Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Sweetness

May 28, P.M.
Hudson River Ice Meadows, Warrensburg, NY

There is a positive sweetness in the air from flowers & expanding leaves –
a universal sweetness …
A river of lethe flows with many windings the year through –
separating one season from another.
The heavens for a few days have been lost;
it has been a sort of paradise instead.

   HDT Journal, May 9, 1852

Our first day of rambles continues after lunch.
We head upriver to the Ice Meadows.
First, the West Side –
This section of River Road was closed this spring, due to the massive buildup of river ice that backed up so far that at one point it came up the banks and blocked the roadway.

Months later, we are surprised to see some of that same ice, still lingering across the road.
It’s our own private mini-glacier.

Then we stop upriver to explore the unique mix of plant life in this special area.
Dwarf sand cherry is in full bloom everywhere along the sandy riverbanks.

This early in the year, one can’t help but notice the deep purple of the ovate-leaved Violets. They make up for their tiny size with intensity of color.

Another violet - of unknown variety. Sometimes they just refuse to be labelled.

The Blue-Eyed grass is heavenly, too.

There is lots to see, but we are growing a little weary. Time enough for one more stop, this time on the East Side of the ice meadows.
“The less interesting side,” I think to myself peevishly.
From the parking area the path winds through an obvious pine-plantation, toward the river.

But there stands Andrew, looking up, delighted to see pines of any size.
And I begin to appreciate what we have here. 

We leave the trail and walk among them, since Jackie thinks we might see a ladyslipper or two in there.
We did see one …

then another, and another … the sunlight angles through the trees and lights up dozens of the pink orchids.

Andrew walks (carefully) ahead, and we hear him stop & gasp.
He finds one of the flowers on his wish-list – Clintonia.  In prime condition.

Jackie and I marvel at this sight too – there were dozens of them.
Methinks the flowers are showing off, for Andrew’s sake.

Here and there, spring flowers – it is still spring at the ice meadows –
are spotlit under the tall pines.


We walk further on, and simultaneously, all notice a sweetness in the air.
Sort of like grapes … or lollipops. What could it be?
I remember reading Thoreau’s description of the sweet scent of the lady’s slipper.
Well, we get down on our knees, and test this theory, but none of us could smell anything there.
The only other blooming things nearby are …  the common May-Flowers. 

So common that we have hardly paid any attention to them.
There are LOTS of May-Flowers here. We take a sniff at one.

That’s what the sweetness came from!
They smell so wonderful, you just want to roll in them.
We spend our time here just wandering about, happily taking photos.
We did make it to the riverside eventually,
but it was our walk in that Magic Forest that I will always remember.

1 comment:

  1. I will never forget the fragrance of our enchanted forest, with its superabundance of beautiful flowers of different kinds. How lucky I am to have such good friends to share these magical moments. Love your photo of Starflower, the prettiest I've ever seen.