Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In a tall white pine

This weekend was quite possibly the peak of Eastern Massachusetts fall foliage and I was very happy to have a chance to be outdoors all day, in a small urban forest close to my home, where we gathered to climb a white pine. We've been there before, and we've spotted both great horned owls and sleeping raccoons in this tree. But today it was ours, for a few golden afternoon hours.
Witch hazel was blooming along the path, I have never seen so many flowers before.

Red maple leaves were glowing in the understory glimpses of sunshine.

When I arrived the others were already setting up and it was a pretty quick job to get up. I was eager to look around from the top and I wasn't disappointed with the view!

An amazing array of colors wherever I looked. A gentle wind rocking us, it got stronger the higher we got.

In this picture you can see part of the cambium pipe. It's a hollow pipe we put the ropes through to protect the branches from rope friction.

I felt very safe and comfortable in the many branches of this pine. During its growth the tree had been damaged many times, and developed new leaders, and so there was almost a seat or a floor to rest on right before the very last few feet.

Zoom in on flaming hickory leaves.

Here I am at the top.

And up there the wind was mighty!

Back on the ground, the afternoon sun was already low. The beech leaves were decorated with pine needles.

The tree tops were still alight for a little while.

Another gorgeous hickory tree.

A tall double trunk pignut hickory.

Hiking out of the woods.


  1. I think that climbing to the tops of tall trees could become addictive. What a thrill to view the world from way up there!

  2. I just love the looking-upwards-at-the-treetops pictures! Amazing overall! I have to come climbing with you sometime!

  3. wow, you are not content to look at the leaves from below - how brave! I never knew this was possible (for anyone but an arborist) - sounds more fun that climbing up rocks.
    yes I agree it seems to be a banner year for witch-hazel blossoms

    1. Hi Sue!
      In the beginning it was only arborists up in trees, but it soon became sort of a recreational sport and now you can take classes all over the country. Before I started climbing in trees I was somewhat curious of rock climbing, but now when I climb trees I would not want to climb a cold, hard rock! Trees are living beings, and their limbs are like arms, and the wind is rocking you. Besides, the whole day is often spend in the outdoors. Hope you can try some day, if you'd like!