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Autumn’s Splendor

Notes from the North Woods

A 'new' Cascade Falls, which tumbles from high in the notch located between the Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes in Keene, was revealed following Tropical Storm Irene.  Although measurements need to be verified, the flow may be in contention for the title of the tallest waterfall in the Adirondacks.  Currently, the title is held by T-Lake Falls, near Piesco in Hamiliton County, which falls over 600 feet.

A 'new' Cascade Falls, which tumbles from high in the notch located between the Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes in Keene, was revealed following Tropical Storm Irene. Although measurements need to be verified, the flow may be in contention for the title of the tallest waterfall in the Adirondacks. Currently, the title is held by T-Lake Falls, near Piesco in Hamiliton County, which falls over 600 feet. Photo by Joe Hackett.

Autumn’s full splendor has finally arrived, especially in the upper elevations, where the hillsides are currently flanked in a startling array of fall color.

Gradually, this fantastic fantasia of foliage will trickle down from the High Peaks to the foothills and into the valleys below, as the leaves progress from the brilliant scarlet, orange and red of the early season, to the duller yellows and rusty reds of late autumn.

Weather patterns will gradually become decidedly cooler, and as daylight hours begin to diminish more determinedly, the region will experience the full-on fall.

Wood smoke will again scent the evening air, as flocks of Canada and Snow geese sound the alarm from on high.

Salmon will return to the rivers to spawn, as brook trout and lake trout gather on the lakes and ponds, for the same purpose.

Whitetail deer will gradually change from the reddish shades of summer to their blue winter coats, and the bucks will begin polishing their headgear, in an effort to attract a mate.

Summer camps will be closed and shuttered for the year, just as hunting camps begin to be opened up and aired out in anticipation of the upcoming season.

It is a time to enjoy a long hike on a warm Indian Summer’s day, or embrace the quiet, stillness of a morning spent on a fog-enshrouded, stillwater, backwoods pond.

Busloads of leaf-peepers will return ‘up North’ for a visit, as hikers take to the trails in earnest, and paddlers venture upon cooler waters, for one last fling down the stream.

Unlike the winter, autumn arrives in a more gradual fashion. It slowly grows across the mountainous landscape, from the peaks to the bogs and beyond, until it finally encompasses the entire region.

A new license year

For members of the sporting community, autumn is a period of great indecision, for there are simply too many outdoor options available to consider, ranging from hunting, to fishing to trapping, and beyond.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net

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