Not far from the Bass Harbor Head Light is Wonderland Trail and Beach. This is a combination of coastal forest and rocky beach. We found a spot to park the vehicle across from the trailhead and …
made our way down the forest trail.
I noticed that it was a bit wetter than I remember the area being last time, so I was on the lookout for lichens and mushrooms! But my first find was some very colorful berries.
I moved slowly down the trail as my friends walked on ahead. Looking closely as I walked I came upon a sight that really surprised me. These very unusual fungi-like plants were growing in a small patch about 2 feet off the trail.
I had never seen anything like them. They looked “alien”. I called to Jim, our fungi expert, and he took a look at these strange lifeforms. He said he could not remember the name but that he had seen them somewhere before years ago. Later, upon Googling “white rose-shaped plant”, I found that this is called a Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora L.) which is a plant with no chlorophyll, that gets its nutrients from tree roots using a mycorrhizal fungus as an intermediate source. So it is, like an alien parasite!
After leaving the “alien”, I found some more earthly types of flora like an interesting pine cone and a wild rose.
Along the trail, there are many trees that have been battered by the hard winters and the high winds that come off the Atlantic Ocean.
At the end of the trail, we came out on to the rocky shore. At this part of the “beach”, there are huge flows of rock similar to Schoodic Point but there are more broken off boulders here. It takes some boulder climbing to get across this “beach”.
Our ultimate destination was to the right of the Wonderland Trail, the beach made up of rounded rocks. This area is a U-shaped inlet that the waves have been pounding on for eons! The result being the rocks are rolled and rolled and over much time have been worn down to a smooth rounded shape!
These look really pretty, especially wet, but they are murder to walk on! It is like walking on large marbles! After getting down to get a low angle shot it was very hard to stand back up without the rocks moving under your feet!
I decided to take a series of vertical images to get a panoramic shot of the inlet. This would show how the rocks are pretty much trapped in here. They have piled up to about an elevation of 10-12 feet above the waterline as you go back toward the land (camera right)!
I had to get an infrared image while I was out here as well. Used my converted Nikon D800 (590nm filter conversion) to get the “Supercolor” infrared image.
On our way back to the road, I pulled out the infrared camera one more time to get a shot of the Wonderland Trail in a “wonderland” kind of look.
The Wonderland Trail is a flat trail that is not too long. The “beach” is a bit tricky due to the large boulders and the rolling rocks but this area is a good example of Maine’s coastal forest. I highly recommend a visit here.
For larger versions of these and additional images please click on any image or visit my Wonderland Trail gallery.
On my next blog we will visit the Indian Point Blagden Preserve.
That is all for now!