Night Falling

10-4-2017 Magic Moment:

I have been sitting on the porch all evening, alternately listening to a book on my kindle, knitting, bird watching, reading old science magazines, daydreaming, or just gazing out over the road noticing how the trees are loosing their red and gold leaves and the hillside across the way is becoming more visible each day. The sun has set, daylight is fading quietly, darkness is slowly creeping down the hill around the house, silently seeping into the sir and sky. They twilight is cool and stills as the birds and chipmunks retire to their nests. The trees become dark silhouettes against the purpling sky, the first brightest stars appear as weak glimmers, gaining in brightness as the sky coalesces into darkness. The porch has drifted into dark shadow, soft caress of approaching night against my skin. A bird calls out, a single loud piercing short cry splits the silence for just a moment. It leaves its perch and flies into the darkness. I do not want to go inside. I would like to stay here and become this soft smooth night, be the blanket of calmness that brings slumber and dreams, swirl and twirl dancing with twinkling starlight, bathe in the moonlight, loving life and living in my misty dreams of infinite universe.


Bike Riding With Mom At Glimmerglass Lake


Feeling a little better, still coughing some. This whole episode kind of shook my confidence. I do not ever want to feel the way I did the night I couldn’t breathe. I don’t want to push myself too hard and have that happen again, but I don’t want to physically limit myself self either. Catch 22 anyone.

So, as part of their New York State vacation my parents are staying at Glimmerglass Lake State Campground something over an hour away from our house. We went to see them there, took the kayaks and all, but didn’t get around to launching them. I’ll have to come back for that as a future adventure.

It was a pleasant visit. We cooked dinner over the grill, ate at the picnic table, hung out in the shade and talked all afternoon. They are really enjoying the trip even though I didn’t get to do as much with them as we had planned. They have taken a couple of drives up to see the Adirondack Mountain too, which is awesome! Glimmerglass is about half way between the Catskills and the Adirondacks, which is one reason they picked there to stay for a week.

In the warm evening, Mom and I decided to bike over to the lake. She has an adult tricycle that she loves and I used Dad’s beach comber (very different from riding my mountain bike). The campground, park area, and lake front and are all accessible to biking and we had a peaceful ride. Being in the middle of the week and after Labor Day, there weren’t many people around to begin with and most of them left once the sun started setting and the air started cooling down into evening. We went over the covered bridge, and biked all along the water front picnic are, watching the sun set over the lake in a profusion of pastel. Mostly we talked. It is absolutely wonderful to talk to your mother as two grown women, covering a fast variety of topics, many not even important. Just to have that contact, reinforcing the gossamer threat that keeps us all connected in this crazy world.

Fresh From The Garden


Harvest time! My garden is nothing to write home about. I plant a few vegetables in the spring, more or less ignore them for most of the summer, and pick what ever the critters don’t get as it ripens. What I get might be random and scanty, but it is surely delicious. This year there are a few smallish yellow squash and zucchini, well proportioned, bright crayon yellow and dark dark green, skin shining in the sun. I pick several of the biggest ears of corn, a little early, but I know the bear will be around before long and I want some of it too. The husks are layered, papery yellowish outside and pale green inside with the silken white tassels spewing from the top like delicate pom-poms. The last of the peas I eat pad and all as I pick them, starchy, sweet, green pea goodness. I have found one small and perfect green pepper, and one large long fluorescent yellow green hot pepper. Everything from this little garden bursts with flavor, more than any vegetables we get at the store. Later I will dig the blue potatoes, a couple of red purple turnips, and a few carrots from their little mounds, and pick volunteer tomatoes (I didn’t plant them, they just came up from the compost) when when they turn red in the fading September sun. Working in the garden always makes me feel like I am part of this earth, a direct connection between the fertile soil, me, and the plants that create our sustenance. Marvelous!

Small Rafts In A Steep Gorge


I have guided the Hudson River Gorge for 20 years. I never really kept track of how many trips down the river that equals, but it has to be in the high hundreds. I never get bored with it, because every trip is different. If you pay attention, you can see changes every day, little details that could easily go unnoticed. Usually I am focused on the water, the rocks, the physical aspects of guiding my raft around the obstacles and hitting the fun stuff. Guides constantly look downstream, to keep track of their moving relationship to where they need to be in physical space, and the time they have to get the boat there. It is applied physics, hydro dynamics, propulsion ratios, spacial theory, and poetry in motion simultaneously happening automatically in our brains and acted out by our muscles. In calm areas, I make sure my guests look at the scenery, I point out cliffs and mountain tops, creaks burbling into the river and unique rock formations. I want them to fall in love with the River and the Adirondacks. I want then to experience Here and Now! And then, every once and a while, I sit back, broaden my gaze, open my eyes to the complete Big Picture all around us. My attention is no longer focused on the boat and minutia of the River, but instead it is focused up, out, and around. I am struck by the immensity of the immediate mountains, the world we are on, and the universe we are in. I see tiny rafts sliding down through rocks and rapids at the bottom of a steep gorge, surrounded by tall dark summer green mountains with blue grey cliffs, stretching up toward a slice of crystal blue summer sky that thins into outer space and beyond it into infinity. We are mere dust specks in time and space, yet an integral part of it all. If we open our hearts, minds, and souls, we are the cosmos.

Blue Mountain On The Horizon


Another beautiful summer day. I’m in the lead canoe headed across a big lake with distant mountains surrounding us around the horizon, several canoes trail in a spread out line behind me. The air is tranquil and cool, the perpetual afternoon wind I know will whip the lake into white caps later is only just starting to stir this early in the morning. The sun is high, sky is clear, and there are very few motor boats on the lake, perfect for a paddle across, and we are making good time. I glance behind me and realize I have pulled far ahead of the last canoe so I quit paddling and drift. Gentle waves rock the canoe, I am relaxed and warm, so lay back onto the stern with my legs propped up over the gunwales. As the boat rocks and lazily turns with the breeze, I close my eyes and concentrate on my senses: feeling the warm sunshine on my skin, smell the faint damp earth smell of lake water and far off camp smoke drifting in the breeze, hear water lapping at the sides of the canoe, the distant whining thrum of an outboard motor, gulls calling, and happy laughter from other canoes. I breath deeply inhaling the pure Adirondack mountain air and open my eyes. On the horizon in the distance, directly in my line of vision, is Blue Mountain in all her majestic glory. She is tall and green, cone shaped like a child’s drawing of a distant rolling mountain, with a prominent rock face near top on one side. This canoe trip started at Blue Mountain in the crystal clear waters of the lake of the same name at her base. We have paddled about 15 miles and now can see that distance as a physical manifestation of time and place. We are but small creatures on this vast planet, yet viscerally connected to all its living wonder