New England Hills

If one can visualize a landscape in Massachusetts & New Hampshire before endless cities/ towns linked by roads were built, all Thoreau might see are tree-covered rolling hills that change color during time. Winter brown leafless hardwoods eventually bud into spring green. The summer scene brings poison ivy, mosquitoes, black flies and assorted blooms. Fall of course fills the tableau into a mix of brilliant hues of red maples, yellow birch and orange oaks, usually not accompanied with August humidity. The Ice Age glaciers spread and retreated well before Thoreau, Hawthorne and Frost-leaving erratic boulders of gray granite and “monadnocks” or rounded mountains in their wake. In what’s today known as the Berkshires sits Mt. Greylock at 3,491’small by Rockies comparison, but rising above Western Massachusetts from just above sea level. Closer to Worcester/ Boston suburbs are Mt. Tom (Connecticut Valley), Mt. Wachusett 2,006′(Ware-Nashua watersheds), Watatic at 1,832′(almost to NH),  Mt. Monadnock, its summit of rocks tops off at 3,165 near Jaffrey NH and Pack Monadnock 2,290′ the northern cousin near Peterborough in Miller State Park. This group of low scale mountains are aptly called the Monadnock Range.  Into northern New England rise the Green Mountains in Vermont-Mt. Mansfield 4,393′; New Hampshire’s Whites/ Presidential Range-Mt. Washington NE highest 6,288′ and Maine’s distant lonely peak Mt. Katahdin 5,268’in popular Baxter State Park.  Enclosed here is my watercolor looking north: Wachusett on left, Watatic in middle,  Monadnock a small triangle about 60-70 miles distant (right side of painting)-

and an autumn photo of Mt. Monadnock taken in late 1990s by my late mother Edith Griscom before digital cameras.


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