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No.11: A Trees Story.
Hints of Balsam and Pine: Nature Reflections in a minor key from our quiet corner of the Adirondacks. For Fourpeaks Guests and anyone who ever dreamed about a wilderness getaway. CLICK & GO! (On this page.) Adirondack Letter No.11: "A Trees Story." (On the next page.) Visit Our Trees. 21 photos and tree identification guides. Fourpeaks Trail Map with tree locations. Visit Our Trees! List and Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.
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"A Trees Story" Adirondack Letter No.11
Subject: "A Trees Story." Adirondack Letter #10
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:31:34
From: < VisitUs@4peaks.com >
To: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
To: Fourpeaks Visitors
At: < email@example.com >
Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,
Looking out from The Cabin porch those early days in '68, there
were so many of them, and except for one, I didn't know them well
at all. I considered learning their names and bought some books to
I was familiar with just the maple, as a small boy in the city,
for the friendly shade in Summer and the "wings" that fell in
Springtime to the concrete walk below. We'd snap them open and
stick them on our noses to make a funny face. The sap was white
As a teenager a stand of native locusts filled the corner lot at
our suburban home on Long Island. The deep fissures in the bark
and the fragile compound leaves made a distinct impression. They
gave little shade and appeared stunted. I supposed their progress
to great size was held back by poor soil.
Settled in one of the commuter towns on the South Shore, we'd take
our young family weekends driving East for the open space and
ocean air. At a State Park mid-island the kids would feed the
ducks and we'd picnic later in a shady grove. The major trees had
little embossed metal squares on them with their common and latin
names. Aside from the maples I retain no impression of them except
that beech has a distinctive light grey bark quite smooth for a
Another favorite weekend spot was the Cutting Arboretum still
farther East. The ducks nested in a salty marsh we'd take the kids
to see and later they'd feed them by the shore. Specimen trees of
great size and age were arranged in open fields with lots of space
around. The names were on decorative metal plaques each fixed to a
small spike in the ground. The lower branches of a perfectly
shaped Japanese spruce touched the ground in a 50-foot circle and
the top of it soared above our heads a hundred feet into the air.
When I first got the land here, old pasture was already thick
woods and the forest was fast closing in the haying fields and
garden plots. I got to know popple, that aggressive sun-loving
volunteer species. Ed Boynton cleared a young stand of them just
below Camp Rock. We bought our first farm tractor and spent
weekends mowing down the yellow-green shoots, pushing the field
edges back to the original lines. I spared five of them in the
open meadow by New Camp, but they're short-lived and today there's
just two of them left.
One day a strong wind blew down a big tree accross the brook. It
looked like good firewood, so I had it cut up, split and ranked.
It's name was bass, and it had big leaves and a regular bark I'd
never seen. Next year I tried but it didn't burn well. Merritt
said it was a weed tree (like the popple) and was no good for
anything. The pile stood there by The Cabin porch for years.
I liked the fragrance of pine and the feel of the needles
underfoot. We cut out the hardwood growing in between them and
made a pure pine grove by Camp Barn.
Exploring around by Sugar Camp we found a road that dead-ended in
a considerable cedar swamp. Great roots were exposed in many
places and small streams of water moved between them. It was so
pretty and cool in Summer I got some help moving Gypsy Camp into
it and we built a privy.
Halsey Straight planted four black spruce by his farmhouse years
ago. Today he's gone but they're giants with a healthy progeny.
We've transplanted a number of them in different places and they
do very well always maintaining a regular shape in sun or shade.
There was some worrying about the beech blight in the 80's. A pure
stand of them below Ridge Camp made it through with very little
The salvage cutting we did after the ice storm in '98 improved
access to the outlying sections of the property. Willy knew a
hemlock grove by the notch between Rattlesnake and Ebenezer. We
cut a trail to it and cleaned it up. We plan this Fall to set up a
picnic table and benches.
Thanks for reading this. Come and visit our trees at
http://4peaks.com/fkhint11a.htm I'll introduce you to them with
their full names, identification photos and a map of where to find
them here. There are still some open dates this Summer. And a
lovely quiet season coming after that. CLICK HERE for our
Availability Calendar http://4peaks.com/femail0.htm and make some
time. Till then please visit us On-Line:
http://4peaks.com/ "Explore our 700-acre private rest and play-ground."
http://4peaks.com/fcamp.htm Pretty Camps in a Hidden Valley.
http://4peaks.com/fotrails.htm Walks with views & Beauty spots.
http://4peaks.com/fgstbndx.htm Photo Guest Book--What they said.
Your Adirondack Guide,
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subject heading. Thanks.
Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau
Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau
This is No.11 of a really occasional Letter, "Hints of
Balsam and Pine from our Corner of the Adirondacks," for
Fourpeaks guests or anyone who ever inquired about a
Fourpeaks Vacation/Getaway. To get off this list reply with
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