Ethan Pond, Mt Willey

“if you don’t believe in reincarnation, take a walk in the fucking woods.”

when breath vanishes from my lungs

kneels before my heart and the green

fountain rises before me and reincarnates

and reincarnates

the long isles lead to only one place


and it moves across my eyes as floaters

the darting personage the gauzy silhouette

of what is yet

just seeing the mountains draped

across the horizon, things once alive in me

offer their wrists, pollinate

new landscapes and eyes sit up,

eyes that have been snoring

and never in transit

never looking for anything or anyone

gawk at everything and every fallen tree

becomes home or humus

huge downed sails draped the

mountainside, splintered masts choked

by new growth, littered

the steep of Willey with a drowsy entropy

the static in the sky had never been so

obvious to me before, metamorphosing

between the shade and glare

of early may

as if branches of the sky showed their dominion

over branches of birch and their limbs stabbed

into earth only to regenerate into the next

growth, the next generation to penetrate

tomorrows low flying clouds and

make dew of them


  1. Gorgeous photos — and I have to ask: Who spoke the lead quote?

    Fucking brilliant…


  2. That was just amazing. Your words and pictures, gorgeous.


  3. Great Photos – thanks for sharing! Congrats on being FP!

  4. Carlie Chew says:

    Beautiful words and pictures.

  5. Is that your quote?
    Loved the photo essay. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  6. Beautiful poem and looks like a challenging hike. This has me totally hyped up for my upcoming hiking trip! 🙂

  7. SUPERB!!!

  8. cathynd95 says:

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!! Love your photos and prose

  9. Looks like an amazing hike. I love the wooden stairs.

  10. Reblogged this on Makais Blog and commented:
    lovely photos

  11. Oh gosh! Now that it’s summer I need to find a hiking road JUST like that! It’s so gorgeous!
    Where about is it located?


  12. thanks for all the feedback!!! the lead quote is from my friend Jonny Angelbeck, he’s the subject of the final photo, a long exposure one on that recent night when the moon was supposed to be at its brightest in years. ethan pond and mt willey are in the white mountains of NH, a very inspirational collection of peaks and wilderness in the northeast.

  13. Unas imagenes preciosas…

  14. Beautiful photos! There is nothing like a great hike to get the adrenaline running and clear the head:)

  15. nice

  16. epic!

  17. yeah, really beautiful images

  18. Great shots… 😉

  19. creekwaterwoman says:

    Truly enjoyed these photos. And………..”Crooked Blue Line” dang it!! I wish I had thought of that and coined it first, LOL. Is perfect for those of us who work in the streams, watersheds and wetlands.

  20. creekwaterwoman says:

    Reblogged this on Dyvette’s Blog and commented:
    Wonderful photos! Enjoy

  21. amazing self-expression, great photography! thank you

  22. *slow clap* Bravo, Rick, I love your work. Keep writing and exploring!

  23. Great post. Great words. Great photos. Waiting for the rain to stop so I can get out there. Was supposed to do North and Middle Moat this weekend; soon.

  24. Captivating words and amazing pictures. Walking on that woods alone seemed so eerie… but a great challenge for me.:)

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  25. fantastic photos. The photo of the lake with the fog in the distance looks really good (kinda scary too )
    Thank you for the poem as well.

  26. Looks like it takes a lot to get to the end of the trail here…..but oh the beauty it offers. Love your poetry!
    Nature certainly brings alive a part of us that sometimes we never knew existed. Congrats! on Freshly Pressed.
    You Matter! Smiles, Nancy

  27. nazarioartpainting says:

    Look a great adventure.

  28. Lovely. I am cooped up, but I’ll be out in the woods again soon. Thanks for tiding me over.

  29. Nature…So beautiful…
    But only to those who’ve seen its ugliness as well.
    First we say its beautiful.
    then we see the viruses and parasites and survival of the fittest and we say its dangerous.
    then the wise reflect and see what “nature’s beauty” truly means

  30. fantastic post. the pictures tell such a strong tale by themselves 🙂

  31. I’m just going to say – breathtaking photos!!!!!! Incredible!
    Congratulations for being on Freshly Pressed!

  32. beautiful post…..

  33. Awesome green environment and nice pictures….

  34. Truly enjoyed these photos. And………..”Crooked Blue Line” dang it!! I wish I had thought of that and coined it first, LOL. Is perfect for those of us who work in the streams, watersheds and wetlands.

  35. oh yeah ….

  36. simon bates says:

    I didn’t know Hugh Laurie was into hiking. (last photo)

  37. Great Photos !!!

  38. mowanling says:

    like the lace so quite and beautiful!Great !!

  39. Beautiful scenery.

  40. wow

  41. Beautiful!

  42. Beautiful editorial of your adventures, great shots 🙂

  43. Wow, you took some great shots! That looks like a great hike & I love that first quote! xD

  44. Great shots. I especially ♥ the first one. That is one excellent quote 😀

  45. I looked at this as my surname is Willey, and wow; that’s so beautiful, both the photographs and the prose.

  46. Thank goodness for those stairs, eh?

  47. I like the pictures too. Pretty cool!

  48. What a beautiful post… one of my best 70 year-old friends is hiking the AT over the course of a few years, and he’s making it into New Hampshire this summer. I envy him seeing this! The photography of the lake is stunning, but I have a long-standing love affair with signs and I loved Tent Platforms.
    (your poem was beautiful, too!)

  49. robertdickinsonphotography says:

    amazing photos

  50. That looks like a great trail to hike!

  51. beautiful post and beautiful digital pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  52. The misty water scene is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your adventure. Connie

  53. Wow, that fog or smoke in the picture of the water, awesome. love that.

  54. John Saddington says:

    Reblogged this on 8BIT.

  55. beautiful.

  56. Reblogged this on Gabriel Roybal and commented:
    beautiful words. beautiful photos- thank you!

  57. stunning photos.

  58. scintillatebrightly says:

    Great photos. I’ve never done the Appalacian Trial but hopefully some day.
    Love the quote.

  59. cool place to hike.

  60. Nature…So beautiful…
    But only to those who’ve seen its ugliness as well

  61. just looking up those stairs made me tired LOL! love the pics though, great job!!

  62. Your work and poetry is wonderful and your ability and agility are to be commended but in the end such a wonderful view. Thank you for sharing.

  63. What an amazing final destination to camp at. Great photo of the stairs going up. I remember hiking something very similar in Tennessee a few years back.

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