Monday, January 21, 2013

Up to the Ice Castles

All summer and fall, access to the mountainsides overlooking the Hudson along Spier Falls Road has been forbidden, due to work installing new powerlines up there.  But finally, the work seems to have halted for the winter, so I felt free to ignore the No Trespassing signs and barrier gates and head on up, without fear that I would be firmly escorted off-site (as I was once, last fall).


Well, as could be expected, the work site was appalling to behold, with the earth bulldozed bare and heaps of tangled brush and tree trunks shoved over the edge of the newly constructed road that terraces across the sloping rock face of the mountain.  Ah well, let a decade or so go by, and new greenery will start to heal over the scarred site.  Maybe too, we'll have a nice new trail for skiing and hiking that will offer great views of the river below.  My destination today, though, was higher up the forested mountainside, to a site that I call the Ice Castles.  I soon found the stream that would lead me up to where huge boulders had long ago tumbled down from cliffs above.



That same little stream cascades over those boulders in beautiful waterfalls, waterfalls that today were frozen into bridal veils of filigree ice.







The higher up the mountain I climbed, the more monumental the waterfalls became, creating tier upon tier of fantastic shapes, like fairytale castles.   I climbed as high as I dared, until the footing became too icy for me to safely proceed.



I found a bare rock and just sat for a while, enjoying the music of water singing and thrumming and splashing beneath the ice.






Where quiet pools had formed by the side of the stream, the water had frozen into other, equally interesting, shapes.



How happy I am to have access to these wonder-filled mountain slopes again!  I hope by next spring the powerline workers will have moved on and we can reclaim our trails to more beautiful sites like this.

11 comments:

Seema said...

thank u for sharing these fabulous winter pics...

Jens said...

What Seema said --- fabulous! And I'm waiting for a publication of the Jackie Donnelly 2013 Calendar.

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

Georgious ice pictures, wonderful.

catharus said...

Yes, it looks like a lovely spot!

June said...

Magic.

suep said...

ah that looks unfamiliar - where were you? I KNEW that you too would be somewhere in the park yesterday ...probably later in the day, though.
It takes an awful lot to stop a brook - maybe they never stop

RC said...

whoa - glorious! thanks for posting those.
Chilly in NYC today and I hope my furnace is cranking in Corinth!

Ellen Rathbone said...

I love the second-to-last photo!

I could almost hear the rush of the water as it fell over those rocks. Imagine if the sound of all that falling, rushing water was frozen in time as well...

Benj said...

SOOOO cool! i have never been up there in winter.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photos thank you for sharing. Patti

Raining Iguanas said...

I have to get to this spot before spring. You did a wonderful job with these photos.