Monday, September 12, 2016

A Glorious Day on the River!

Oh, what relief!  Summer's soggy heat disappeared overnight, and today dawned sparkling and cool.  It was a perfect day for a paddle on my favorite section of the Hudson River, above the Sherman Island Dam. Here the water flows back into quiet bays and coves, where trees lean over the gleaming water and the water holds the surrounding mountains in perfect reflection. Some banks are soft with deep green moss, punctuated with brilliant flowers, while others are craggy with giant boulders that are crowned with shrubs and ferns.

As usual, I took way too many photos!  I'm posting just a sampling here, simply to try to offer some sense of what Paradise looks like on a sparkling late-summer day.

The berries of Silky Dogwood are turning to royal blue.

A few brave remnants of Cardinal Flower still dazzle, sharing the shady banks with Sneezeweed and Spotted Jewelweed.

I believe there is no bluer blue than the blue of Closed Gentians.

A wee little moth rests on a bloom of Turtlehead.

The pretty pink wild roses no longer bloom, but in the flowers' place are their vivid red rose hips.

Marsh St. Johnswort has both flower buds and seed pods that are colored a deep ruby-red.  Are these the buds or the seed pods?  I admit, I really don't know!

The blue-black fruits of Sassafras have already been eaten by birds, but their vivid red pedicels remain on the tree.

Out on the wide open river, the gleaming cerulean water holds the rippling reflections of puffy white clouds.

In a swamp that lies behind an island, the leaves of this young Black Tupelo tree have already begun to turn a glossy scarlet.

Most Blue Vervain plants have long gone to seed, but here are a couple still holding their topmost tufts of tiny blue flowers.

Although their green leaves will fall with the first frost, the bright-red Winterberry fruits will cling to the branches through much of the winter.

This Solomon's Plume still holds its terminal cluster of pretty red berries.

A few patches of Pickerelweed still lift their spikes of deep-purple blooms, while the dark water holds their reflections.

The Buttonbush pods are well on their way to turning their typical shade of red in autumn.

Back in the sheltered coves, the river slows its current and calms its waters to mirror-like stillness.

This shoreline boulder is crowned with Wild Sarsaparilla and Polypody Ferns.

It was so quiet and peaceful back here, I regretted stirring the water's calm with my paddle.  So I sat in my boat for quite a long time, just breathing this cool green beauty.

A single Partridgeberry fruit has taken up residence in a neighboring patch of lime-green sphagnum moss.

I was quite surprised to find Hedge Nettle blooming so late in the season.  I love the moire pattern of its pretty purple florets.

A lone stalk of Sneezeweed still held its summer-bright blooms.

A Spicebush shrub holds shiny red fruits. If left to dry, these berries can be ground and used as a substitute for Allspice.  But I prefer to leave them on their branches.


Anne Ford Taylor said...


The Furry Gnome said...

You're right, it looks like a late summer paradise!

Woody Meristem said...

Beautiful photos as usual. Surprising that some of those plants are still flowering.