Saturday, January 21, 2017

Winter? WHAT Winter?

Where the heck did our winter go?  I sure got my hopes up a few weeks back, when we had some nice snow, and a cold snap froze the lakes good and hard and rendered some fabulous crystal creations along the creeks.  But jeez, we've now had a whole string of days above freezing, with more just as warm forecast for the week ahead.  When I headed over to Moreau today to walk along the Hudson, the river was wide open below the Spier Falls Dam, and so calm and lovely I could imagine slipping through that dark still water in my canoe.

When I walked in the woods along the river, the forest floor was virtually free of snow.  No animal tracking today!

At least the back coves of the river were still frozen solid.

Carefully avoiding the thin ice where creeks emptied into the river, I ventured out onto the ice and back into the swamp.  The warm sun caused a misty fog to rise from the ice and cast long shadows across the frozen surface.

Among the sun-warmed boulders that make up the islands and promontories here in this part of the river, I found pretty patches of colorful plants.  Here, the leathery green leaves of Trailing Arbutus are punctuated with the smaller, redder leaves (and one red berry!) of Wintergreen and the starry puffs of Haircap Moss.

Heading home, I stopped where the river takes a sharp bend above the dam.  The scene was so lovely,  with mountains rising against the horizon and pretty pink clouds in the sky and rafts of mist floating above the water, and -- oh my gosh!  Is that a kayaker I see out there?

My zoom lens lets me take a closer look:

Yes indeed.  It WAS a kayaker!  His name was Jarod, he told me after he'd pushed his boat across the thin ice to where he could safely climb ashore.  And he didn't even have gloves on!


Jens Zorn said...

The lone kayaker image is breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

I have seen flocks of geese heading north in Colonie

The Furry Gnome said...

Beautiful pictures with the rising mist (and the winter kayaker)! We still have plenty of snow on the ground, but the same weather, which just brings fog, making driving dangerous.

threecollie said...

Your photos are always stunning, but you have outdone yourself with these! I am not a winter person, but this is ridiculous. Instead of slipping on ice we are slogging..and mud. Muddy dogs, muddy boots, mud everywhere. But I did see a Red-tailed Hawk carrying a stick yesterday. Hooray for nesting season!

Woody Meristem said...

Unfortunately, this is probably a portent of winters to come. What climate change say some people who won't accept climate science but do take advantage of advances in medical science. "There are none so blind as those who will not see."