Saturday, December 3, 2011

A River Road Ramble

We've had such a nice stretch of blue-sky days, but I've been too busy at home to really get outdoors, except for a quick walk along the Hudson where Spier Falls Road hugs the banks at Moreau.  The river lay smooth as glass late Saturday afternoon, with the water reflecting the trees and hills and sky.  I was torn between letting my eyes rest on that serene sight or turning to explore the roadside cliffs that rise steeply into the mountains, the boulders watered with tiny springs.  Here and there a little rill splashed merrily down tiers of rock.

Those roadside boulders are veritable rock gardens, presenting a fascinating array of lichens, mosses, and the wintering-over rosettes of perennials.  Although the sun was bright, the air was cold,  and frost still clung to many of the plants, such as these little Pixy Cups furred with a fine fringe of ice.

I loved how this pretty pink sprig of Strawberry was nestled into a thick cushion of lush moss.

Where springwater seeped through thick mats of moss, glassy garlands of icicles sparkled in the late afternoon sun.

Thin sheets of ice coated the face of some boulders, enhancing the rich red of this ferrous rock.

When I reached the stretch of the road that looks out on this lovely river island, I sat for a while just to take in this scene, overwhelmed with gratitude that I live near forests that are left to grow wild and a river that runs clean and clear.

Taking the slow road home to Saratoga, I stopped by a farm to say hello to this sturdy pair of enormous Belgian horses.  Now that is a HORSE!

A lowering sun bathed the walls and roof of this handsome old barn with a golden light and cast the shadow of a little black goat against the siding.  And oh look, the buds on that Red Maple tree are as rosy and plump as if it were spring, and the grass looks like emerald velvet.  Stunned by the beauty of this scene, I had to pull over to gaze upon it, and also to let my eyes clear of tears.  Sometimes the gorgeousness of this world fills me with more joy than I can contain.


Jens said...

As usual, gracious, informed prose to complement your amazing photos.

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Yes I know exactly what you mean, most times when I go to the woods, I get that excited feeling crossed with a comforting peaceful emotion, and SOMETIMES it spills over into a tear or so glad im not the only one.
People are so busy these days if I try to tell them about these feelings in nature I think they think im being weird or I dont say anymore.

arun said...

The clicks are awesome.... i loved the photos..... :)

I keep visiting ur posts.....

Raining Iguanas said...

I too take that slow road and salivate on those same views you have posted here. The same barn whispered, "look at me" a week ago. There were people outside so I rolled on by, camera in hand. Thanks again for saying what I saw.

Ellen Rathbone said...

Now, that's a horse that's just begging to be given a hearty pat!

asita said...

Happy for you, living in such a place!

Anonymous said...

Ice?!? Yesterday we saw Herb Robert blooming ... crazy weather!

Love the shot of the barn and the horses - just perfect!

Thanks for identifying the pixie cups - I found a few in the early summer - they are quite charming!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Oh Jens, you are always so generous with your praise. And of course, I love it! Good to hear from you.

No, Cranky Crone, you are not the only one who feels this way. But don't you wish there were more folks who did, who were able to find happiness from what lies around us? I think the world would be a more peaceful place if they did.

arun, what a pleasure to make your acquaintance! Thanks for stopping by to leave your kind comment.

Raining Iguanas, I hope someday we will surprise one another crossing paths, since we find joy in many of the same places. Aren't we lucky to live among such splendor?

Hi Ellen, I agree that that horse deserved a good pat, and he acted as if he wanted one, too, except that electric fence made him shy away from getting too close to it. But the pair did follow me as I walked along the fenceline, and responded pleasantly when I talked with them.

asita, you said it! Happy, indeed!

Greetings to you, hikeagiant, and thanks for stopping by. Yes, we can have Herb Robert and ice on the same day, and often do. I have seen it blooming among the stones of a rock wall that had snow on top. Regarding the Pixie Cups, there are a number of Cladonia lichens that go by that name, some of which can only be told apart by chemical tests. But all have that tiny goblet shape to their fruiting bodies. Cute!