a visual odyssey through the Shawangunk Mountains in search of the unexpected

144 pages
hardcover 9.25″ x 9.25″
Black Dome Press
135 full color photographs
original map illustration, foreword by Dr. Paul C. Huth, introduction, and index

Nora Scarlett hiked for over ten years throughout the “Gunks” (the Shawangunk Mountains of New York State) on a quest for the unusual trunk, stump, root, and log. “I looked for intriguing formations, humorous characteristics, improbable locations, surprising shapes and other wondrous growths. I became awed at scene after scene displaying how life adapts to adversity and how it succeeds in astonishing ways. Tiny seedlings emerge from small cracks in rock, sprouting a handful of needles or tender leaves, knowing only to keep trying to grow. Enormous hemlocks hang off ledges, improbably rooted to something, looking as if they shouldn’t be upright, and yet … there they are.”

Drawing from her years of studio photography experience, she considered every detail of light and composition while crafting these striking images. They reflect an endeavor to see beyond the ordinary into a forest of surprise and delight.

“Every now and then someone comes along who looks at things in a different way, with a different eye so to speak. Nora Scarlett is one of those people. … [She] has captured … a determination to live that is not only inspiring and thought-provoking, but evokes in me a renewed respect for the complexity of life itself.”

—Dr. Paul C. Huth, Director of Research Emeritus and Associate Curator, Daniel Smiley Research Center, Mohonk Preserve