Jim Salge Photography Blog

Images of New England captured in dramatic light and atmosphere

Dreams in Carter Notch

One of the first people I met when I began working in the White Mountains in 2003 was Mike Jones, who was then the Hutmaster at Lake of the Clouds Hut, which at the time was my closest neighbor. Mike has a passion for nature that rivals, if not exceeds mine, and I certainly looked up to him for his presence in the mountains. He has since focused his time on getting his doctorate in Biology, becoming the foremost authority on New England’s Wood Turtle population, and starting a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of Eastern Alpine terrain.

We’ve kept in touch since, mainly through mutual admiration of adventures and experiences, and I was excited to learn that he was care-taking at Carter Notch this winter. Last time he wintered over there, he studied the movements and motivations of one of the most rare and elusive mammals in the White Mountains, and I was hoping he would track a few down again. His encounters with Pine Marten this winter have proved nothing short of remarkable.

I hiked up this past weekend to reconnect with Mike and his wife Liz, who I worked with in 2004. I didn’t see any marten, but did track them around through the woods and ramparts above the hut. It was my dream to see one, and better to capture one on film, but didn’t matter, as it was great to spend an overnight with good people, and great conversation in a special place.

Madison Through Carter Notch

Madison Through Carter Notch

In the morning, I snuck out early, fruitlessly hoping to encounter a marten, and instead found Mount Madison glowing through the notch. Even without this shot, it would have been a great trip. And I’ll be back to chase the marten as long as Mike keeps posting pictures and experiences like this!

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