Published on October 23, 2020

Hemlock Trail Reopens

Earlier this month, the intrepid trail team at Broadmoor completed a reroute and reopened the much loved Hemlock Trail. 

Terra Corps Land Stewardship Coordinator Bea Oliva finishing the trail
Terra Corps Land Stewardship Coordinator Bea Oliva finishing the trail

This beautiful trail winds through oak-pine woods down to a stream bordered by hemlocks, flowing into the Wildlife Pond. The reroute by-passes steep eroded and washed out sections that kept the trail closed for years. The trail continues above the stone foundation of a former gristmill with mill stones bordering each side as the trail joins Mill Lane.

Broadmoor Gristmill waterfall

A sign of the season with an unusual story is the wooly aphids clustered on a branch of speckled alder. This can be seen to the right of the mill pond bridge heading back to the nature center. It looks like fuzz, but it's tiny aphids in a wooly cover.

Wooly aphid and ant

An ant is tending the aphids for their sugary honeydew. The harvester butterfly caterpillar that lives among the aphids covers itself in the aphid wool while it eats the aphids - hence the "wolf in sheep's clothing." The caterpillar pupates; then hatches into a small orange butterfly. This is the only carnivorous butterfly in North America.