Wednesday, September 5, 2012


August 12, 15 and 19, 2012
Marsh, lake and river nearby

‘When the sun rises, do you not see
a round disc of fire, somewhat like a guinea?’

‘O no, no, I see an innumerable company
of the heavenly host crying,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty”

                  ~ William Blake , 1810

In the days that followed, I went out in the new boat, determined to know her a little better.  She handles quite differently than the ol’ Swifty.

What more enjoyable way to do that, than to go out on the water with my two favorite paddling companions !

The very next day, I spent the morning paddling with Rick in Dunham’s Bay. It was a smooth journey into the marsh as far as we could go, before low water stopped us.
For once I could keep up with Rick, in his sleek 17-footer.

He likes taking photos too, and got a snap of me and my new boat.
It was a smooth and calm morning -- just us and the water-lilies.
A few days later, I dipped the glossy new hull in Moreau Lake, to play in the shallows -- and practice dumping !
What’s great is that you can pick the foundered boat out of the water, hold it up over your head and shake it out, and you are back in action.  Jackie, supremely at home with boats (and water,) chuckles at my experiments.  
Now we are a BlackJack flotilla !

After getting thoroughly wet in the warm water, I had just enough time for a short trip across the lake.
We went over to cozy Head Cove to visit the Sassafras Trees, which are still green but full of colorful fruits.
The bright scarlet stems attract birds, like this Pileated Woodpecker, who was so busy gobbling berries that he didn’t see us till the last minute.
Man, what a time to NOT have my camera with the zoom lens!
He's in there somewhere, if you look closely.

There were special things growing along the shore, like Closed Gentian --

and a pinkish variation of Blue Vervain, which I have only seen here at Moreau Lake:
All too soon, it was time for me to head back to that gentle shore and get ready to go to work.


The next Sunday, I went out alone on the Hudson River. It would be a good time to check on the Grass of Parnassus, which could be blooming now.  

Like Thoreau, (I thought smugly to myself,) I’d rather be out on the river than inside a church this morning.

Turns out that I got a little of both !

A short distance upriver from the put-in, there came the faint sound of singing from Haviland Cove Park, on the opposite shore.

My Confession:  My first thought was, “Who are these jerks, making all this racket?”
My Come-uppance:  It turned out to be an outdoor worship service.

I floated by, the boat bobbing gently on the river, and voices came across the water:

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name,
in earth, and sky, and sea ...


The slow tempo of the song seemed just right for this basking turtle.

The heron craned his neck as if listening.
Everything seemed to have a special sparkle this morning.

Everything, even the small things, seemed to be echoes of a great circle.

Up by the Black Shale Cliffs, the Grass-of-Parnassus was blooming
with a beautiful geometry.

If the doors of perception were cleansed
every thing would appear to man as it is,
For man has closed himself up,
till he sees all things through narrow chinks
of his cavern….
For everything that lives is holy.

~ William Blake


  1. Those first two photos (with the lily) are amazing. I couldn't decide for a moment if the one with the bee was a painting or a photo! Very nice...very nice indeed!

  2. Hi Ellen,
    and there was NO editing done to those photos except to crop them ... you can understand how seeing things like this can turn one into a mystic !

  3. Oh, so exquisite! Your photos bring tears to my eyes.

  4. The shallows seem to me to often offer the most diversity of color, calm, and comfort. Thx for the photo and poetic journey.