2007-09-23 17:30:43.000 – Karen Thorp, Summit Intern
Over the past week the valley has brightened. The sedges and white birches have lightened to gold while the maples in the valley turned crimson. It is astounding how over a week the colors changed so rapidly and vividly. This was brought to my attention yesterday on a hike through the alpine garden. The winds whipped across the sedges while ominous, dense clouds rolled in from the west. The winds have been gusting up to 80 mph with sustained winds around 60 mph, forcing the wind chill down into the upper teens. Walking around the observation deck has proven difficult today; even a slight lean forward can send you running down the deck towards the far railing. Yet the sedges, birches, spruce, and balsam firs mercilessly endure the mountain environment daily. It seems remarkable to me that humans can not withstand the winds and temperatures for more than a few minutes, while the plant life survives day after day and year after year.
Karen Thorp, Summit Intern