How to be a tree in the Adirondacks

yellow birch beast

If I were a tree, I’d want to live in the Adirondacks, safe from chainsaws, at least within the boundaries of the park. I’d stand on the shoulders of giants.

skinned knees

Though given that Adirondacks is said to derive from the Mohawk taterontaks, meaning “bark eaters” or “those who eat trees,” I’d want to be careful where I grew. Trailside locations could be dangerous.

sugar maple burl 3

I’d put on my scariest face.


I’d hang with a rough-looking, tattooed posse.

spotted tree

I’d wear camouflage.

sugar maple burl 4

I’d sleep with one eye open.

white birch and boulder

I’d hide behind a rock.


For the next Festival of the Trees, which has the suggested theme “If I were a tree.”


  1. These are gorgeous! You are showing me “my” Adirondacks in a whole new light! Where were you, exactly? That first, shiny tree is something. What type?


    1. What with the rain, we were only able to take three real hikes last week. The first and perhaps nicest was the one up Ampersand Mountain, which is SW of Saranac, right off the highway. The other two were over in the Keene Valley area. We stayed at the Adirondack Loj campground at Heart Lake, near Lake Placid — a little pricey, but the hot showers were worth it.

      The trees in the first two photos are both yellow birch, a long-lived species that’s often a component of northern forests.


  2. I love this posting Dave. I take photographs of the trees here at Ty Isaf all the time, and then they all just sit in i-photo. This is such a lovely meeting of words and images. Beautifully done my friend. Beautifully.


  3. Fantastic, Dave! you made me smile all the way through, (and my favorite is the spotted camouflage tree.)


    1. Thanks, and welcome to Via Negativa! I don’t see too many commenters from Belgium.


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