Dead Zones Beckon


“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir


White Pine tree and Appalachian Mountains

“Keep close to Nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”  – John Muir


Mature Eastern Hemlock trees on the floodplain of a mountain stream

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir


Puddling swallowtails seeking moisture, nutrients and enhanced reproductive success from the mud near a mountain spring


Maidenhair Fern after a rainy night

“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.” – John Muir


Wild Columbine


Wild Mountain Azalea

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the      universe.” – John Muir


Free-stone mountain stream


American Merganser on an early morning perch above a beaver pond


Newly hatched mayfly dun on the surface film of a mountain stream



Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

13 thoughts on “Dead Zones Beckon

  1. I love the mountains. I too, am especially fond of wild columbine. I now have a couple of plants in my flowerbeds from seeds that I collected at a friend’s in TN. When I grew up, my mom only had the red and yellow columbine.

  2. The title intrigued me. I look at forests like you have shown as full of life everywhere, tree tops down to inches or more deep into the soil. I am guessing that was your point. I liked all the Muir quotes. Ironically I was researching his work online for an up coming post and could not find what I was looking for, although I was sure it fit his philosophy. Even though he lived elsewhere (not here on the east coast) , all that he has done for the environment across the country is so inspirational and long lasting.

    • Thanks babsje! I visit that remote section of NC PA every chance I get and the swallowtail puddling activity is something I always look forward to. Hundreds of square miles of more or less continuous deciduous forest is much to their liking! Spring was a little late this year and they were just beginning to congregate around puddles while I was camping and shooting. In recent years I’ve watched as many as 150 +- in a single probing, swirling mass around a muddy area near a campsite. There are usually several other species, fewer in number, doing the same.

    • Thanks Jo. I always look forward to comments, curious to know which pics in a post will draw the most attention. The swallowtails are one my favorites too, partly because I have never seen puddling of that magnitude in central NY, or anywhere else for that matter!

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