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Winter Wandering by Tom Blagden

January 15, 2021

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Winter Wandering at Great Mountain Forest

Several inches of new, wet snow had fallen the day before. We hadn’t gone far along Charcoal Pit Trail when fresh coyote tracks intersected the path and continued ahead of us. Not much farther on, bear tracks entered the trail.

In another half mile, we were suddenly following moose tracks. Great Mountain Forest had become the deep wilderness not only of our imaginations, it was a true winter realm apart.

The forest silence was punctuated at the ponds by the cracking and groaning of the ice.

This fall, a collision of seasons brought early snows to autumn leaves, their luminous colors glowing in a monochromatic world.

The burden of wet, heavy snow tested the structural integrity of the trees. Other times the forest was bejeweled in ice with heavy shards cascading down in the afternoon sun.

Now the leaves have fallen and the true topography revealed, disrobed of foliage, the landscape is naked in its skeletal textures and forms. Glacial erratic boulders of a bygone age loom like dark behemoths in a white domain.

The landscape sleeps but we hold the dreams.

Tom Blagden is an esteemed nature photographer capturing the awe and majesty of GMF. All images in the newsletter are from the body of work that he’s donating to Great Mountain Forest. Thank you, Tom.