Since my last visit to the pines, fall has come and gone. The vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges have faded to brown. The ground is scattered with leaves and pinecones. The animals that are still remaining are all preparing for the cold winter ahead. After the rain and wind storms of this past week, the ground is covered with branches and pine needles. From my dorm room, I could hear the wind howling through the mighty pines. The sight of these towering beings swaying and rocking in the wind is enough to make anyone timid about walking through them.

Introduction (9/30)

While approaching the Redstone Pines, one feels as if the Eastern White Pines are watching over them. The pines loom above campus, dominating the sky. Not far below, the Black Cherries and Norway Maples stretch out their branches. Bird calls can be heard from the tops of the trees, and squirrels and chipmunks scurry around the forest floor and scramble their way up the pines. The area smells like sap and decaying leaves, and the cool early-Fall air feels refreshing after last week’s heat wave.  The ground is covered with scattered pinecones, saplings, and the footprints of people. There are patches of ground concealed by herbaceous plants and other areas that are completely clear of small herbaceous and woody plants.

The Redstone Pines are easily accessed by anyone on campus. They are located behind the Interfaith Center on Redstone Campus. Living in Coolidge Hall, it is easy for me to access the pines many times a week. I chose this location because even though the pines are visited regularly by many students (especially hammockers), the Redstone Pines remain a very natural location because of the respect given by its visitors.