Wednesday, December 4, 2013

As Winter Nears

There's ice on Mud Pond now, from shore to shore.  And although flocks of geese still fly in to float on what's left of open water on Moreau Lake, the back bay and shallow coves of the lake are solidly frozen.   Or were, the last time I looked, a couple of days ago.  Today was rather balmy, as December days go, with temperatures up in the 40s all day.  It was quiet, too.  No wind.  Nice day for a walk along the river, which is where I went, to my favorite place where the Hudson runs back behind an island and into sheltered coves.  The coves were covered with ice, but I could see open water out on the river's main channel.

I love it back here in these quiet coves, especially one bouldered, pine-needle-carpeted island where the rocks are cushioned with moss and the banks are spread with the evergreen leaves of Wintergreen and Trailing Arbutus.  When I come into this peaceful grove, I feel I have entered a holy sanctuary.

The shards of multi-layered ice next to the shore reveal how the river rises and falls with dam operations, breaking the grip of the ice where the water meets the banks.

Although we've had several hard freezes,  the leaves of Pale Corydalis looked as fresh and green as ever.

I even found one fading flower still dangling from the leaves.

This little island is forested with many small trees, including a number of Highbush Blueberry shrubs.  There were several new shoots on one blueberry shrub, the bright green of the twigs providing a beautiful foil for the bright red buds.

This time of year, I cherish whatever color I find in the woods, including the vivid stripes of this Turkeytail Fungus.

Oh, but the days are growing so short!  It was only mid-afternoon, and already the sun was sinking behind Three Pine Island, laying a golden path across the frozen surface of the bay.


catharus said...

Yes, it feels and looks like sanctuary!

The Furry Gnome said...

Lovely pictures, especially that third one with the great colour. Our world has been all white til today. Ten degrees and heavy rain last night took away a lot, but it's supposed to be cold again by tonight.