Monday, September 29, 2014

Scenes from a Sunday Paddle

We couldn't have asked for a finer day, my friend Sue and I, to go for a paddle on the Hudson River above the Sherman Island Dam at Moreau.  It was summery warm on Sunday, and the water lay still enough to clearly reflect the mostly-blue sky and the glorious autumn foliage.

We came down through the woods at the end of Potter Road and entered the river where the water runs behind a large island and around several rocky promontories.

My own name for this particular bouldered promontory is Picnic Point, because of many flat-topped rocks that serve as benches or tables for enjoying a picnic meal.

We paddled upstream a ways to enter another bay that is centered by Three Pine Island and surrounded by many Black Tupelo trees, which were turning their signature scarlet.

The Tupelo's scarlet leaves looked especially vivid when viewed against a sapphire sky.

This young Sugar Maple added a flash of gold to the dark green forest, while Lowbush Blueberry shrubs provided a deep-red carpet beneath.

The Virginia Creeper climbing this tree glowed an almost-incandescent ruby-red.

No other leaves in the autumn woods turn a vivid pinky-purple color like that of Maple-leaved Viburnum.

Several branches of a Witch Hazel shrub hung low over the water, allowing me to put my face right up  to the ribbony petals and breathe in their delicate fragrance.  I describe that fragrance as rather like that of clean laundry that has dried outdoors in fresh air, touched with a trace of citrus.

As we paddled into one of the coves we find in this section of river, we were almost deafened by the loud chirping chatter of hundreds of Grackles flocking among the branches of these trees.

With binoculars, Sue searched the trees for some sight of the birds, but only glimpsed one or two individuals as they flew from branch to branch.  The whole tree canopy was in constant motion as if the wind were moving through it, although the air was still, and the sound of the birds' squeaking and clacking was so loud we could not hear one another speak. We wondered what this particular stand of trees offered these birds as they flocked together, preparing for migration.


catharus said...

Lovely! 'Love your paddles!

The Furry Gnome said...

Sounds like you're having a good fall! Spectacular pictures of the reflections.

threecollie said...

Huh, I have only seen a tiny handful of grackles lately. Must be they are all there. Lovely photos as always!