1630/13th November 2023

There are moves and there are moves.

Any move is discombobulating, but moving a scant few miles is a whole different matter than hauling your life from one coast of the USA to the other.

The first time I did this, taking an equivalent job in Seattle, all of my focus was on the tremendous adjustment in my work.

The title was the same, but the work entirely different.


My living situation, though, was much the same. I had moved from suburban Long Island to suburban Seattle.

The climate was milder in Seattle and my apartment was nicer. My little Himalayan cat Yeti was undisturbed. At least until Panther arrived, but that is a whole other story!

18 years later, a light bulb exploded in my head.

“I’m going back to New York!”


“No you’re not!” people said when I went to Lagos for a weekend, “No you’re not!” when I announced I was off to Seattle and so they said when I decided to return to New York.

Upstate, in the country!

When I say I’m going to do something, I do it. Often in the face of opposition.

Relocating to upstate New York was an upheaval, a move away from everything I was familiar with.


In such situations, even someone who is adaptable is bound to resettle in stages. Things get prioritised of necessity. Boring things like banks and doctors and real estate agents.

Not to mention the 13 cats I then had in tow. The first contact I made was with a new veterinary clinic. Of course.

So while I certainly noticed my environment and enjoyed it tremendously, it was some time before I began to take in all the details.


All of which is a very long way around of explaining why it took me so long to properly appreciate these fine trees.

Each fall I certainly was aware of those orange trees down by the pond. I even photographed them a time or two but I considered their display to be a part of the seasonal change.

Last year, I remember paying more attention but the whole of last fall was overwhelmingly and collectively fine.


Fall always has many stages but this year it seems that the different trees have each had their own particular stage.

I mean, how could you not notice this in-your-face splash of colour?

Among the already-naked trees and those which are this year of a copper hue, they stand out like a beacon.


Once they had registered, we couldn’t stop seeing them.


Thus focused, I became intrigued.

These trees are pines, after all. Aren’t pines evergreen?

A preliminary search using not quite the right words, I suppose, led me to learning that pines on Long Island turned yellow as a result of damage, 11 years ago from hurricane Sandy drenching them in salt water.

Ain’t no salt water in these parts!


But could these trees be dying?



Sadly, hundreds of trees are dying everywhere.


But I didn’t want to believe that these pines were.

They have certainly been hacked about to accommodate power lines.



If they were yellow because they were dying, it would explain why I hadn’t noticed them before.


But they didn’t look sick to me.


What they looked was stunning.


Back home, I went online again.


Armed with more images.


Of straight tall trees,


What I learned I ought to have known years ago.

My aunt’s neighbours in Maine were a musical duo who called themselves the Tamaracks.

Back then we didn’t have the internet and I never inquired about the name.

It turns out that these marvelous trees are tamaracks, otherwise known as Eastern larch and turning bright orange is what they do.


On the 10th of November this year, the tamaracks were in especially fine form and I was so glad to identify them.

Next day, Grant was talking to our neighbour Ed who happened to ask if we’d noticed the bright orange trees.

He’s from around here, so of course he knew all along what they were. But even he had been particularly impressed this year.

It’s all a matter of right conditions at the right time, like most things in life.


Another neighbour has a different sort of evergreen and they make a good contrast to the tamaracks behind.

As I turn my head, I catch sight of those trees, more visible now most leaves are down.


A ray of sunshine.

To chase away gloomy thoughts.

6 thoughts on “Tamarack

  1. Goodness, Carolyn, what a wonderful post!! I learned something hugely interesting, thank you!
    Thank you also for stunning photography, your philosophical thoughts and you being you!


  2. Mighty glad there was another reason for that beautiful orange. With the northern lights making its presence known in so many places in the world (some for the first time) and now your flamed up tamaracks, our earth is speaking to us in a language few understand.

    But if there’s anyone who could, it would be you, Carolyn.

  3. When I moved from London to Norfolk in 2012, I felt as if I had enteered a different country, and travelled back in time to the 1960s. It took me a very long time to adjust, until one day I woke up thinking, “This is it. I live here now.” And that was only 135 miles from where I lived before.
    I cannot imagine crossing almost 3,000 miles to relocate, and would never have contemplated moving even 500 miles away from London.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Moving is not easy … and it seems to me if you do it, then you do it thoroughly! I can look at these beautiful trees all day! Tamaracks? Never heard of them, but so glad to hear they aren’t dying – they look so pretty in their autumn jackets.

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