High Mountain

Monday Mystery Solved: You Won't Believe It!

IMG_1816For my most recent  Monday Morning Mystery, I talked of  hiking along High Mountain's Yellow Trail and discovering a dozen of these huge empty plastic containers hanging around and lying around. 

I asked: Anybody know what they are doing up there?

Today, when I went to remove them, a few mountain bikers I met said the plastic containers have been there 25 years and were thought to be tubs used to grow marijuana plants way back when.

That's right: pot pots! 

(And if they were owned by a certain Cambodian despot they'd be ... Pol Pot pot pots. But I digress.)

The mountain-bikers added that the little path by that area is called the Ganja Farmer's Trail.

When I said I planned to remove the pots, the  mountain bikers said that the tubs were considered part of High Mountain lore and something of  an open-air art installation, and asked that I leave them be.

What do you think?

(Footnote: When I started researching High Mountain last year, I heard these rumors of pot-growing on the mountain. So when I gave talks about the preserve I asked if anyone grew pot on High Mountain. My favorite response was from a gentleman who said he didn't grow any but he sure smoked some there. To which someone added: That's why they call it "High Mountain.")

I think this might have been my strangest post ever.




A Late Autumn High Mountain Walk

Thought I'd do a different hike at High Mountain this morning -- going from Scioto Drive through Franklin Clove and along the Yellow Trail all the way to the JVC headquarters -- about a half-hour each way.

Highlights included a quiet Red Fox (seen only), a loud Common Raven(seen and heard), and my High Mountain nemesis bird, the Pileated Woodpecker (heard only).

I am doing some research on High Mountain hydrology, and always thrilled to come across a little mountain stream, as well one of the Buttermilk Falls with water flowing.

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The Wild Turduckens of High Mountain!

Just in time for Thanksgiving, The Nature Conservancy's New Jersey blog has posted my story about the Wild Turduckens of High Mountain, complete with Miwa Ishikawa's wonderful illustrations (above) -- and the only known recipe for this extraordinary game bird.

The link is here.

(A version of the story originally appeared in the current issue of Autumn Years magazine.)

(Thanks, TNC!)