Sharing canopy space with the local fauna
I recently rediscovered an excellent white pine, I'd looked at it when I first started climbing but didn't have an eye for quality at the time
And I didn't know how to get up into a tree like that with such a high first setting.
On three recent visits to the tree, 2 days it had a great-horned owl roosting (and a second in an oak nearby) and on the third visit it had 3 (!) raccoons sleeping up high, total raccoon flophouse! Needless to say with raccoons taking up residence the owls weren't going to be in the tree that day. On a couple of other visits neither were in the tree. Also no owl pellets under the tree so I concluded this is probably one of many potential day roosts for a local pair of owls.
I came back again with my wife Meg, did a careful inspection with binoculars and determined no one home, owls or raccoons. We got a line set and worked our way up into a really unusually shaped high crown, massive limbs going horizontal with plenty of interesting twists and turns. We only had time to get to the crown, the route up higher looked pretty twisted (in a good way) so I'm looking forward to returning.
Meg on lead, reaches the live crown after going through the dead limb zone
Coming out through the top of a beech
Heavy horizontal limbs up high with interesting branching structure
We climbed DRT from the ground to these limbs at about 65-70'All the photos