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Adirondack Chronicles, Part V


Yes, they’re back…. Adirondack Chronicles! All new tales from the north woods…. This one is Part V because I ended with Part IV last July…

Arriving late last Friday evening, the first thing I noticed about the Adirondacks this year is the cold… wonderful! Skimming close to 40 degrees at night, in the 60’s during the day, real blanket and sweater weather! In July, no less…

But even more delicious than the cold… the silence at night. Complete quiet, save for the lapping of water against the dock, and the occasional wind through the trees. I immediately went out to the dock and sat for an hour enjoying the cool, quiet night. I know the path to the dock well by now, having rented this little cottage every summer for the last decade or so. The owners have become wonderful friends, and though we only see each other once a year, the intervening months quickly fade to memory as we reconnect over the more urgent concerns of the north woods: take a hike or go boating today? fishing or photo shoot? sleep-in or watch the sun rise over South Pond? So many choices…. and no stress in any of them!

Been here three days and so far here’s my wildlife spotting count: one black bear cub, two red foxes with bushy tails, three wild turkeys, a bevy of grouses and grouselings, blue heron, yellow finches, various other colorful birds. By the end of the week I’ll have a veritable menagerie!

Life is good in the North Country. But the stress points here are also obvious: not enough business opportunities for the permanent residents, “summer people” invading for a few weeks without a true understanding of the hardships in the long winter preceding. Talk of a new resort up in Tupper Lake is a clarion to take sides: development or conservation, progress or stasis.

Good news near Long Lake: the Nature Conservancy has purchased 161,000 acres from the logging company Finch Pruyn, ensuring that this truly beautiful stretch of forest in the central Adirondacks will someday join the “forever wild” forest when the logging operation ends 20 years hence. I’ll be out hiking on some of that tract tomorrow… hunting for more wildlife sightings and enjoying the simple pleasures of life in the woods.

More to come…

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
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