Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Westerlies

My bud Mario was in town from California this past weekend. Not having been back in the valley during the leaf change in a decade or so, we took him up to the Mount Tom cliff sides so he could re-acclimate himself to some of autumn's fiery scenery.



On the way up, Mario regaled us with stories of life in the far off Golden State, from surviving in L.A. to snowboarding in the Sierra Nevadas. Father and son listened with rapt attention.



Mario is one of our original gang-of-four, from our previous lives as rogues and/or whippersnappers; and as far as I'm concerned a brother for life. I tried to roust the other two members for a reunited group hike, but adult commitments and responsibilities once again intervened...I'm pretty sure that's how the Beatles broke up...

However, Radar Check's brother was having a birthday, and being something of an outdoor enthusiast himself, was coaxed up to the summit to celebrate his day. Besides his brother, this included his sister, mom and associated in-laws and broods. It was something of a tribal migration up the side of the mountain. And RC being who he is -God bless his juvenile heart- had to add a twist to the adventure and brought a kite up, to test the air currents.



This officially made it a party.

The winds on top of Mount Tom, of course, regularly gust at about 40mph+ or so... so it would take a good bit of piloting to get the bird off the ground. Some trial and error, and a few mild abrasions later, ...



...and the bird was aloft, flapping madly, circling and struggling against the super-taut line, and threatening at any moment to be smashed down on the rocks, or be sucked out into the ether...



A little line let out...and it appeared for a moment that the experiment had found it's wings...



...but alas, the parrot flew free and clear all of 45 seconds before plummeting into the tree tops. Though not quite topping the Wright Brothers' air time, it was a valiant effort none the less.



A rescue mission was quickly underway, the parrot retrieved, and honorably retired.



That fun over, Mario, the kid and I scampered up the final few yards to the summit. It was one of the clearest days autumn can offer, and far off Hartford was glinting crisply on the southern horizon...



Far below, trees are again erupting in groups, patches and columns....





...and are otherwise peppering the countryside.



With a keen eye, the muddy remnants of the now completely dredged Nashawannuck pond could be made out, deep within the hamlet of Easthampton.





Colors everywhere,



And even up on top of the blustery mountain, life tenaciously clings on; surviving until it's very last opportunity.



On a broader scale, and one of the best things about these higher perspectives, is how man's carving (literally) of civilization from the wilderness becomes apparent.



The clear day was too good to last; and as the afternoon wore on all the gusty winds began bringing clouds and potential rain too close for comfort.





A few final observations for our visitor from the west, and it was time to head back down.



However much paradise lies out west, there are certain settings and spectacle that can only be found here in New England.



Hopefully Mario got enough of an eyeful of his home turf, to take back with him...

3 comments:

wombatclov said...

Nice shots Tony. Must have been up there in the AM, you can see the EFD ladder truck up on display- they were having an open house Sat AM.

LarryK4 said...

It was Yoko Ono's fault.

Tony said...

Good eye Wombatclov, we had started up about 11am...

Larry, she was the monkey wrench, wasn't she...