Being, Becoming

white_mountains_rock_treeWhy life? Is this self-organizing matter a natural outcome of a universe? Is it the nature of a universe to desire consciousness? The Great Gulf Wilderness was carved out by ice in the last glacial period, leaving a world of rock. Yet, in spite of this harsh terrain, life thrived. Layers upon layers of organisms colonized and built this beautiful world. Unlike the eroded mountain it inhabits, it diversified into unimaginable complexity. Click on the image for a larger view.

Foliage Season

white_mountains_foliageFoliage season has come to New England. The season peaks in mid-October, but I have always enjoyed the period at the end of September, when the blaze of reds and oranges are contrasted with the lingering greens of summer. With the vivid blue skies of autumn, the season is a celebration of color. Click on the image for a larger view.

The Northern Forest

white_mountains_great_gulf_forestNaomi and I took a trip to the Great Gulf Wilderness Area last weekend. Instead of standing on the head wall of the glacial cirque, we had entered the base of the valley. The Northern Forest is a unique ecosystem that stretches from the Adirondacks in northern New York, through Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and into the Canadian maritime provinces. At the base of Mt. Washington, the forest is mixed. The structure is complex: life carves out spaces in a three-dimensional world that stretches from the forest floor to the canopy. Even glacial erratics, large rocks dropped by retreating glaciers, become home to fern, moss, and trees. Click on the image for a larger view.

Living on Edges

white_mountains_great_gulfThe tenacity of life, the ability to hang onto existence in some of the harshest conditions, always amazes me. A delicate balance that does not take very much to lose—a few footsteps from a careless hiker could cause irreparable damage, as could a rock slide. Climate is a constant source of stress. This collection of moss, grass, and wild flowers is at the head of the glacial cirque that is home to the Great Gulf Wilderness Area, just below the summit of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. Click on the image for a larger view.