Sunday, February 9, 2020

Wintry Mix Brings Wintry Woes As Well As Wonders

First came the rain, all Friday morning. Then came the sleet. Then finally, the snow.  And then the power went out.  Ice-laden limbs and whole trees came down all over the area, and our house grew darker and colder as the hours went by.  As night fell, we escaped for dinner and a movie on the west side of town, which remained unaffected by the power outage, and when we returned home by 10pm, we rejoiced that our lights were back on. When we awoke on Saturday morning, we found the world transformed by amazing beauty.

By the time I had scraped the thick ice and crusted snow from my car, I didn't have much energy left for a long woodsy walk, but I did manage to muster enough to carry me along some snowy trails in our nearby Saratoga Spa State Park.  The Avenue of Pines (my typical route into the park) was closed off due to fallen limbs,  but I made my way by another route and entered the woods near the Ferndell Ravine.  The snow was not deep, but my pace was slowed by the tangle of toppled trees.

The trail through the Ferndell Ravine was transformed to even greater beauty than usual by the snow-covered branches of stream-side shrubs.

The weight of the snow and ice on the limbs brought many of their twigs to eye level, where I could better appreciate the lacy filigreed snow and crystal droplets.

These American Hornbeam seed clusters held icy globules among their bracts.

When I reached the picnic area along Geyser Creek, I was delighted to find this new installation of a fountain, with mineral water spurting up from a handsome basin of carved stone.  It was easy to taste the water from this bubbling column, and I found it was mild in flavor but really salty.

I continued along Geyser Creek, which was full and roiling from the recent rains, the creekside forest a froth of snow-covered boughs.

The creek takes its name from this mineral-water spouter, which technically is not a geyser at all, since its spouting is caused by a buildup of gasses.  Geysers spout because of a buildup of heat.  This water is icy cold.

A fringe of icicles decorates the edge of an impressive dome of mineral deposits, called a tufa, that surrounds the spouting mineral-water spring.

As the sun dipped lower in the western sky, the snowy forest along the creek was transformed by a golden glow.


The Furry Gnome said...

Such wintry beauty!

greentangle said...

Lovely snowy creek and forest. And sort of your own little Yellowstone!

Woody Meristem said...

Beautiful! It was a similar day with similar beauty down here.

Bill and dogs said...

You have a wonderful ability to present nature's beauty with both photography and words. Thank you for sharing the gift of wonderment.

threecollie said...

How incredibly beautiful! Getting out makes winter...not my favorite season...much more bearable. Your post made a not so hot day better somehow, thanks