Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Tivoli Journal: Ferncliff Forest

fire tower in Ferncliff Forest (photo: F. Levy)

Ferncliff Forest in Rhinebeck, one of the grand old preserved pieces of nature in the Hudson Valley, has a fire tower at the top of its trail. When you stare up it’s like looking into a majestic spider’s web. It also exudes a bit of the sublime to the extent that you may see giant trees falling even as you meander in the otherwise peaceful surroundings. They tumble effortlessly and without danger to anyone, but the grounds are littered with fallen trees which have been the victims of one or another infestation of creatures like the Southern pine beetle. You might say that Ferncliff is a forested version of Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey--a church of nature with its own forested ruins. You can take a two mile hike past an algae covered pond and then finally return to the starting point whose pond in autumn reflects a dazzling supernova of seasonal colors.

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