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    Hints of Balsam and Pine  from our  corner of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Letters
    No.17: An April Walk.
    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.17: "An April Walk."   Photo Essay: 30 photos with captions.   For better flower photos (35mm film, Nikon F3), seeTrillium at Sugar Camp in '97. There's more at Adirondack Nature Photographs.    A few more words about Spring.   (On the next page.)   List and Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.  

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    "An April Walk" (Photo Essay)
    Camp Barn.
    (New dormer for Becky's Room.)
    Woodpile in early April.
    Old washstand
    (as tomato planter).
    Cedar furniture for camps. 1910 lumber wagon.
    Slow-growing forest on old road to The Cabin.
    George at Camp Brook (North).
    Well House Laundromat
    (50 cents).
    George at Camp Brook (South).
    Leaf mold at Camp Brook.
    Camp Field: Ebenezer, Rattlesnake and Camp Rock.
    Mud ruts dried out.
    Camp Field:
    Clement's Mtn.,
    George running.
    "Wanna play?"
    New firewood, covered blocks, splitter.
    Old firewood,
    1953 Burdick utility trailer.
    Dry meadow flowers.
    Meadow flowers,
    Wainwright Mtn.
    at Camp gate,
    Ebenezer Mtn.
    Apple trees at the sag.
    Pussy willow.
    Birch saplings experiencing the April moment.
    George looks right (the sag).
    George observes left (Camp Field).
    Partridge (local name for grouse) nest with 4 eggs in it.
    Driveway into Sugar Camp.
    Sugar Camp.
    Maple tree in trouble.
    Recovering maple after wood surgery.
    Porcupine-damaged bark.
    Water shoots.

    "An April Walk" Adirondack Letter No.17
    Subject: An April Walk
    Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 19:22:09
    From: Martin (Your Adirondack Guide)
    To:    Fourpeaks Visitors
    At:    < youremailname@youremail.address >

    Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,

    In town yesterday doing my taxes, Don reminded me he hadn't gotten
    a newsletter from me in some time. He's not the kind of person I
    think of as having an interest in "creative" writing, so I
    couldn't explain my problem. Instead I invited him for a little
    nature walk. Too fragile and evanescent for words alone, the
    sights, sounds and and feel of early April came across better with
    photos. There's a photo essay link below (* indicates photo).

    It began the first morning I realized I didn't need a woodfire. So
    the woodpile's down but there's no anxiety about it and no need
    to fill it up any time soon(*). Time, too, to stop feeding the
    winter flock of chickadees, paired off now in their forest
    breeding ground. Today the brook nearby runs full and I follow
    George splashing in it, exuberant and playful(*). Native cinnamon
    fern will soon luxuriate along its borders. Years ago I planted
    royal fern and other exotics I mail-ordered from Washington--a
    painful fragment of memory that always surfaces in this situation.
    Leaf mold is brown and red(*).

    Ebenezer and Rattlesnake overlook the open field with a winter
    countenance of just evergreen and empty space where the hardwoods
    will bloom. But the ground below has a blush of light green and
    George circles round very fast, over again, urging me to come and
    play in it(*). The ice-downed oak Willy drew out from along the
    base of Bassett is just about gone, but the new ash and maple from
    Sid Maicus stands high(*). I'm satisfied to look over the good
    supply of firewood in logs and blocks. My wheel tracks in mud have
    dried and the scars of winter are healing(*).

    I find the spot a nest of angry bees kept me from mowing last
    Fall--a patch now of fragile field flowers frozen in time below
    the sky and mountains. I get down below them shooting up(*). The
    digital results are nothing like the macro film photos with my
    Nikons years ago but there's a sense of immediacy with the poorer

    They say Halsey Straight got two crops of hay from the low spot by
    camp gate, the soil rich from eons of water flow. The bottom
    stayed wet all Summer. I had Bill Lincoln cut a water channel with
    his excavator years ago to dry it out. Today there's a line of
    volunteer apples, a mix of ancient varieties, hard and tart,
    excellent for jam(*). Pussy willow proliferates, the furry blooms,
    an ornament for the season(*). Red alder makes an impenetrable
    jungle of wood on the other side all the way to Straight's
    Farmhouse Field. His cellar is still there and I've cut the brush
    out to preserve it. The well is down a short ways with a cover on
    it and a pump that works.

    New Camp looks still at the mountains and at the last remaining
    popple of the five I spared at the time. The apple's alive, buds
    ready to burst. Pine stumps cut to the ground years ago are hardly
    visible. Across the road the cherry I worried about for years and
    tried to save--a twitch of memory. I open my walking chair and sit
    by a pair of birch saplings making their way at wood's edge(*). I
    avoid speculating on what the future has in store them. The warm
    sun and the present moment is enough for them and me. Enough for
    George, too, who sits all the while at my feet, at rest taking it
    all in(*).

    On the way to Sugar I scare a brooding partridge and stop to
    examine the eggs concealed in rough thatch(*). Except for a single
    spruce there was no shade where I built it. I let an overhanging
    popple live, but they don't last and I knew that by then. So I was
    very happy when a maple started up at the far corner of the
    building by the well where the trailer people had an outdoor grill
    I took down. I took care to cut down the growth around and it
    prospered--until a couple of years ago when several main limbs
    failed to leave and died back. Willy pointed out the porcupine
    damage and he came with his son to take care of the problem. But
    that tree was a sad sight all last year. I went over just this
    week, thinking I'd have to do something or cut it down. Later,
    cautioning him to take care not to disturb the abundant water
    shoots, I brought Billy over with the saw and had him cut all the
    dead limbs away. The trunk is a full six inches across and

    [PHOTO ESSAY] To see the photos(*) I took on the walk with Don
    [CLICK HERE] --there's thirty of

    Many thanks for reading this. If you've ever been a guest here,
    go to for an attractive discount
    offer. Please visit us again. If you've never been--check our
    up-to-date Availability Calendar and
    make some time. There's a lovely quiet season coming up.

    Till then Visit Us On-Line: "Explore our 700-acre rest and play-ground." Backcountry Cabins in a Hidden Valley. Walks with views & Beauty spots. Photo Guest Book--Meet our guests! "Luxury Camping"

    Your Adirondack Guide,

    Martin (and George)

    P.S. If you liked this letter, save it for the links, and tell a
    friend! If you didn't like it, please send it back with "REMOVE"
    as the subject. Thanks.

          Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau        
       Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau

    This is   No.17  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
    "REMOVE" in the subject heading.

    A few more words about Spring (from an email to a friend).
    I always pooh-pooh talk about the weather and all that.
    But I think I respond to the Spring.
    Working on photos and a new newsletter on that subject.
    It's gorgeous. The early sun and the earth warming up.

    My birthday is early March and I think it's then I begin anticipating the change in
    myself and in nature all around. We bury the dead that didn't make it through
    and go about what we are doing with new energy.
    With me the model for this is the life on the land around.
    So I'm clearing deadfall, fixing buildings and making new plans.
    It's the season.


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