Friday, January 29, 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
One gray day after another. Sigh! What happened to our Januaries of deep blue skies and sparkling snow? We did have one bright sunny day this past week, on Wednesday, but I was glued to my TV that day, excited to join the celebration welcoming President Biden. I did get out for a walk at Mud Pond in Moreau Lake State Park yesterday, even though the low clouds and dim light were not really very inviting. At least the pond was frozen enough that I could walk on the ice, where the snow was not deep, keeping close to the shore.
I loved the graceful shape of this cluster of Steeplebush (Spiraea tomentosa), rendered easily identifiable by the tight steeple-shaped floral remains at the ends of the stems.
I've left the wetland habitat now, climbing a sandy trail at the north end of the pond. The flowers that grow here are happiest in dry, low-nutrient soils. Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) is one of those flowers. Since the leaves of this particular plant are long gone, I won't hazard a guess as to which of the goldenrod species this is, except that it's one that bears its flowers in a cluster shaped like a fountain.
Saturday, January 16, 2021
We had a few inches of snow last night. Then it rained. Nothing but slush underfoot. I'm not going outdoors today. To cheer myself, I looked through old blog posts of mine to find evidence that such weather never used to dissuade me from outdoor adventures. That could have been because I weighed quite a bit less, didn't have trauma-induced arthritis in one knee, or lungs growing stiff yet from COPD. Or maybe I'm just feeling low-energy because of stress surrounding the covid pandemic and the horrors of the current political situation. Whatever. Nevertheless, I did find some photos to remind me that beauty can be found outdoors, even on winter days as dismally dark and damp as this one.
This photo of fog rising from the surface of an ice-covered Saratoga Lake was taken a few years ago on just such a mid-winter rainy day as today. I was reminded of Japanese ink drawings and found the view breathtaking.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Recent upheavals -- both personal and political -- have distracted me from my annual New Year's task: recording here in my blog all new plant finds from the year just past. In the broader scheme of things, I realize, "Who cares?" But over the now 12 years I've been keeping this blog, it has grown to be a rather comprehensive searchable record of regional flora, and I've come to depend on it to remind me not only of what plants I've found, but also where and when. So, just for the record, here goes:
Prevancher's Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicum var. prevancheri)
Friday, January 8, 2021
I awoke on Wednesday (January 6) to the grand news that a Black and a Jew -- both members of the very people singled out for murder by the Ku Klux Klan -- would now be the two U.S. Senators representing the state of Georgia. Georgia, the very heart of the Confederacy! Could the Civil War truly be coming to an end at last? And would our newly elected President now have a Senate that could aid him in bringing peace and healing to our nation? What joyful news! But my morning elation was shortly dispelled by the horrors happening at our nation's Capitol Building all that afternoon and evening, as ignorant mobs smashed their way inside and attempted to prohibit the final vote that would make the election official. Churning emotions sure interfered with my equanimity, and continued to do so on Thursday. Only a walk outdoors could help to calm me. What better place to go than to beautiful Spier Falls Road, which follows the Hudson River where the Palmertown Mountains fall directly to the river's banks?
I was pleased to encounter such a reminder of spring at this dark time. I'm going to embrace this find as a promise of happier days that lie ahead.