Monday, October 25, 2010

I'll Take the High Road

Such a balmy day today, I just had to take a long walk. But where? With the start of rifle hunting season this week, I wanted to avoid the deep woods. So I chose an old maintenance road that runs under the power lines that lead from the Spier Falls Dam, a wide, open trail that traverses the hills along the Hudson River at Moreau. I figured that if hunters could see me coming, they'd be much less likely to mistake me for fair game.

Pulling a blaze-orange cap over my deerhide-colored hair, I set out from the parking area directly across from the dam.

While the trail stayed mostly level, the terrain on either side promptly fell away, so I soon found myself on a high open ridge, surrounded by rolling meadow and forest and mountains.

Hidden from view below me, the Hudson River ran parallel to this ridge, while off to the north, the Luzerne Mountains rose beyond the river.

To the south of the ridge, a deep-valleyed forest glowed with the golden leaves of American Beech trees. Although I rejoice in their beauty today, I'm aware that many of these trees will eventually die of a fungus that now infects them. Knowing this, I doubly cherish their presence.

The trail moved up and down over rolling terrain, the hillsides a patchwork of many different textures and colors.

Russet ferns, cottony goldenrods, and yellow-bronze beeches made for a gorgeous layer-cake of colors.

A patch of snowy marble was crossed by the ruby leaves and stem of a Dewberry vine.

Update: Got a note from my friend Ed Miller suggesting that this white rock could be quartzite rather than marble. He's probably right, since this rock does seem a bit glassier than marble usually is.

What a surprise to find pretty Yarrow, blossoms freshly in bloom.

There were still a few Red Raspberries ripe for the picking.

This Wooly Bear caterpillar curled up at my touch. What do its colored bands predict for the coming winter? Any guesses?

Eventually, this high wide trail descended the hills and led down to Spier Falls Road. Crossing the road, I followed a tiny stream under Hop Hornbeam boughs to where it emptied into the Hudson.

Ah, yes! This beautiful river! Is there any sight more lovely than trees reflected in still water?

Heading home along Spier Falls Road, I stopped where the river takes a sharp bend to enjoy the view downstream.

As I said before, is there any sight more lovely than trees reflected in still water?


kirstallcreatures said...

What wonderful autumn colour! Linda

Ellen Rathbone said...

Ooo - another lovely walk! You've certainly found a lot of great treasures around your neck of the woods.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora,
Wow, what an amazing walk! Thanks. If there is one time of year I miss back in my home place of Wisconsin it is now, when the air is crisp and the woods are in full glory and colour of the fall. I can take a deep breath and smell it from far away. A wonderful tonic.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks, folks, for your appreciative comments. Every day I thank my lucky stars that I am surrounded by places of such exquisite natural beauty.

Louise said...

I'm still catching up from my time away. This was a lovely walk. There is nothing like the rich colors of Autumn.