beech leaves

Beech leaves

Beech leaves

Appalachian Trail north of Bull’s Bridge, Connecticut.

I hiked Schaghticoke Ridge again from Rt. 341 in Kent south to Bull’s Bridge and again didn’t find a lot to shoot (or just didn’t feel like shooting).

While on a water break near the end of the hike I looked up and found that I was in a small grove of beech trees. I attempted some shots looking up at their smooth trunks but they didn’t work out. Small groups of leaves overhead were making interesting patterns as light passed through their overlapping layers and I took a few pictures as place markers as this type of shot needs more experimentation.

This is the high contrast black and white JPEG almost straight out of the Ricoh GR with the added grain. This in-camera processing gives small bits of contrast like the leaf veins a bit more contrast, which I like.

Salt Stick

An aside: I’ve had a few leg cramps in the evening after big hikes like this and they were bad enough so that I did a bit of research on why I might be having them. It seems dehydration can cause cramps and while I drink enough water to “pee clear” I decided to try an electrolyte replacement called “Salt Stick.”

I’m not a serious athlete (any more) but doing long hikes in the heat and humidity of summer can dehydrate anyone.

Bottom line: it really works. It’s a gel-cap that’s got sodium and potassium and a few other things in it but it’s not Gatorade (ugh) and it doesn’t need to be mixed with water, just swallowed. I took one each hour on the hike with plenty of water and there is no doubt that I felt better throughout the hike and afterwards. Less heavy legs, no cramps and I had more left at the end. If this is something you might be interested in, look up “Salt Stick” on Amazon.

Beech on snow

Beech on snow

Appalachian Trail, Kent, Connecticut.

There are a few beech trees next to Thayer Brook and they tend to hold at least some of their dried leaves all winter. When those leaves fall on the snow they look quite nice and while it might have been interesting to leave the light tan color in this, I liked how the leaf looked in monochrome with the reflective snow, almost translucent.

The tree that probably dropped this leaf is big enough so bears climb it for nuts in season. We call trees with bear claw marks on them “bear trees” and always inspect any beeches we see near the trail for bear claw marks. Of course, always good to look up to make sure the bear isn’t still up there.