Saturday, December 5, 2015

Old Growth Forrest

There is a magical place in Pennsylvania called Cook Forrest.  It is located in the western area of the state and has some grand old growth forrest where you can walk among trees that are over 150 feet tall. When we lived in that region of the country we would go tent camping there and hike the trails in these forrest.  We often encountered the numerous black bears that roam the area without any problems, and had several frightening moments with the large timber rattlers that populate the area.  I remember our first night camping in this area and seeing large bear.  It was twilight and we were getting ready to enter our small tent when I spotted a black bear walking past us.  We remained still as we watched him move through and out of the area.  A few days later we were hiking down a trail and the sun was directly in our eyes.  I noticed what looked like a large limb laying in the trail only to find out it was a timber rattler that quickly coiled up and gave its rattle alarm with it's tail.  We were momentary frozen by the surprise and stood still thinking how we can back out and get away from this angry snake.  Cautiously stepping back out of striking range we quickly moved back up the trail and waited for the snake to calm down and move off the path.  Later in the day we spoke with a ranger and he said that the area is heavily populated with rattle snakes and suggested caution and a sharp eye is needed to roam around the dense forrest area.  If you are an outdoors enthusiest you know the rewards of being in such locations is worth the risk.  Back home we had to be mindful of the bears and rattle snakes, and here in Florida it is the alligators and water moccasins.  I made the above photograph just after the sun came up from our little camp site.  The early morning light filtering through the trees captures the quietness of being in a deep forrested area.

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