Sweet Catskills September
Updated: Jun 8
Sweet September slipped softly by. The days shortened and the sun slid slowly south. Soft meadows of goldenrod, adorned with glittering spider webs, blanketed the hillsides. Purple asters nestled in the tall grass beneath soft, luminous, dawn skies. These are tender, colorful memories now, as I write in bare-treed, monotone, mid-November. Two nights ago brought the first dusting of snow to the sere landscape.
Back in September I visited old tree friends and made some new ones here in the Catskill Mountains, visiting paper birch, cherry, quaking aspen, maple, spruce, ash, and our only willow. My fascination was for the textures of the bark often covered with lichen and moss, and punctuated by lines of drilled holes left by the sapsuckers. I enjoyed the contrast between my human skin and the hard covering of the trees. I felt their intelligence in my heart and wished that I knew their language. I pressed my forehead against their trunks as if to learn something from them. There was a lot of silence.
Click on any image to see a larger version and to start the slideshow. Scroll past the photos to enjoy a few videos.
My favorite scene—swirling morning mist with just a hint of light glinting on the water.
While stalking goldenrods on a sparkling September morning, I was captivated by many glistening spiderwebs—a subject that often eludes me but I think this clip does justice.
I went out one afternoon to try to identify a tree which turned out to be a quaking aspen. The identity of the aspen had eluded me for many days due to having completely different bark on different parts of the tree. I finally figured out who it was by the form of its leaf. On the way to visit the tree, I came across a beautiful monarch butterfly feasting on goldenrod nectar.
This flock of wild turkeys honored me by allowing me to see them one morning. Usually I would find a feather or see the flock at a distance and they would quickly disappear. But this morning, they stuck around for a minute or two. I love how they melt into the goldenrod at the end of the clip.