The Bedford Oak

One of the grandest white oaks I’ve ever seen.
The Bedford Oak
Photographed July 11th, 2015 in Bedford, New York.

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The Sacred One

January 4th, 2015

Dreary, rainy, gray weather the majority of the day, but a slight improvement late in the afternoon. I decided to hit the woods to fight off some Adirondack cabin fever. Not far from town I wandered up an unexplored (at least by me) hillside. My thermometer read 46°F, only confirming why the world around me was melting. I shot some dripping icicles under a ledge. The ground was still covered in snow, deep in some places, but becoming patchy in others.
Icicles
Up above, clearly exposed to the elements was a magnificent, old white pine. It was gnarly, scarred, and full of character. One of its lower limbs, coated with green lichens laid broken at its base. It was freshly snapped. If I had to guess, the damage was done from a recent Nor’easter that hit the region December 9th -11th, downing trees with its heavy wet snow and ice. I measured the great pine’s diameter, carefully skirting around the short ledge it was growing from. 37.5 inches.
The Sacred One
As I photographed The Sacred One, the clouds began to break apart and quickly heralded in a gorgeous red sunset.
Cold temperatures are predicted for tonight. The saturated snow from today will be solid ice by tomorrow.

Photographs taken today in Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, Adirondack Mountains, New York.

The Forest Quilt

I liked the way the afternoon sun was shining on this hillside, illuminating the multi-textured landscape that once was completely cleared of trees, briefly farmed, and abandoned to regrow into the quilted forest we see today.
Fall Oaks
The trees still holding their rusty leaves are red and black oaks. The barren trees in the lower right are chestnut oaks, having already lost their leaves to the season. The scattered evergreens are eastern white pines, just beginning to peek above the main canopy. As they approach their early middle age, they will continue to grow high above all others, adding volume to their giant cylindrical trunks.

White pines are often the colonizers of old fields, but not always. Near the center of the photo is a fluffy patch of leafless red maples, a pure stand that has grown from a relatively recently abandoned field. Sometimes the future forest just depends on what trees are producing good seeds in a particular year.

Way in the back is a red pine plantation. Here humans decided to plant a species of choice and add one more square to the great forest quilt.

The photograph above was taken one year ago today at Mohonk, Shawangunk Mountains, New York.