Hawk Mountain is about ten minutes away from my hometown of Hamburg, PA and is a world class sanctuary for hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey. On autumn weekends if the weather conditions are right, you can see hundreds of hawks and other raptors circling and riding the wind thermals at the intersection of the mountain ridges.
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A Hawk Mountain Short Story
It's a Saturday morning in early summer. It's humid, very cloudy, and we've had several downpours by 9:30am. A check of the forecast shows the rain is over but it will stay very cloudy, damp and humid all day.
One of my favorite places to go on a cloudy, misty day in the summer is the forest. It just looks and feels totally different than on a sunny day. On this misty summer Saturday, I decided to hike and photograph at Hawk Mountain. I spent four hours wandering the ridge top trails. I hiked in similar foggy damp conditions one winter day and wrote about it here. And while there were some similarities, the differences couldn't have been more dramatic.
Everything was a dark saturated green. The fog was bright and changing, moving among the trees, ferns, and rocks. The mountain laurel were near the end of their blooming, but still a dramatic white and pink among the dark green leaves and pale mist. The tree trunks were varying shades of black and gray depending on distance. The occasional breeze brought the sound (and wetness) of rainwater falling from leaves overhead. It looked prehistoric. I imagined this is what the land looked like hundreds of thousands of years ago.
There were only a few people on the trail with me that day. Many more should have put on their rain jacket and hiking shoes and gone out there. They would have been well rewarded.
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