Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Above It All

[still catching up – watch the snow disappear, across the next few blog entries !]
March 6, 2010
Spring Overlook, Moreau Lake State Park

For the first time in a long while, I was able to attend one of the group hikes at Moreau Park. Our destination: Spring Overlook, a rocky shelf on the edge of the mountain that has fine views to the north. The trail is a wide path that climbs gradually. In the summer, it takes me about 45 minutes, including rest stops – er, I mean, photo sessions, heh heh.

With the promise of a clear and warm (38 degrees) day, quite a few people signed up. It was listed as a 3-hr excursion, but Jackie and I agreed to stay up there a while longer and come back down on our own recognizance.

The trail was snow-covered, but no snowshoes were needed. Along the way, made a stop at the Moss Garden, almost completely covered with snow. I found some mosses just beginning to peek out and look around.

Also peeking out are the chipmunks, who have been socializing above-ground now for about a week. They were moving pretty fast.

On rocky ledges, water droplets moving down under sheets of ice looked like so many tadpoles. The mountain awakes.

Up at the overlook, the view was grand. Everyone pretty much just stood there -- admiring the scenery -- for quite some time.

How could you not?

Below us was a sharp bend in the Hudson River, which in this section is almost completely ice-free. (Last year at this time, it was still locked-in.) This is where the eagles hang out in winter.

We didn’t see any eagles today, but the local ravens came to check us out.

The sky is especially blue up here, and the reflected light from the snow below gave everything a crisp look. Even the modest pines looked glamorous.

After a while, the main group headed back down. Jackie and I stayed on the ridge for a while, looking at things like deer-beds, fisher tracks, snow-fleas, and logy but alive spiders.

We took our sweet time. We focused our attention on these small but wonderful things. I am glad to have a walking companion who enjoys doing this.

There was a wind-shift predicted for today, and while we were could not feel any air movement at ground level, things were evidently a-happenin’ far above us !
It was a floating field-guide of cloud shapes. Feather-edges -- hippie fringes -- curly Cape-Cod maps. All lasting but a few minutes each, before morphing into something else, as the clouds drifted swiftly south-west.

You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds …
HDT letter to Mrs. Lucy Brown, 1842

Bonus sighting: before going home that day, I stopped at the Sherman Island Boat Launch, to take in the view downriver in the late afternoon sun. It's a scene I never tire of.
For the first time in months, I am wishing I had my kayak at my feet.

On one of the large rocks at the river’s edge, I spied some movement – stoneflies !

About a quarter-inch long, they were small-scale versions of the giant tiffany-winged monsters we saw last summer along Rocky Brook.

They are another welcome sign that warmer days are coming.

1 comment:

  1. I went looking for stoneflies and didn't find any. Lucky you! It sure is fund to revisit our walks through your blog.