Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Along the River

The Lord is risen! Alleluia, alleluia! The Lord is risen, indeed! And so are the Dandelions. These are the flowers that greeted me as I stepped out my door this morning on my way to church. And I was delighted to see them, for they speak to me of resurrection more than any Easter Lily could, bursting with golden rays as they are and rising out of winter's dead soil as if by an act of God. And then, as they die, they are transformed into etherial beings that float on the air and rise to the heavens. Above all, they are freely given to us, just like God's love, without us having to lift a finger to earn them. So thank you, dear Dandelions, for your cheerful Easter message. Winter is over and gone. Suffering and death will not have the last word. Life wins out over all.

The day was soft and warm, with no rain, and my son Philip had the day off from work, so we got to go on a walk together along the Hudson River at Moreau. How lovely the river was today, with the water as still as glass, reflecting a sky the color of pearls.

Phil's in his 40s and I'm nearly 70, but when we're together exploring the woods, we both revert to feeling like kids again, clambering over rocks and logs and poking about in puddles.

Phil, of course, has much better eyesight than I, so he was the one who found these little striped snails, pretty as Easter eggs.

But I was the one who found this big egg-shaped rock, colored the prettiest shade of blue by some kind of lichen.

No jelly beans were hidden in the woods for us to find, but we did find some Orange Jelly Fungus.

The spore cups of this moss look like tiny Easter baskets filled with even tinier eggs.

Oops! I was mistaken to call these "spore cups," since in fact they contain sperm and not spores. The proper term would be "splash cups," since this moss uses rain splashing in the cups to disperse the sperm to neighboring female structures, which then produce spore stalks.

The Striped Maple trees were in full bud today, their big green leaves still folded tight within these pink velvet cases, the ruby-and-emerald twigs as beautifully elegant as any royal scepter.

Oh, what an Easter surprise I received when I stopped to admire the beautiful blue and black lichens adorning this rock, accented by one little dot of vivid green moss. Although I knew that, because of dim light, my photo would be grainy, I just had to take a picture. Then, at the very moment I focussed my camera, look who popped into the picture to add a note of vibrant orange -- one little Red Eft. He even arrayed himself against the black lichens, the better to show off his color.

Wasn't that a lovely gift? A moment of serendipitous joy to top off a day that was already packed with pleasures. Dear friends, may you all find such joy in your lives, so freely given. I wish you all a Happy Easter.


threecollie said...

I like your Easter basket! Love newts. We saw some at the vlaie yesterday, but no efts.

Anonymous said...

A great post! I love all the non-commercial Easter parallels! Those vibrant 'jelly beans'! The 'best' Easter flowers! Happy Easter!

Wayne said...

Nothing better than enjoying Nature with loved ones. your son did well finding the snails, but leave it to you to notice the beauty in twigs and buds. Thanks for sharing.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks, friends, for your kind comments. It pleases me enormously to know that others also take delight in twigs and buds and newts and other cool stuff in the woods.

suep said...

what a wonderful Easter walk -
gummy-newts ! rock eggs ! immortal dandelions !