Sycamore Street #14893

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The Story

This is the Juniata River lined by sycamore trees flowing darkly through a white world of winter snow lit by sunlight. Out through the woods, the limbs and branches have a coating of white from the night’s snowfall to make a wonderful winter landscape. Anytime there is sun after snow, those beautiful snow-covered branches are some of Mother Nature’s finest scenery. Mature sycamores have stark white bark along their upper branches, here blending with the newly fallen snow.

Sycamore trees line the river banks for many miles because they favor water so much. Eventually, the trees growing at the water’s edge are undercut by the life-giving water and begin to lean toward the flow. Here they tip above the dark water of the river bend. Through time, the river water has undercut its banks making the trees begin to lean. It’s a constant struggle for the trees growing at the edge to keep their dirt.

Nature has given these trees small spiny seed pods that float like corks. Dropped into the moving water by the thousands, sycamores easily spread everywhere along streams and river banks and into riparian lowlands.

I shot this winter landscape from a bridge on the Lower Trail near the Mt Etna trail stop. It’s an old Pennsylvania Railroad bridge. Before that, there was an aqueduct here in the early 1800s for the Pennsylvania Mainline Canal. Both of them followed this river route upstream to cross the Allegheny Mountains which lie only 12 miles further west from here. This is the Frankstown Branch of the Juniata River heading toward joining with its companion half at Huntingdon PA, the Raystown Branch.

The companion image to this one is Slipstream #14890. It’s the opposite view of the Juniata River taken the same day in sequence.

Location: Mt Etna near Williamsburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania, on the Lower Trail. Image and text © Andrew Dierks

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