Tuesday, February 17, 2009
A Riverbank Ramble
Another perfect winter day, so back to the Hudson I went. Today, to the Sherman Island boat launch and a quarter mile or so through the woods along the shore. The river was a study in blue and white, with ice floes floating lazily along, nudging against each other, piling up in the shallows, turning and flowing back upstream for awhile. I sat and watched, mesmerized, like staring into the flames and coals of a fire. Heading back, I noticed these witch hazel bracts, like little yellow flowers shining in the sun. This bush was in bloom as late as early December.
I found these critter tracks on the ice shelf along the river. I could visualize a big weasel-like animal inch-worming along, making clusters of five-toed pawprints about 18 inches apart. I placed the beech leaf in the photo to provide scale; before the tip broke off it was about four and a half inches long. I'm guessing otter. Anyone else want to offer an opinion?