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Seeing Autumn's Colors In The Adirondack Mountains By Canoe

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Fall color is peaking in New York's Adirondack Mountains. There's already been a first dusting of snow on the summits. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann set out in his canoe to take in autumn's big show near Lake Placid, and he sent us back this audio postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF PADDLING)

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: I'm paddling up the Chubb River, wildness all around me, tamaracks here by the shore and willows. This could easily be northern Canada. It's really crisp out here. You can really taste fall now in the air. And there is this kind of stained-glass look to the hillsides, like splashes of crimson red. I mean, just truly tropical red.

There's brilliant sun, and the maple and birch are lit up. As the river winds into the mountain valley, it narrows and narrows again, so I'm squeezing through a vein of water to get to the hiking trail, willow branches squeaking against the canoe. I pass a beaver lodge and turn. And suddenly, I'm right on top of a pair of indignant mallards that go whirring into the sky.

(SOUNDBITE OF WINGS FLAPPING)

MANN: All right, guys, don't mean to scare you.

A few more twists of the river, and I find myself paddling through a forest busy with chickadees, flicking branch to branch.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHICKADEE CALLING)

MANN: The river opens up into a wide wetland framed by gray boulders. The mountains beyond are bronze and peach and smoky red. Soon, this valley will be frozen, its bright textures buried under drifts of snow for the next five months. But today, it's like I'm paddling the twists of a Persian carpet.

Brian Mann, NPR News, on the Chubb River in New York's Adirondack Mountains.

(SOUNDBITE OF OWEN PALLETT'S "DON'T STOP") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.