Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Climbing the Waterfall's Course

It was actually quite a pleasant day today, with a bright blue sunlit sky in the morning, and the temperature still above freezing.  Clouds had moved in by the time I got outdoors in the afternoon, but the woods was still lovely and welcoming as I climbed the course of a waterfall in the mountains that rise above the banks of the Hudson across from the Spier Falls Dam.

I kept on climbing, up and up,  following the streambed beyond the powerline road that traverses the mountainside here, up to where many tiny rills spill over boulders, creating fantastic ice palaces in the winter.

With all the above-freezing days we've been having, much of the ice had melted, but enough remained to transform the barren boulders into structures of cascading beauty.

Beauty lay all around, although sometimes I had to peer closely to appreciate it.   This patch of Haircap Moss with its colorful spore stalks certainly deserved a closer look.

As did the undersides of this fungus.  From the top, it was just a boring plain white, but a flip of the stick it was growing on revealed this beautiful honeycombed surface.

I was also enchanted by constellations of little asters, their petals long spent but their clusters of starry bracts revealing the very rightness of their genus's name, derived from the Latin word for star.  (Yes, I know their genus is Symphyotrichum, not Aster, now.  But I still call them asters.)


The Furry Gnome said...

Your posts are always so interesting, with such excellent pictures. You've got me wondering where can I go to get some interesting things - other than another view of the snow! Mind you we also have a lot more snow, and the landscape is pretty well covered in white.

Ellen Rathbone said...

Love the mosses! And I bet the waterfall sounded delightful!

CommonWeeder said...

What fabulous photographs. I too am a fan of Thoreau. My husband does shake his head when I run around shouting Simplify! Simplify!

swamp4me said...

Beautiful! I loved the moss in particular. What a great photo!!