Rachel’s visit has been, as usual, much too short. On our last full day together, we drove around the Seven Mountains region of central Pennsylvania in the Rothrock State Forest, ending up at Alan Seeger Natural Area.
It’s not clear why this tract of old-growth, mixed conifer-hardwood forest was named after the author of “I Have a Rendezvous With Death.” (“There is probably no connection between Alan Seeger and the area named for him, except, perhaps, that they are both poetic,” says the webpage at Bill’s Hikes.) It is especially beautiful in autumn, however, when we all have a rendezvous with death,
and I suppose all its mighty old hemlocks will eventually succumb to the hemlock woolly adelgid, though the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry seems committed to protecting them with expensive insecticides for now. I think my gloom on this subject rather exacerbated Rachel’s tree-hugging tendencies.
We passed one other couple on the circular trail through the natural area. They asked us, for some reason, if we’d seen any ferocious beasts.
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Okay, I can’t resist sharing one more photo, taken here in Plummer’s Hollow several days ago:
Bon voyage, Rachel!