Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Beautiful Season

Go for a drive or a hike or a paddle right now, or just take a walk in a park, and it's easy to see why thousands of folks from all over the world tour northeastern North America during autumn. Everywhere we go these next couple of weeks, the trees have taken on chrysanthemum colors, and those colors are doubly gorgeous when amplified by water reflections.  I went up to Lens Lake today, where the colors are quite a bit further advanced than around Saratoga Springs, and I found the beauty there just breathtaking.

Even the drive to Lens Lake was a scenic wonderland.  Here's the historic Bow Bridge over the Sacandaga River at Hadley, which I crossed on my way to Stony Creek.

When I reached Stony Creek I turned west to climb a mountain road that would take me to Lens Lake.  The beauty along the road was whetting my desire to see the beauty of the lake.

When I reached the lake shore, I just stood and gazed at the mountains, the forest, the sky, and the quiet water reflecting it all.  What a perfect day for a paddle!

I soon set out across water as smooth as silk, with a bright sun warming my back.  Even the sky was putting on quite a show, with wisps of white cloud streaming across the radiant blue of the sky.

Brilliant Red Maples blazed from the forest, and out on the bog mats, white tufts of Cottongrass danced and bobbed as if to some music that only they could hear.

Lens Lake is remarkable for the acres and acres of bog mats that cover its surface, with narrow channels among the mats that allow a small canoe to explore among them.

The mats are covered with sphagnum mosses in colors of red and gold and green.  Wild cranberries flourish here, nestling their ruby-red fruits among the moss, and stately stalks of spent Pitcher Plant flowers tower above their clusters of tubular leaves.

I've seen Pitcher Plant leaves in many different colors: yellow and orange and green as well as red.  But here on Lens Lake, I never find them in any other color but red.  And wow, what a deep ruby red they are!

Golden sphagnum covered this old stump, where also sprouted some stalks of Marsh St. Johnswort, stems and leaves turned red.

After passing this moss-covered stump, I turned to see it backlit by the sun, and it glowed like panes of stained glass.

When I reached a quiet bay near the far end of the lake, I rested my paddle and just drifted along, transported by the beauty of these trees reflected in the mirror-still water.

Before returning to my launch site, I slipped into some quiet backwaters that were sheltered behind tall pines.

Here I found beauty of more muted colors, dappled by shade and silvery light.

I loved the curve of this moss-covered log, strewn with confetti-colored leaves.

Here were the holy trinity of Adirondack trees:  the glowing Red Maple, the snowy-white Paper Birch, and the graceful green-needled White Pine.  A small American Beech sneaked into the photo,


Uta said...

You made my day again. How beautiful your area of the world is. I will take my walk today and look for some beauty.

Momo said...

Jackie, Your spectacular photos enhanced by the richness of your descriptions take me back to the special gem that is Lens Lake. Thank you for sharing your gifts! A most wonderful way to begin my day!

threecollie said...

Stunning, spectacular, WOW!

The Furry Gnome said...

What a stunning day on the lake! Looks like an amazing place!

suep said...

bog music ! from the throats of pitcher-plants ... love that cottongrass photo.
want to go back again on sunday ???? sue

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Dear readers, I do so love to bring you along on my adventures, to share with you the beautiful natural places that surround me. Thanks for your appreciative comments. They spur me to keep getting out there and bringing back news from the woodlands and waterways.

Sue, I have other plans for Sunday I'll tell you about in person.

Pam said...

Love the cottongrass!