I create handmade hats, scarves, decorative ornamental eggs, and other whimsical and colorful crafts for my own internet business: Flippin' Gypsy Designs. I am currently seasonally employed in the outdoor recreation field as a white water raft guide in the summer (Beaverbrook Outfitters) and a snow shoe guide and rental technician in the winter (Windham Mountain Resort). I moved to NY in 1997 and have lived in Jewett since 2000. My husband and I have four large and beautiful cats.
I spent the day in the yard mowing and weeding. My husband got the weed whacker going so I was able to clear the path most of the way down to the creek before it ran out of gas. Talk about a sense of accomplishment. After a shower, I went back outside to sit on the porch to watch the sun set. When the mosquitoes started biting, I was inspired to light the citronella candles. Their glowing flickering flames wanted company, so all the decorative candles joined them. I sat on the porch, rocking gently, listening to crickets and frogs, watching the sky shift from light blue to dark purple as the stars appeared one by one. I breathe deeply smelling damp earth and cut grass, feeling the air cool off as darkness falls, bathed in the warm yellow glow of candle light dancing on the porch.
Sometimes, if the cat fur bothers me profusely, I will sleep on the porch in my camping hammock with it set up on the hammock stand. Now that our summer patio rock is set up, I think it would be nice to have a place in the woods behind the house to set it up. I spent a little time today preparing a good spot. I found two trees the perfect distance apart and cleared the brush away from them, raked the dead leaves and made a path down to the house and over to the patio rock. As it started to get dark, I hung the hammock and climbed in to watch the blue time soak into the woods. Some uncertain time later, I realized I had dozed, the moon was up over the hill spilling its silvery light between the trees. I knew I would get chilled trying to spend the night there without a sleeping bag, so I climbed out and went inside, mind and body full of peace and quiet.
This evening, I was walking across the yard headed to the compost pile, full bucket of kitchen scraps in hand when I saw the pile of poop a split second before I stepped in it. I twisted and hopped mid stride narrowly avoiding the pile. After dumping the bucket, I came back to inspect the scat. It was dark black or deep purple and full of tiny pale seeds. The pile was about as big as both my feet standing together, and bulging and curving with its randomly stacked curds. It has to be a bear that left this pile behind! I know they are around, but I haven’t seen one yet this year. Did the compost pile seem like something had been digging through it? Possibly. I remind myself to bring in the birds tonight. Yay! The bears are back too! I am thoroughly content with how Spring has sprung!
We had a huge group of high school senior girls come up from the city to go canoeing a few miles down the Hudson in Thurman. It had been raining all night and morning had dawned cloudy, cool, misty, and wet. After getting them all tucked into life jackets and settled into canoes, we took off down the river. I got to be the sweep boat on this trip which can be exciting if anyone flips their boat over, but is always peaceful because I can see the whole picture unfolding in front of me. The chilly grey mist clings to the mountain tops, the soggy green trees drip heavy water drops down the mountain sides, the cold rain drizzles through the grey air, the rippling river water gurgles over rounded rocks stained brown from the tannin. I watch all the bright red and green canoes zig-zag across the current as the girls figure out how to paddle (or not). I give encouragement and paddling instruction to girls in the last canoes who struggle to keep up, and make sure everyone is enjoying this rainy day paddle.
Good morning sunshine! Good deep sleep in the fresh clean air, the sound of the rushing rapid energizing me as I pack up my hammock and bedding. While my co-worker cooks breakfast (I’ll do clean-up), I decide to do some morning yoga on the beach. I did not bring a yoga mat, and my towel was already packed, so I decided to try it directly on the sand. It worked well; my toes could dig down and grip the damp sand under the top dry layer, my feet pushed ergonomic divots shaped perfectly for my arches and curves. Balance postures were like a dream as my gaze softly zoned out over the river rapids as I breathed. It was like flying. The sitting and laying down postures were comfortable too as the moist sand shifted to fit my form. I felt amazingly calm and centered when I finished my routine. Then realized I needed to go for a swim to get all the sand off my body, clothes, and out of my hair. It was a riot to see how much sand can stick somebody!
White water rafting is my passion, my heart’s delights, the song of my soul. White water rafting combined with camping is even better! This weekend was my first overnight rafting trip of the season. The group was friends from college all living in and around New York City who get together for a fun girls weekend trip every year. They all had a great time, hanging out at camp, swimming in a large eddy beside Carter’s Landing rapid, and lounging around the camp fire.
For me, I love spending the night in the gorge on the banks of the river where the music of the rapids sings me to sleep. My camping hammock sways gently when I shift position in my sleep; it cocoons around my body keeping me safe and warm, the deep forest sighing around me. Moonlight bathes the woods, and stars wink between the branches and leaves, insects quietly hum, and I am at peace.
Yummy, Yummy! Tall green stalks, dark green leaf buds on top, growing straight up from the dark fertile garden soil. Each stalk breaks with a crisp snap, water dripping from the broken ends. I crunch the delicious thick green shoots between my teeth, the taste of fresh picked asparagus bursting through my senses. After eating several stalks, I manage to pick and collect enough for tonight’s dinner vegetable for my husband and I. Eating the first fresh asparagus from the garden is a scrumptious spring ritual that I look forward to every year.