A Short Hike at Debar Pond in Duane, NY

Debar 06b Pond_View_2

Debar Pond, a public natural resource in Duane, NY

Each phase of nature, while not invisible, is yet not too distinct and obtrusive. It is there to be found when we look for it, but not demanding our attention. It is like a silent but sympathizing companion in whose company we retain most of the advantages of solitude … –Henry David Thoreau, Journal, November 8, 1858

Warning: this article is 3,200 words; not a bloggism; a blogASM.
I warned you.  Now enjoy.

As the beautiful old song from The Sound of Music says:  “Climb every mountain / ford every stream / follow every rainbow / ’til you find your” swamp.

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Ice Revisited

The trouble with being active in the blogosphere is that there are so many people sharing so many terrific things, and they come sailing to me automatically (where I have subscribed, filtering the world to my taste).  It’s like having a global museum, athenaeum, and entertainment center at my fingertips.  I have added this “related article” to my recent post on Ice because it … well, see for yourself:

bubbles-in-ice-thumbLetting Go (blog post at myeverydayphotos.wordpress.com) is the work of a great eye for the magical display of spring nudging its way past winter at the extreme edge of the edge of a lake.  These are not merely “everyday photos” (as indicated in the blog’s title).  They are the eye of someone deeply attentive to nature every day.

Clap if you agree.  But only if you also do the same at MyEveryDayPhotos‘ corner of the web.  Okay?


I won’t pretend that it measures up to what inspired it, but this post was inspired by And More Ice at naturesnippets; Introduction to the Wonders of Nature, a blog that lives its name, by a southern Illinois nature lover (I’ll call her Deecee, taken from a hint in her profile) whose About page humbly describes someone who lives her love and shares it as a living testament to nature’s love for us.

Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Toll House in winter snow storm.  The highway beyond the toll is closed in the winter.
(Click for the BIG view.)


Deecee’s And More Ice instantly reminded me of this old ice picture (below) from April 2005, shot at a little beaver pond near the Toll House on the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in Wilmington, NY.  Before Balsamea, I lived a few miles downhill from this pond for five years.  Lucky me.

Ice 01 200504 Whtfc Toll Reflection

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Richer After Rain

Colors in the woods are richer after rain.

i did not prepare a picture  – – – – –  i could not do the observation justice with a camera  – – – – –  i just invite you to make the observation after the next rain  – – – – –  and  – – – – –  let it enrich you  – – – – –  as it did me this morning

With the help of your imagination, words can make a thousand pictures.

If you want a ready-made picture for inspiration, here is a nice one created in words by the fun folks behind Pine Country Feed:

There is something about a fall rain that makes the mountains come alive.  The colors are richer~ the greens are greener, the browns are browner, the golds are golder.  The bark on the trees are a deep chocolate, the pine needles are washed and prefect forest green.  The grasses glow with a soft yellow that autumn brings to them and the silvery clouds seem to hold the color to the mountain side.   -from A Fall Rain (click to read entire article)

The magic occurs not only after rain, but during it, too.  When it rains on my walk in the woods, I say thanks that I am 100% waterproof, guaranteed watertight to an immersion depth of ten feet, after which my ears can’t take it like they used to.

After the dry summer we had at Balsamea, I’m grateful for the autumn rains, like Kathy in Boulder, CO, who created this word picture in her Cabin Journal:

All day it rained on and off, a slow, soft rain that seemed like a blessing, like grace itself descending from the sky. But that night, laying in bed, I could hear the faucets turn on, and the rain became harder. All I could think about was the gratitude of the trees—the aspens and pines that I have been trying to water all summer long with rain from the rain barrel, and feeling I was barely making a dent. Now I could imagine the rain soaking down to their roots and then being pulled upward to feed those branches where weeks ago the pine needles started turning reddish brown and the aspen leaves had started to crinkle up.  -from Rain, Rain, Stay (click to read entire article)

Okay, okay, I’ll share one graphical, visual, even video picture, because I can’t stand not doing it, since the song is now stuck in my head for the rest of the day.  Laugh at the clouds with another waterproof guy, Gene Kelly Singin’ in the Rain (YouTube video) (from the 1952 movie of the same title) because of Debbie Reynolds (she could make me sing in the rain too).  Watch the vid and have fun being taken back.  The dancing is magical, as always with Kelly.  If that does not convince you that rain is to play in …

Don’t forget to take a walk after a rain and notice the colors.

  • Every title I think of with ‘grass’ in it sounds suspicious (snstoman.wordpress.com) This is a fun piece about odors of things in rain.  Lots of great pictures (and funny ones) related to grass and rain.  And a bit of science good to know about grass when it cries out for help and why things smell stronger after rain.

9/11/12: First Frost is ICE!

Despite the sobering remembrances of another 9/11, I’ve declared 9/11/12 a holiday at Balsamea, in honor of our first frost coming four days earlier than the average (9/15) AND it was not merely FROST, but ICE!  I had a zillion tiny puddles of ICE on the roof of the car at 7 AM (in the shade).  Solid enough that I could not move them without considerable force.

Every year I look forward to First Frost day as the launch of my favorite time of year: from now to the end of December, and often all the way to February.

So despite all the effort going into multiple drafts of deeper posts pending here and elsewhere, among a thousand other things life wants me to do for myself, I had to drop everything and say YAY FOR FIRST FROST DAY!!!

One of the ways I celebrated was with a little campfire until 8 AM.  One of life’s greatest gifts is the pleasure of feeding a little fire on a chilly morning as the sun reaches the point where it sends rays zapping at hard angles through the trees, catching your campfire smoke in dazzling arrays.  Didn’t have the camera with me this morning, but there’s one from another time if I can find it.