It was truly an odd feeling to be on the trail today and after almost always being a party to the woods waking up, I was instead for once looking at the coming night. Being pretty deep in the woods and surrounded by many hills, the darkness enveloped me much quicker than the morning light does as the sun rises. As I exited the woods in almost total darkness, I was able to catch the last of the sunset off in the distance.
The sky at Ward Pound Reservation as the sun sets.
“All our wisdom is stored in the trees.” ―Santosh Kalwar
“Trees there were, old as trees can be, huge and grasping with hearts black as sin. Strange trees that some said walked in the night.” ―Neil Galman
If you have read some of my more recent posts, you know how much I love photographing trees this time of year. The lack of leaves gives them an eerie quality that suggests a sense of power that I don’t see or feel any other time of the year.
This morning when I was at the Appalachian Trail Rail Station (see post from this morning) I saw some pretty cool looking trees. Being totally devoid of leaves, I couldn’t resist taking a couple of photographs.
Is there anyone out there that loves “naked trees”?
“Black and white creates a strange dreamscape that color never can.” -Jack Antonoff
“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” -Robert Frank
After dropping my daughter at her 8:00 am hockey practice this morning I drove two miles to the Appalachian Trail rail station and took a series of picture that I included in the previous post. The top photograph was taken at the station and the other two at a crossing just off of route 22 about one mile south of the station.
The Harlem Line looking north from the Appalachian Trail Station.
The Appalachian Trail runs just about 2,200 from Georgia to Maine. A little known fact about the trail is that although you may encounter many freight lines along your journey, there is only one commuter rail station that is directly located on the AT. Stopping only on weekends and holidays, the MTA transports hikers and campers to the Appalachian Trail Station throughout the year.
Located just off of Route 22 in Pawling, NY, the station was the idea of George Zoebelein, who did a great deal of hiking in the area and was a veteran of the NY/NJ Trail Conference as well as both the NY/NJ Appalachian Trail Conferences, and also served as a member of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. The station, as you can see in the picture below, was built in three months by Metro-North Railroad in 1991 for the cost of pretty nominal cost of $10,000.
It’s a rare day in late, late November when you can actually hike for a few hours in shorts and a t-shirt and not feel chilly at some point. Today, I decided to hold off starting my hike until around 10:30 am. My original thought was that it would be much warmer than the usual 6:00 am start which would make things a little more comfortable.
The one thing that I tend to forget when I start my hikes later, especially on days like today, are the number of people who come out to hike. Because I usually get out so early, I rarely see anyone with the exception of some trail runners. On my hike today it seemed like I was running into someone ever couple of minutes. I actually started wondering where they were all coming from…
All in all it was another excellent hike. I got to meet a couple of nice people and as usual they had some incredibly friendly dogs who were eager to make my acquaintance. I really should start taking picture of all of the dogs that I meet when I am hiking.
“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.”
— Ansel Adams
“We must go and see for ourselves.”
— Jacques Cousteau
One of the things that I love most about fall hiking are the trees. No longer covered in leaves, the bare branches stand a lonely guard over the rest of the woods. I don’t know why, but I find that once they have been prepped for winter, they are truly fascinating. At dawn or under a clear blue sky, each branch, large and small, present themselves as the one true guardian of nature as it sinks into its winter slumber.
The transformation that has taken place in the woods at Ward Pound Ridge over the last month and a half has been incredible. My first exposure to these trails was late July, when summer was already in full swing. Now, as time passes and the leaves have fallen, the view changes almost daily.