A Visit To Mt. Greylock. June 4, 2009Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
Tags: blue bead lily, bunchberry, coltsfoot, cypress spurge, Mt. Greylock, veterans' tower, wildflowers
I had occasion to work last week on the far side of Mt. Greylock, at 3,491′ the highest point in Massachusetts.
It’s not a huge mountain, but I’d hate to have to paint it. And even now, at the beginning of June, its weather can be surprisingly brutal, with high winds and dense clouds shrouding the place in powerful plumes of mystery.
So I came home from work by taking the auto road up the southern ridge and over the top, first in weather which kept me swaddled in a hoodie and raincoat, the next day in “better” conditions which allowed me to get the camera out so you can see it, too.
Along the Rockwell Road, a single picnic table with a view to die for sits on a little knoll:
It’s pretty sweet.
This is a great low speed drive along a narrow, winding road, making its way to three thousand feet above the farm fields below:
The road was reconstructed last year, and just reopened about a week ago. It was a really nice road job, with great pavement and really neat log-and-steel guard rails, very National Park-y looking:
The forest type up here resembles something more commonly found a ways north, up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or the Greens of Vermont:
The summit is adorned with a non-functional tower, the Veterans’ Memorial Tower, which leaks like a sieve and has nearly translucent “viewing windows.”
The best views are gotten by parking (pay in season) and walking around on the broad, domed summit. Plus, that’s the only way to see the small things.
Clintonia borealis, or Blue Bead Lily:
Bunchberry, a.k.a. Cornus canadensis :
I thought these were single-flowered plants, but a little reading clued me that a clump of tiny yellow flowers sits surrounded by four white bracts, not petals, to give the overall impression of a much larger (1/2 inch) flower.
Here’s a shot of Cypress Spurge, Euphorbia cyparissias, whose tiny pale flowers are in turn host to a world of complex and beautiful sub-structures:
By contrast, the seed-heads of coltsfoot are simplicity itself, glowing orbs pole-dancing in the wind, stark and prescient as the plants fail into their future:
Greylock is primed to erupt into Full Spring Glory, and I hope to have a chance to share that with you.
A Very Fine Day October 22, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: Mt. Greylock, Salmon Falls, waterfalls
So today went pretty well for this purportedly lost soul. I slept in a bit (I’m usually up fairly early for work,) then hustled up into the hills in time to see the mist rising off the Deerfield River:
Then, energized by the cool, crisp air, I kept driving all the way to Mount Greylock, highest point in the state (3,491 feet. I know Phy, I’m a flatlander!) Took the Money Brook Trail to just short of its intersection with the summit auto road
It was beautiful, and cool enough to make me want to hustle to keep warm.
Then back home to the valley, where it was… SHIRT-SLEEVE WEATHER!
So off I went to Salmon Falls, ten minutes to the East and a very nice spot on a warm afternoon:
Aahhh, lying in the sun with the sound of the falls sending the troubled world packing. It’s a beautiful place, famous for its glacial plunge-pools (a.k.a. “The Pot-Holes.”)
I noodled around there ’till the air cooled and the sun’s rays slanted perceptibly, then headed for higher ground in time for a memorable sunset:
No camera tricks there folks, just point and shoot.
There are worse places to be alone.