Walking into town this morning along the railroad tracks, I noticed this structure under the highway overpass. While it might look like a homeless encampment, I suspect it’s the work of local teenagers. This is right below the end of our mountain, where some kids had a clandestine campout last fall and almost set the woods on fire. Fortunately, one of our hunter friends found them in time and helped put out the blaze, before politely suggesting that they party elsewhere. I think this is “elsewhere.”
Of course, it isn’t just kids who like to get messed up in the name of fellowship. I don’t know if the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is still active in Tyrone, but they built a damn fine building. It looked pretty as a postcard this morning.
I considered wandering around and shooting a bunch more photos of Tyrone, but really, between this photo and the last, you can get a pretty good idea of what the town’s all about. (I have a few other photos here.)
On the way back, the late-morning sun backlit a hillside of blossoming red maples. This is always one of the first trees to blossom in spring, along with the pussy willows. The end of Plummer’s Hollow was rather badly logged back in 1979 and 1985, and these maples are one of the main beneficiaries.
Red maple used to be restricted to moist woods and swamps, but over the last fifty years it has proliferated in all kinds of forests in Pennsylvania, for reasons that aren’t fully understood. The relatively recent practice of wildfire suppression is often blamed for the decline of oaks, though, and fire sensitivity would certainly explain why red maple used to be confined to wet areas. And while red maples are beautiful trees, they don’t have anywhere near the wildlife value of oaks.
Maple blossoms aren’t the only fire-colored thing right now. ‘Tis the season for doppelbock, according to the Beer Activist. At 8.3% alcohol, one bottle of these is just about all you need. Suddenly, a campfire in the woods seems like a pretty good idea.