In the summer, this area is uncomfortably hot and dusty; at this time of year, though, it's just right, away from the winds of the shore, open to the sunlight. The sand is still partly overgrown with green grasses and lichens. The trees are bare, making dramatic gestures against the sky, and exposing the raptors (hence the name of the trail) to our view. A sign near the parking lot says to watch for northern harriers and red-tailed hawks; we saw several ospreys, besides. And of course, the usual herons, eagles, and crows.
Sky, sand and sticks
Hawk against a white sky
Most of the birds were flying too high or too fast for our slow cameras. The insects are still in hiding; besides dogs, the only other signs of animal life were these leavings:
Rabbit pellets. All around. No wonder there are hawks here.
And one snail shell.
In a little clearing sheltered on both sides by banks of dry blackberry canes, reindeer lichen thrives.
Reindeer food. Maybe the rabbits eat it?
A closer view.
Tree branches support other green-white lichens:
I think this is staghorn lichen.
And I can't identify this ribbony lichen. It would make a great hair scrunchie, though.
Brown leaf lichen, with moss.
Some of the tiny plant life, tomorrow.