Best US family vacation destinations

The Eighteen Lake

Your chances of seeing a moose increase if you look for it near water early in the morning or at dusk. Otherwise, you might hear one banging through the brush if you happen to be hiking past a dense stand of young aspens. Studies have shown that over a long period of time moose can alter the structure of forests. Their browsing decreases the quantity of canopy trees in the area which allows more sunlight to reach the forest floor, fueling the growth of shrubs and herbaceous plants. Heavy browsing can also result in a shift in the relative abundance of some tree species. As moose tend to avoid spruces because of toxic chemicals in their leaves, they increase, while the abundance of balsam firs and dogwoods declines because moose prefer them.

Browsing also has an effect on the amount of nutrients in the soil. Browsed areas produce less litter in the form of fall leaves and other plant parts, reducing the amount of nutrients released into the soil through plant decay.

As you hike around Eighteen Lake, see how many different signs of moose you can find. Look for droppings and the browsed tips of young woody plants. Because of the dry nature of the moose’s winter food, winter pellets look like small, compressed balls of sawdust. In the summer, moose droppings may resemble those of cows. The broken tops of willow and aspen trees that may have reached eight or ten feet is another sign of moose. Reaching up as high as possible, they will grab a branch in their mouth and pull down the top until it breaks in order to get at the upper leaves. Another sign of moose, and deer, is the rough ends to the twigs they have bitten off and eaten. Because moose lack sharp teeth they are not able to cleanly snip the twigs like chisel-toothed rodents do.

A magistrates’ court sat here until as recently as 1994 Best US family vacation destinations . It is now more renowned as an antique centre, but visitors also come from long distances Best US family vacation destinations to see its undoubted jewel, Petworth House, standing in magnificent parkland. Some also travel here to enjoy the big arts festival which takes place here every July and which has attracted many big names. Petworth’s real problem is its very limited accessibility by public transport: five minutes too long spent admiring one of the masterpieces in Petworth Park may mean the difference between proffering a return ticket for the homeward bus journey, and digging deep into one’s pocket for an unforeseen and unwelcome taxi fare. Your walk begins in the town’s central car park. Make for the public toilets at the top end of the car park and follow an alleyway past the right-hand wall of the toilet block, heading for the town centre.

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