Shunpike with Monica and Steve

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dbhguru
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Shunpike with Monica and Steve

Post by dbhguru » Sun May 09, 2010 8:59 pm

Gaines,

Thank you for a beautiful description of the role of music and trees in your life. I think we would agree that there is beauty in the mystery and mystery in the beauty. Appreciation of trees and music are expressions of the merging of physical form and sound with mind. Today, I had the opportunity to sample that merging with a visit to my favorite forest haunt. Monica, Dr. Steve Tilley, and I took a hike on the old Shunpike route in Mohawk Trail State Forest. Steve had been moved by the images of the Shunpike area that I had recently sent him by email. He asked to see the area, so today off we went. BTW, Steve is an expert herpetologist, specializing in salamanders, lizards, and frogs. He is a tenured professor at Smith College. He spends a lot of time in the southern Appalachians, and is a walking encyclopedia on the invertebrates there.

Upon arrival, it was immediately apparent that with the rapid progression of spring, the forest canopy had once again closed. This sidetracked my usually intense measuring focus, and the suspension allowed me to concentrate on the extraordinary natural beauty that surrounded us. I looked for photographic opportunities. I wasn't alone. Steve brought along an expensive camera and made good use of it. He was greatly taken by the area, to the satisfaction of Monica and me. Steve sees lots of outstanding places and it is always a relief when a seasoned veteran find Mohawk to their liking.

I have come to recognize the Shunpike region of Mohawk as a natural gallery of exquisite forms. Rocks of all sizes, trees, shrubs, wild flowers, and the inexhaustible combinations of the four constantly vie for one's attention. The eyes are drawn to first one sight, and then another. I wasn't looking for any particular subject, just letting my eyes wander and settle on whatever was most attractive. The image below is of a large boulder that I find exceptionally fascinating. I'm unsure why. The impression is instant; the explanation requires more time.
BoulderArt.jpg

Click on image to see its original size

Another rock formation that I am drawn to is in an area that I call the Passage. I have not yet decided what the passage is to or from. That will cbe revealed in time. For the present, I'm content to just call the area by the ledge in the following image, The Passage.
Passage.jpg
[imgl]http://www.ents-bbs.org/download/file.p ... &mode=view[/img]

This is the time of year when spring wildflowers are at their peak. The next image shows one of the many patches of foam flower that we saw. The trilliums have largely passed, as have the squirrel corn and Dutchman's breeches.
FoamFlower.jpg

Click on image to see its original size

No visit to the Shunpike is complete without a visit to Magic Maple. Earlier visits this year found her recovering from the long winter. In the cold season, she reveals her lithe form, her graceful limbs, but now she is now dressed in her cloak of bright spring green. The green will slowly darken as Magic Maple asserts her role as queen of her court. The following images show Monica and Steve with the Magic one.
MonicaSteverMagicMaple.jpg

Click on image to see its original size

As no visit to the Shunpike area is complete with paying our respects to Magic Maple, no visit to Thumper Mountain is complete without going through the Gateway. This is Monica's special place of meditation. According to a Celtic Shaman friend of ours, the Gateway is an interface between worlds. It feels very powerful. It is very powerful.
Gateway.jpg

Click on image to see its original size

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Re: Shunpike with Monica and Steve

Post by dbhguru » Wed May 12, 2010 10:45 am

ENTS,

Looks like I'm going to need to answer my own post. I always fear that I'm submitting one too many posts on MTSF. But darn it folks, I can't help myself. The place draws me back over and over. Its plethora of super tall pines and tall hardwoods, its rock outcroppings, old growth, etc. creates a wild woodlands ambience that everyone who goes there relates to even if their not into big tree statistics.

If I were back down South again visiting places like Joyce Kilmer, I'd be submitting one long, continuos post, punctuated by Holy Moly (Dale's enthusiastic pronouncement), Holy Toledo, wicked cool, way cool, etc. The combed effort of all of you wouldn't be able to turn me off. I told Monica that I had to see that incredible tuliptree that Josh and friend found recently. When I think about these exceptional places, my sense of wonderment skyrockets. But who knows about them and how to distinguish them? That is where ENTS shines. Other sources on exceptional places often stress diversity, but turn into total luddites when dispensing numeric information. We are literally the only show in town.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Shunpike with Monica and Steve

Post by James Parton » Wed May 12, 2010 12:25 pm

Bob,

I never tire of your posts on MTSF or for that matter any of your posts. I know how you feel. Certain forests really excite me. They're magic and I just wanna share them. But I have noticed long ago that dispite their significance trip reports often do not draw many replies. Usually forest management issues, etc, draws the most.

Anyway, keep the reports coming. Its the next best thing to me being there. I do hope and plan to visit there in the future and I would find no better guuide than you! After all, I do have a tree in the ENTS grove!

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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Re: Shunpike with Monica and Steve

Post by dbhguru » Wed May 12, 2010 2:07 pm

James,

Indeed you do have a tree in the ENTS grove. Maybe a year from this fall, we can plan a really big bash up here and all converge on the ENTS Grove and rededicate the trees. There are 23 150s and lots of 140s. No shortage of trees to dedicate.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Shunpike with Monica and Steve

Post by James Parton » Thu May 13, 2010 12:19 am

Bob,

Keep us posted. If I have enough time in advance I might be able to make it. Especially if it is scheduled in the first 6 months of the year. I would love to see Mohawk.

JP
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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dbhguru
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Re: Shunpike with Monica and Steve

Post by dbhguru » Thu May 13, 2010 7:10 am

James,

Yes indeed, we'll all plan the event together. We'll settle on a time that fits the schedules of the active measurers. Only makes sense.

The importance of Mohawk to ENTS will continue grow. Not only will the pines continue their upward stretch, but the current day cultural significance of Mohawk will grow. On Tuesday, I met Elizabeth Perry in Mohawk. I may have reported on this meeting before. But if not, I note that Elizabeth is a historical reconstructionist for the Wampanoag Nation. She examines sites of potential historical importance. She once worked at Plymouth Plantation handling the Native American exhibitions and demonstrations there. However, she now works for the tribe. Elizabeth has agreed to name the pines in the Jani Grove for Native women who were or are known for environmental as well as cultural work. No men allowed in this grove. The following image shows Elizabeth next to the Jani Tree.
ElizabethAndTheJaniTree.jpg
I do believe my dear deceased wife Jani would thoroughly approve of what we're doing. Jani, of course, is the matriarch. At 151.9 feet in height and 11.1 feet in girth, the Jani Tree is the largest in the Jani grove.

Well, in an hour it is off to Pittsfield to measure what will likely be the State champion bitternut hickory. A report with images will be sent later.

Bob

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
Posts: 1576
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:47 pm

Re: Shunpike with Monica and Steve

Post by James Parton » Thu May 13, 2010 9:30 am

Bob,

I love the idea of naming the trees in the Jani grove for significant Native American women. Bob, I have native American in my ancestry. My great grandmother on my fathers side was full-blooded Cherokee. The majority of my ancestry is Irish. So my lineage is Irish/Cherokee. That is something I am proud of. I embrace both the Irish ( Celtic ) and Native American ( Cherokee ) cultures. Both cultures in ancient days have more in common than you might think.

I await your Pittsfield post.

Good Measuring!

James
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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