New England Trail Review

Lookout Ledge

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 A steep and "jungly" hike to a great view of the north side of the Presidentials. 


 Images 4 to 8 of 53

A tree to the left and a bare space beneath it, with bright green woods beyond.

Lookout Ledge - Looking South From a Southern Rise

Some distance from the eastern trailhead, looking downslope. The mossy granite rocks of the foreground are seldom seen, but probably underly all of the forest floor and date from at least the time of the glacial retreat about 15,000 years ago.


A cluster of lilac flowers, bilaterally symmetrical, with a whitish tube extending from the bottom front, terminating in a fringe of purple hairs.

Lookout Ledge - Large Purple Fringed Orchid

Orchids actually represent a fairly widespread wildflower in the northeast, and this example (the Large Purple Fringed Orchid - Platanthera grandiflora) is especially pretty. A detail of interest is the little moth face above the white "tongue". A close look shows two brown eyes on either side of a whitish "head".

Each flower is about 1 inch in size.

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Lookout Ledge - Fern Cover

These ferns clustered at the  base of a tree beside the trail are probably Boott's Fern (Dryopteris Boottii (Tuckerman)), a supposedly fertile hybrid between the Evergreen Woodfern and the Crested Fern, identifiable by its ladder step alternating leaf arrangement and straw colored stem.

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A disk with a tan edge and a darker, greenish center, showing cracks and blackish spots all across the disk.

Lookout Ledge - Unidentified Crustose Lichen

This lichen has a nearly perfect circular growth pattern. It is not clear whether the lichen is growing "fungus-first" at the edges (with the green photobiont to move in later) or whether the edge is dying back.

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A lumpy, spongy mass of whitish material crawling onto a log.

Lookout Ledge - Brefeldia maxima Slime Mold

Brefeldia maxima is one of the largest slime molds - in this case you see a fairly small specimen only about four to six inches across.

The left image shows the ameobae that gather to turn themselves into the fluffy fruiting bodies, climbing up onto the log from the wood below.

The right images shows what they turn themselves into - a mass of tiny fruiting bodies. These finger like objects will change from free-living microorganisms into spore cases through some sort of genetic magic. Then these spore cases will darken and turn into a soft brown dust that will spread on the wind to become new slime molds.

This slime mold is related to the Chocolate Tube Slime, visible elsewhere on the site.

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White Mountains, NH

Two To Four Hours

Two To Four Miles


By Name


White Mountains, NH - July 2003


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