Commentary and photos by Emily
John, Shelley and I thought we would show Orville a new trail but it turns out Orville had been on the Esten Lake loop and parts of the trail between it and Slipper Lake during the winter. It was a simply gorgeous day for our 8 km hike. Not many bugs and the caterpillars are on their last legs. We saw a pair of Canada Geese and 2 fluffy goslings on Esten Lake , a few turtles in different ponds and many tadpoles in one puddle. We saw a few signs of people, as well: plastics and coffee cups etc. We picked up what we could. We took a few side trails along the way. Esten Lake seems to be warming. Next visit, a swim might be in order. Great choice for a trail today, John. We thought he should be knighted at lunch. Shelley kept our group free of hitchhiking caterpillars. Orville did a great job as sweep. We were not sure what the patch of fluffy white flowers were. Cotton grass perhaps? A photo is attached. One snapping turtle in the photos is in a puddle. A trail showing her tail dragging and her claw tracks are visible in the mud. She might have been laying her eggs in the mud puddle. That is what one of our hikers suggested. That puddle was in the roadway. It will dry up as the seasons move on and the eggs hatch.
We moved away quickly to avoid disturbing her. PHOTOS