|Beaver pond at the base of Mt. Watatic|
It was good early-November light during my hike Thursday in the low mountains of central Massachusetts, up near the New Hampshire border. The light was clear but diffuse, sometimes filtered through thin high clouds that never threatened. Most of the leaves were down, but the ones that remained did the trick just fine. They were mostly past their peak colors and edging toward brown, but many still maintained some copper and gold tones. There weren't many of them still hanging, so when a mild breeze blew through, so few fell that you could actually count them. Others, still bright yellow, clung to the thin springy branches of young trees just five or six feet high, and were displayed against the background of various browns like the elements of a Calder mobile. When you passed through the evergreen forest the rocks were mossy green like the air itself seemed to be. And the trail was cushiony with the build up of slowly decaying needles collected for who knows how many years. At the top it wasn't quite clear enough to see the buildings of Boston some 30 or 40 miles away, but that was okay. We could see far enough.