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  • Writer's pictureJulia Preminger Photography

Autumn Color in the Catskills

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Oh October! We have been dazzled and blessed with a wondrous first two weeks of October this year. I offer this collection of images made nearby to our buildings as well as on two longer walks into the “wilds” of the western side of the land. The Catskills are a nature photographer's paradise!

Here's the story of our long walks. We slipped out of the building for our afternoon walk with excitement about taking some seldom explored trails on the property. We chose our steps carefully as we walked west along the overgrown old road with deep water-filled ruts on either side. Maples and birches had shed their brilliantly colored leaves into the water, scattered them thickly on the ground and even into other trees and ferns. The sunlight filtering through the trees that arched above us was dazzling, picking out simple features and illuminating them—transforming them into incandescent, sparkling punctuations in the landscape.

Soon we turned off the old road onto a trail going south through the forest that blankets the western side of the property. We came to a village of giant rocks. I’d been wanting to visit this place for some time ever since I heard about “rock people”. Last year I learned about the tree spirits and this year I learned about rock spirits. These are indigenous views of nature which I am happy to learn. For some time I have been feeling the intelligence in the rocks, in the trees, in the flowing water, in all of nature, but I was unsure about the experience. So learning that this is part of the indigenous worldview gives me confidence. An Inspiring talk by Diné musician, scholar, and cultural historian Lyla June is included in my video section this month.

On a cloudy afternoon a few days later, we headed to an area that we call the Deer Ponds. Just as we had passed a grove of golden maples, we got our first glimpse of the Deer Ponds area. I believe it is a sphagnum moss bog ringed by blueberry bushes and a mixed hemlock and hardwood forest. Set in the center are the two black-watered ponds.

Click on any image to see a larger version and start the slideshow. The first half of the slideshow features scenes of the forest, stream, and lake near our buildings. About half way through are the photos taken on two special long walks described below. Scroll past the photos to enjoy a few videos.

In this profoundly hopeful talk, Diné musician, scholar, and cultural historian Lyla June outlines a series of timeless human success stories focusing on Native American food and land management techniques and strategies. Lyla June is an Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing. She blends studies in Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her music, perspectives and solutions. Her current doctoral research focuses on Indigenous food systems revitalization.

Birch trees showering golden leaves from on high.

Golden autumn foliage reflected in the water of a little stream. Sound on.

Brightly colored maple leaves in water from our first walk. (No sound because there was a plane going by.)

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