Monday, December 8, 2014

A Winter River Walk

No more paddling on the Hudson this year, now that ice has covered the bays.   But the wooded shores are still wonderful places to walk.  That ice is much too thin as yet to support a human's weight, but it was obvious that other creatures had been walking -- and sliding! -- across it.  I couldn't get close enough to examine these skids and tracks, but since the animal that made them came right up out of the water, I have to assume it was an otter.  Or two.  Gosh, but I sure would have loved to see those amusing creatures frolicking on the ice!

Enough snow lay across the forest floor to preserve the tracks of all the creatures who inhabit these wooded shores: coyotes, foxes, porcupines, squirrels, deer, and mice and more.   I have yet to lay eyes on any Fisher who patrols these woods for food, but their tracks reveal their frequent travels here.

This very large bird came soaring and wheeling way up high in the sky.  Due to the breadth of the wings that do not taper until the tips, I believe it was an eagle, sailing up and down the river's course in search of food.

A Tree Club Moss resembled a miniature Christmas tree.

The carmel-colored leaves and yellow flower bracts of Witch Hazel added a splash of color to the wintry woods.

Close to the shore, where fluctuating water levels create patches of open water,  new ice had formed with patterns as intricate as Waterford cut crystal.

As the shadows darkened in late afternoon, a low sun broke through the clouds and cast a dramatic golden light on the river islands.  Beautiful!


June said...

Wouldn't it have been fun to see that otter!
The fisher tracks make me shiver a little. Vicious things.
And any eagle sighting is exciting!

The Furry Gnome said...

You some very interesting pictures, as always. You have an artist's eye!

Woody Meristem said...

That last photo is super -- calendar shot for sure. Congratulations!