We hadn't traveled very far when, from the stern of the canoe, I heard Bill Moon say, "Listen to that." Except for the sound of his voice, there was absolute silence. He was referring to the solitude of the Adirondack wilderness. At the time we were paddling the north branch of the Moose River where it winds through brushy banks lined with winterberry and distant hills in the background
Downstream a ways, we would enter green corridors of spruce and pine, and finally stretches of river where the evergreens and maples mingle, splattering a predominantly green shoreline with red and yellow.
"Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiul to values as yet uncaptured by language."
Aldo Leopold, "A Sand County Almanac"
With the hardwoods already having lost much of their foliage, the evergreens had lost a bit of their backdrop...
yet they towered above the river bank, as aesthetically pleasing as ever.
Except for small birds flitting and rustling in the winterberry, these mallards provided one of our few glimpses of wildlife. Occasionally, the sound of geese could be heard, though they were nowhere in sight. Once or twice we heard the guttural squawk of a raven - it too was heard and not seen.
The day was sun-filled and warm, the setting serene. The leaning sycamore pictured above seems to be whispering to the trees on the opposite bank.
Clusters of winterberry
The sound of water rushing over rocks and around and under sizeable boulders indicated it was time for our lone portage of the trip, a canoe-tote of approximately 200 yards. The portage trail was well-defined, though there were numerous tree roots spanning the path which tested our agility -- and patience.
Bill has made this trip a number of times - here's "ol' man river" and his understudy!