On First Impressions of the Adirondacks

06Oct07

The Eastern White Pines cover the rolling hills like a sphagnum moss, dotted with patches of silver (the Quaking Aspens, shimmering like schools of fish) and the burned red of the Sugar Maples. A little higher up these give way to spruces — tall, drooping and dignified — hemlocks, birches — whose gnarled white trunks twist up out of the rocks — and finally the balsam fir (Abies balsamea), the hardiest of all these trees. The thin air smells of fallen needles and decaying leaves. As we follow the river up the mountain, we are struck by the incredible longing on display; there is no sense of repose in the stark beauty of these mountain vistas, where each tree and each rock seems to strive for its existence on a scale of time completely removed from our own.

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