This past weekend was the 2nd Annual NW PA Hang. A "hang" is a meeting of hammock enthusiasts. Last year it was held at the Marion Brooks Natural Area. This year we were at that Hickory Creek Wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest.
Daytime temperatures were in the high 30s. The first day we had some rain in fact. I expected this and so wore my DriDucks rainsuit. There were only a few inches of snow on the ground. We were the first people to have hiked the trail since the last snow, judging from the lack of tracks.
One of the exciting things for us was to discover that this part of the forest was inhabited by a family of fishers. Fishers are members of the weasel family. They were introduced to Pennsylvania to control the porcupines. Porcupines have very few predators and they do a lot of damage to trees (especially cherry trees which are a favorite). Fishers are not put off by the sharp quills and make short work of a porcupine. Fisher tracks have five distinct claws as you can see below. They also have a bounding gait so the tracks are in pairs as you see below. Judging by the number of tracks we saw the fishers seems to be thriving in this area!
The hang continued through Saturday night but I left late Saturday afternoon. That turned out to be a good thing because it started snowing heavily just as I was leaving and I was the only one without a 4-wheel drive.