Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Revisiting the River

I am truly counting my blessings.  I never imagined I'd be getting around as well as I am, only a few weeks after I fell and shattered my kneecap.  With just a cane for support, I've been able to visit on foot some of my favorite trails and greet anew many of the beautiful wildflowers I've come to cherish and delight in revisiting each year.  But one great pleasure I know will not be mine this summer is paddling my beloved Hudson River in my sweet little Hornbeck canoe.  No, I would have to bend my knee to get into and out of this boat, and that will not be possible for many weeks yet.  But happy for me, I have many photos of previous paddles along these banks, so I can revisit the river with simply a click of  my computer mouse.  So that's what I did today, giving myself a virtual tour of my favorite stretch of the Hudson between the Spier Falls and Sherman Island Dams, as recorded during early July over the past six years.

Just see what a glorious bounty of natural beauty you could expect to find if you went for a paddle here this week!

The quiet bays will be studded with emerald-green clumps of Arrow Arum, each one hiding its fascinating flower stalk within.

Look closely to see the elegant stripes on the Arrow Arum's leaves.

The shallows will be ornamented with the snowy flowers of Arrowhead.

Bright yellow spikes of Swamp Candles will light up the forested shadows.

Narrow-leaved Vervain thrives on a sandy shore.

Pink tufts of Meadowsweet lean over the banks.

Rosy spikes of Steeplebush parade around the perimeter of a marsh.

Small Sundrops open their sunny blooms along the banks.

The quiet water reflects the deep green of the forested mountains that rise either side of the river.

Buttonbush explodes with blooms in the marshy backwaters.

The brilliant Cardinal Flower blazes along the banks.

Swamp Milkweed bears blooms of a deep rosy pink.

The bright-blue faces of Monkeyflower  peek out along the shore.

Lovely little coves invite the paddler to linger and enjoy the view of mountains and sky.

You might find a Smaller Purple Fringed Orchid hiding among some Royal Ferns.

Some mossy banks will be carpeted with the waxy white flowers of Partridgeberry.

Masses of Golden Pert carpet the mud and line the cracks in boulders.

You have to look close to find the dainty blue flowers of Marsh Speedwell.

All the local St. Johnsworts love the Hudson banks, including the very colorful (and misnamed!) Pale St. Johnswort, with its bright-yellow blooms and deep-orange buds.

The Dwarf St. Johnswort, however, is very aptly named.  Such a wee little flower!

Also well named is the Great St. Johnswort, with its great big blooms.

Then there's the Marsh St. Johnswort, which, unlike the others, has blooms of satiny pink.

The male Calico Pennant Dragonfly is as showy as any flower, with his patches of brilliant red.

The elegant Great Blue Heron stalks through the quiet shallows.

After all that paddling under a hot sun, nothing feels better than a restful dip in the river's cool waters.


The Furry Gnome said...

What a wonderful selection of flowers!

Woody Meristem said...

The Hudson is a beautiful river -- how fortunate that you can relive your paddling jaunts thru such great photos. At least you can get around on foot to revisit some of your old haunts.

Jens said...

Perhaps during this downtime there might be opportunity to consider how & where your magnificent series of posts might be archived ?

catharus said...

What a wonderful retreat on the river! Blessings to you!!

Anonymous said...

Get well soon, dear friend. Your photos are a treasure to us all! MKJ