Monday, November 5, 2018

Along a Waterfall and Other Waterways

Rain, rain, and more rain!  If we're lucky, lately, we might get one day each week when it doesn't pour.  Yesterday (Sunday) was one of them, so I headed over to Spier Falls Road where the road runs close to the Hudson River, hoping to see if all this recent rainfall had re-charged the stream that falls down the mountain across from the Spier Falls Dam. Oh yes, it sure had!

In a normal November, this stream would have dried to a trickle by now, but today it was roaring and leaping and splashing and bounding from boulder to boulder in a beautiful frothy display.

I fetched my hiking pole from the trunk and made my way up the mountainside, scrambling over boulders, teetering on rocks, and clinging to trees in the slippery spots, following the course of the waterfall up to where it gushed from a culvert that runs beneath a powerline service road.

The water-splashed rocky banks of the stream are covered with an amazing variety of beautiful mosses, including this dark-green aptly-named Fountain Moss (Philonotus fontana), which can only thrive on rocks that are wet.

This pretty patch of Haircap Moss (Polytrichum sp.) was sharing its streamside site with some lacy fronds of Delicate Fern Moss (Thuidium delicatulum).

There was quite a bit of Sphagnum moss along the waterfall's course, much of it with larger, looser leaves than those on this compact clump, with its smaller, more tightly curled leaves.

Here's that Delicate Fern Moss again, a few sprouts of it poking up from a nearly spherical clump of Broom Moss (Dicranum sp.).

The mosses here definitely intermingle. Here's a pretty mix of starry Haircap (top) sharing its space with an ample growth of a second, more touseled-looking moss called Big Red (Pleurozium schreberi).

After carefully making my way back down the waterfall's course, I continued along the riverside road, pulling over at one spot to admire how lovely the Hudson looked, even as the mountainside foliage fades to rust and amber.

My next stop was Moreau Lake State Park, where the northern shore of the lake seemed to glow in the late-afternoon sun.

That glow intensified as I approached the thickets of Black Huckleberry shrubs (Gaylussacia baccata) that grow along this shore.  Just as the rest of our splendid fall foliage fades, the leaves of these shrubs come into their glory, turning this almost unbelievable shade of scarlet.


Uta said...

Lovely just lovely. I'd like to walk in your woods. You know almost everything that grows out there. Thank you for sharing.

Woody Meristem said...

Very pretty stream well photographed. The burst of fall colors is drawing to a close, enjoy those that remain.