Saturday, July 11, 2015


Topics related to the forests of New England, particularly those of western Massachusetts, will be the theme of this blog.

Having spent many years exploring, photographing, and appreciating the varied forests of this region, I'm still as enthusiastic about spending my time in them today as I was decades ago.
Old Growth Yellow Birch

If you're like me, you feel a sense of mystery and excitement when you explore a forest, expecting to see, at any moment, something intriguing and delightful. After these many years, I still can't help but wonder what's over that next ridge; what awaits my senses in that deep, shady hemlock forest; where that stream originates.

Black Birch reaching to the sky
The trees and other plants that we call a forest are completely worthy of my time; however, a forest is more than plants. Its denizens are as much an integral component as are the plants. A woodland devoid of animal life (if there is such a place) is a sad place indeed. Animals are the life blood of a forest, the element that puts the motion and spirit in it, the very things that give a deep dark wooded glade its mystery and excitement. They are why I have a reverence for the woods. They live there, night and day, through the seasons, in all manner of weather. Their hidden movements and habits, as mundane as they may be to the critter, are all the romance to me. After all, the trees I appreciate so much are destined to live out their lives rooted in the spot where they began life; they don't and can't move about every day in search of food. They, and the smaller plants, provide most of the structure, habitat, and environment of a forest. But animals constantly move about, and you cannot rely on seeing one in the same spot you saw it yesterday.

Eastern Coyote

The unpredictability of what wild and free animal I might encounter is what drives me to explore deep forests. How will my path intersect with its path? What secret activity of its daily life might I discover? Will it sense my presence and flee, or will I be stealthy enough to observe it undetected? Will I be able to capture it in a photo or video to share with you?

There are many topics to discuss, we're just getting started. Old growth forests. Elusive predators. Colorful birds. Big trees. Wetlands. The seasons. Wildflowers. Bugs. And much more.
Otter with fish

You're invited to comment and relate your experiences in our New England woodlands. Do stay tuned, lots to come!

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