Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fair Days

May 27, 2013
Hudson River, near the Big Bend

Would not a friend
enhance the beauty of the landscape
as much as a deer or hare?
Everything would acknowledge and serve such a relation,
the corn in the field,
and the cranberries in the meadow.
The flowers would bloom,
and the birds sing,
with a new impulse.
There would be more fair days in the year.
   HDT essay,  Love

Today is the first official day of a weeklong vacation for me. 
It’s also my pal Rick’s birth-day,
and he has come over to visit this weekend.
Yesterday, despite rain and temperatures in the fifties,
we drove north to scout out some places to go paddling in the future.

This morning, we woke early, and dressed warmly, for it was still chilly –- almost a frost.
I grumbled about having to put on longjohns after Memorial Day.
But we got off easy. We heard news that Whiteface Mountain, well to our north, got three feet of snow yesterday !

In contrast, today promised to be a fair day.
We took our boats to a section of the Hudson River that was new to me. It is near where the Northway crosses over the river at the Big Bend.  I have looked down and wondered about the setbacks here countless times, as I sped by overhead in my car.

It is not a wilderness by any means, or a challenge of paddling skills;
just a placid section that looked like an interesting place to poke around in.

There were a few fishermen in motorboats here and there,
but once off the main channel, Rick and I floated in a serene and wooded universe all our own.

You could still hear the whoosh of the Northway, but all I remember is the singsong of the warbling vireo.

We saw where someone had set up a weekend camp on their property.
They had the best seat in the house.

As we went further into the slough, there were horsetail ferns and dragonflies. 

It would not have been a surprise to see an orchid, or a dinosaur.

And it was definitely no surprise to see a few well-maintained beaver-ponds, off to one side of the channel.
We clambered carefully over one dam and paddled around in one of them.

Hidden along the shoreline were several clumps of Early Azalea.
Thoreau’s "Pinxter-Flower" was in full bloom.
You could smell its perfume across the water.

Happy Birth-day, Rick !


  1. Sounds like a perfect day on the water; yeh, pinkster is blooming here in central PA.

  2. Yup, as soon as the boat gets afloat, the perfect day on the water begins, no need to go far, I just like floating !
    I do get my Azaleas mixed up but just like the sound of "Pinxter" -- it comes from the Dutch apparently, and the bloom time corresponds with those town-wide cleaning-days where they would actually come out and scrub the streets too. Guess I don't have any Dutch DNA at all, would rather be out looking at the flowers !!