Thursday, January 17, 2013

Second Snow

Otter Point, Moreau Lake State Park, NY
December 30, 2012

It is pleasant to walk now
through open and stately white pine woods. …
It is cold but still in their midst,
where the snow is untracked by man,
and ever and anon you see the snow-dust,
shone on by the sun,
falling from their tops and,
as it strikes the lower limbs,
producing innumerable new showers.
For, as after a rain there is a second rain in the woods,
so after a light snow
there is a second snow in the woods,
when the wind rises.

   HDT Journal, December 17, 1851

Time for a quick trip back to the recent past, a day to be remembered as a glimpse of winter beauty. After the bustle of the holidays, both Jackie and I were itching to get outdoors, and the first real snowfall just added incentive.

At the Potter Road Gate, we happily put on snowshoes.
Mine had been virtually unused the previous winter.
See how happy Jackie is be out playing in the snow!

We walked down through the woods in the fluffy snow, to some setbacks along the Hudson River. On the maps the area is called Potter Point, but we have renamed it Otter Point, after seeing sign of these critters consistently here.

Overnight, a light snowfall had come down and rested on the tree branches.
Being fine and dry, it was delicately balanced.
The slightest puff of air would soon dislodge it, and the forecast was for gusty winds by afternoon – one reason why we wanted to be out here early.

It would be a good day to see Second Snow !

And as we walked in the hemlock woods, the sun filtered through the trees.
Ever and anon, (as Henry would say) a breath of air would come through,
 and we would be dusted with sparkles.

The edges of the river were partially frozen, but all of this ice is decidedly unsafe to walk on. That's West Mountain, shining across the river.

We didn’t go too far. It was good to breathe the crisp air, and lope around on snowshoes again. And of course, take pictures of any little thing that caught our fancy.

Like these odd raised tracks - who walked here during the night?

And here's a surprising walker - this little Orbweaver spider, who rappelled from a hemlock branch, and picked her way delicately on top of the snow.

 We walked out to Rippled Rocks, an open point of land where you can see up and down river. I remember paddling to this warm cove in the summer, gazing at flowers!

The cracking of the river ice ends that reverie.
There were a few little bursts of wind overhead, as we stood there blinking in the bright sunshine. Looking back toward the hills, you could see hazy wisps of snow blow out from the treetops, smoke-like.

The wind gusts got a little stronger.

Suddenly, one long sustained blow came through –
and it looked like the mountain was on fire !
We stood with mouths agape.
What else could we do, with such a vision before us?

    [Music: New World Symphony]


  1. I really enjoyed this post and I don't usually appreciate talk of snow. The video of the snow blow was beautiful!

  2. Oh oh oh oh! So lovely, those sparkles! So magnificent, that blowing snow set to music! Thank you for posting these. I keep returning to view that last video over and over again.

  3. Thank you to two faithful followers (and instigators!) - you never know what you are going to see out there, Nature finds a way to constantly surprise us.