobcat here, along logs and across walls, round feline tracks in powder.

Four of us carpooled from the village, skidding up slippery Old Stoddard Rd, barely squeezing by the Hayes wrecker parked mid-street on the straight uphill stretch of road past the town barns. The car on the flatbed was an indication of the driving conditions. So was the greasy road itself.

Two sections of Nelson’s town lines cross Rye Pond: a north-south section of the border abuts Antrim to the east. North of the east-west line sits Stoddard. It’s a wild area—most who drive NH 123 between Hancock village and South Stoddard spend less than a minute in Nelson, but a disproportionate percentage of the town’s moose collisions likely happen in those few rods. We parked on the shoulder and heading into the woods of Antrim. Continue Reading »

Off the Beaten Path

The Great Meadow, June 13, 2011
by Kathy Schillemat

“Express the heart too full to speak in one exultant hymn.”

Sometimes, words are wholly inadequate to describe the experience or the feelings of a day.  Such was the case with our adventure on the Great Meadow which flows over the border between Nelson and Harrisville.

Al Stoops and I set out in the morning from the outlet of Nubanusit Lake behind Dave Birchenough’s house.    We explored the upstream channels before going with the downstream flow.  In the shallows, we found numerous cone-shaped “nets,” made apparently from some gelatinous material and coated with silt.  These seemed to be some means of catching small aquatic creatures, but we could not look closely at the structures as they flattened out into silty slime when we attempted to take them out of the water.  Our first mystery of the day: what creatures create these “nets” and what is their intended prey? Continue Reading »

Off the Beaten Path: Beyond Silver Lake

by on June 18, 2011 in Life in Nelson, Wildlife

We weren't quick enough to get a picture of the heron, so we borrowed this one. The other pictures in the article were taken on this trip.

“No matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows, one can never learn all the salient facts about any one of them.”  Aldo Leopold

Since December, Al Stoops and I have chosen to follow our whims rather than the established trails in Nelson to discover the hidden flora and fauna and beauty of our precious hill town.  Our latest exploration began on Silver Lake at the boat landing in Harrisville.

We traveled by canoe along the eastern shoreline.  Our first wildlife sighting was a great blue heron perched on the stone steps of someone’s lakefront.

Our next sighting was an early highlight: a bald eagle!  We supposed that it was either one of the pair of eagles from Nubanusit Lake or that it might be from some previous year’s brood: perhaps a new eagle trying to establish a nesting site on Silver Lake.  I thought that I saw some sort of nesting material in its beak as it landed in one of the taller pine trees along the shore.  The eagle was well camouflaged  in the foliage and impossible to find again until it flew away. Continue Reading »