Early morning half light filtering through the trees, birds singing their praises to the rising sun. Water drips from the wet leaves onto wet earth from last night’s gentle rain. Damp cool morning air washes over my bare arms, groggily I roll over and peer through the tent screen out into the wakening green world. I notice a spiderweb up in the corner of where the tarp meets the pole holding it up. Large and perfectly formed, ghost colored gossamer silken strands, painstakingly spun out into embedded concentric geometric patterns. Its small light brown and gold occupant waiting patiently in the center, all her delicate legs folded daintily beneath her abdomen. I can see tiny glistening dew drops have formed all over the web giving it an ethereal quality, other worldly, and strikingly beautiful.
I wake to the startling sound of something crashing through the jumbled dead leaves and detritus on the forest floor, I open my sleepy eyes to early morning mist with water drooping from the trees. Groggily I think “that was something big”, so I sit up to see out into the blue morning dusk. Ten feet away is a mythical moose! This is the first time I have every seen a moose, so I have been calling them, mythical for many years. He is a young male with tiny antlers just appearing, thin, muscular, and all legs. He stands taller than me, but I believe he is small for a full grown moose. He is twitchy and nervous, he knows I am there, but isn’t sure what to make of me. I watch transfixed, mesmerized, excited, all sleep immediately gone from my fascinated brain. I watch him for many long minutes, hardly daring to breath. He eventually calms when no immediate danger presents itself, and he walk a little away, turns to look at me through the tent screen, takes a few more steps. He is silhouetted in a small clearing, his dark shape outlined by a brighter area of forest. After a few more steps, he has passed out of sight in the misty blue half light of predawn. I have seen a moose! Later when I actually get up, there are moose prints next to the tent platform where he was walking under the tarp when he startled and jumped into the dead leaves that woke me up. How many times has he passed this way before?
Hanging out in Thurman with other guides, waiting for people to come rent canoes, kayaks, and inner-tubes. The wet, rainy, cool summer has kept people off them water, but we are still having fun. One guide brought her hula hoops and she is (trying to) teach me some tricks. She is amazing when she gets going, she dances with the hoops like they are part of her. It is mesmerizing to watch! She has shown me two moves, that can be expanded into more, but I need to get the basic move down first. Hoops go flying and whizzing through the air, twirling and skittering across the ground, and thunking down on my body parts. I’ll have some bruises tonight… But I’m learning. It will take many long practice sessions to get this down pat. It feels good to work at something and see yourself getting better at it the more you try.
On the way home, my husband wanted to visit a venue he would be photographing a wedding at in a couple of days. It was a historic old inn and restaurant on the shore of Canadarago Lake. Quiet and peaceful with a huge local colorful history, I could imagine the happiness of the bride and groom as they say their wedding vows looking out over this tranquil lake from the raised deck. When we have more time, I would like to come back and explore this lake by kayak or canoe, early morning or late evening when the animals and birds are active and the people are not. But for now, standing on the deck, smelling the damp earth and the clean water, feeling the crisp breeze and the warm sunshine on my skin, listening to insects humming in the trees, I feel content.
My husband and I took a one night get away out to Verona. We call these kind of miniature vacations a mini-moon. They don’t have to be romantic, they just need to be someplace else. There is a little hotel out there that has a waffle iron as part of its continental breakfast. Its the reason we pick that hotel. So our one night away was a warm humid night, it had rained previously, so everything was wet and glistening in the street lamps. Walking back to our room, across the parking, lot in an unmown grassy area were hundreds of jazzy fireflies putting on a dazzling show. We stopped and watched caught up in the magic of their tiny willow-the-wisp yellow green dancing lights (until the mosquitoes found us). Summer splendor! Mini-moon magic!
Yay, another rainy morning. Get up, apply bug repellent (the mosquitoes love this wet summer and are doing very well for themselves), go down the hill and do my morning yoga routine on the porch before starting work. We put onto the river in a downpour, everyone too excited to be on a whitewater rafting trip to let the rain dampen their spirits. By the time we get down the Indian River to the Hudson, the rain has stopped, by lunch, the clouds are braking up, and the float out is wonderful! Summer sun warming my skin. I can feel the serotonin level rise in my brain. Deep breath in, exhale, relax. These sunshine river days are what I live for!
Darkness, lantern turned off, listening to water dripping from the sodden trees. It is dry under the tarp, although the air is humid and the blankets feel damp. I hear night noises, quiet rustling and whispering shuffles out in the forest. I am contemplating the darkness of the nighttime world when I see a flash of tiny yellow light. It flashes several times more, I realize there is a lightening bug sitting on the outside of the tent. I see another on the other side. These two fireflies showing off their glowing tails in an effort to attract a mate. I am a silent spectator, watching with fascination, as a third firefly flies in toward the tent. I can not see the actually insects themselves, only the random yet rhythmic flashing of their tails. Its my own little personal fireworks show in the dry space under the tarp.