And down along the bog…
We’ve had a nice run of weather here in Western Maine that coincided with the Fall color reaching its peak. I was lucky enough to be able to take some time for a stroll. I loaded up the day pack, and took along the little FireAnt stove so that I could make something hot to eat and drink at the top. This time I was also clever enough to take along the DLSR camera. All too often I head out on a whim, then discover great things I want to take photos of, only to realize that all I’ve got along is the cell phone.
Sorry for the lousy quality of the shot, but I had to do a blow-up from a wide shot to show the “ledges” that were the days goal. It’s about a six or 700 foot elevation gain from where the shot was taken to get up onto the granite ledges at the top of this little mountain. The trail I followed is a bunch of old logging traces and was probably close to 2 miles each way. [The zoom/crop takes away all indication of the actual distance] You can also drive around and behind and come up a different direction, but I wanted to go in past the bogs in the hopes that the color would be pretty nice down there… It was.
One end of the bog is still fairly open… much more like a lake, although the depth is mostly less than 5 feet. The surface is covered in lily pads. I’ll have to get back up next summer when they’re in bloom. At that point the whole bog looks like it’s covered with Styrofoam softballs.
After the bog, as you wander up the shoulder of the mountain, the trail leads through areas that have mostly been timbered over. I was enjoying the day and didn’t really take anymore photos until I was quite far up the mountain. The trail runs around behind what you saw in the first photo above… In the end you are actually walking straight out of that photograph to come out on the ledges themselves.
I love how varied the light can be as you pass through different section of the wood… Open and inviting… Or dark and mysterious.
And then you come out of the woods onto the ledges and into full sunlight. From the top you are looking out to the south across what up here in Maine is just called a “pond”… but it’s the better part of a half-mile long.
I foraged around for a few minutes and found a half a dozen branches that I could break up with just my hands. Perfect fuel for the FireAnt. I didn’t need much more than a fistful and a pinecone to boil up water for tea.
The hermit escapes the human world
And likes to sleep on mountains
Among green widely spaced vines
Where clear torrents sing harmonies.
He steams with joy,
Swinging at ease through freedom,
Not stained with worldly affairs,
Heart clean as a white lotus.
– Han Shan (early 9th c)