Dead Zones Beckon

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

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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

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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

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

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Maidenhair Fern after a rainy night

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

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Wild Columbine

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Wild Mountain Azalea

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

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Free-stone mountain stream

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American Merganser on an early morning perch above a beaver pond

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

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Mergansers

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

When the Fish aren’t Biting

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Wild Columbine

For many years a close friend and I have traveled to the mountains in late spring to tent, fly fish for trout, photograph and solve the mysteries of life. Our destination is a 45 square mile forested watershed that lies within a much larger forested region, most of which is State-owned.  The area has relatively few year-round inhabitants and is a web of unpaved, seasonal roads; unbroken forestland of mixed hardwoods and conifers; pristine, freestone streams and the various discord elements that challenge and erode the wildness: natural gas right-of-ways, private lands, etc. The camp site is a dead zone too, which adds to the flavor of it all. We never achieve goal four but have fun trying. The trip is always a highly anticipated adventure that has a profound and lasting effect on our life story. The destination never changes but the experiences are never the same.

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Forested mountain road typical of the region

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A “freestone” stream in the watershed surrounding camp, harboring native Brook Trout and a reproducing population of stocked Brown Trout

I have many pictures from these trips but decided to be true to the theme of my blog and focus on my experiences with nature that filled the voids when the fish weren’t active.  The gallery that follows is a sampling of my many encounters with the natural world during five days in camp in late May, 2013.

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.