Friday, January 17, 2014
No Eagles, No Fish, But Who Cares?
I'd heard so many recent reports of Bald Eagle sightings at Moreau Lake State Park, I thought I'd head over there today (Friday) to see if I might catch a glimpse of these majestic birds. The most likely place to see them was along the Hudson River, especially since long stretches of open water now give the eagles access to good fishing.
Well, I didn't see any eagles along the river today, but oh, it sure was worth the trip to see the river so splendid, flowing serenely under a bright blue sky.
Next stop was Moreau Lake itself, still solidly frozen over with more than a foot of ice, despite several days of rain and above-freezing temperatures. A dusting of new snow covered the ice, and a few ice fishermen were dotting the vast expanse of the lake's white surface. I stopped to chat with a few of them, including my friend Dave, shown here enjoying the sun on his back and dipping his line in the water.
"Any luck today, Dave?" I asked, and Dave answered, "Sure, lots of luck! A beautiful day to sit out here on this beautiful lake, and I never once had to get my hands cold and slimy by unhooking a fish."
I heard about the same story from Jim and Ed, two native New Jersey guys who just couldn't believe how lucky they were to be sitting out here on this beautiful lake surrounded by gorgeous scenic mountains and the kind of serene silence very hard to come by back in their own home state. Did they catch any fish today? No, but that didn't seem to bother them one bit. I thought about folks who willingly spend big bucks to find silence and solitude at some yoga spa, but all these fellows had found those treasures here, free of charge.
While chatting with Jim and Ed, I noticed an atmospheric phenomenon I had never witnessed before: clouds of vapor were rising from the sun-warmed surface of the lake and surrounding us with fog.
Within minutes, as the sun dipped behind the mountains and a chill fell over the lake, the whole surface was covered with a dense layer of fog, as if a cloud had come down to rest on the snowy ice.
Another way this wondrous lake has of being amazing and beautiful.