Friday, January 13, 2006

A winter hike

As I was driving back from the grocery store yestermorn, the sky was clear, blue and bright with sunshine. As I sat on my porch enjoying the morning, I felt the sunlight on my face and I closed my eyes. The wooden planks of my porch felt warm to my fingers.

With such exceptional weather in the middle of January, I felt it would be almost criminal to stay indoors. I could practice my kung fu in the sun. I could hike to a peaceful spot and meditate or knit. I made the short drive to Taughannock Falls.

Still waters reflect the birch trees across the bank. (weathering pits)I brought my clapotis with me as I planned to find some sunny rock along the creek to knit and enjoy the weather. Many times I have been there and this hasn't been a problem, but I forgot that the melting snow would raise the level of the river and cover many of the choicer spots. In fact, it was wet everywhere. The water must have just receeded. But it was still lovely.

The long shadows at noon The only trail open was the gorge trail. It's not difficult or long, but it's beautiful.

The river drains into Cayuga Lake, so the beginning of the trail by the lake is fairly open. The sun was shining on the river and the water was a lovely opaque, greeny-blue color. Eventhough it was just around noon, the sun was low in sky. Only one side of the gorge wall would feel the sun's heat. The shadows fell long across the bank and creek.

The forest consumes the trail in the middle of the hike, but you are still close to the creek. The gorge narrows. The winter light in the gorge was amazing. The sunlight was so diffused and some colors really stood out against their backgrounds. The greens just seemed to pop and the shadows on ice patches were blue.

Taughannock Falls = 200+ foot drop As I rounded the bend to falls I realized that I wasn't going to find my lovely spot for knitting. But that was okay. I let the sound of the falls dropping, crashing, swirling fill my head. I let the mist rising from the watery chaos settle on my face, my eyes closed and face turned to the sky. All was good.

me at the falls


Teej said...

Thanks for posting the pictures! I went to college in Ithaca and haven't made it back in several years. The falls are gorgeous, even if photos can't really do them justice if you've seen (and felt and heard) them in person.

Mothlady said...

Thanks for the tour, wonderful pictures!

Teyani said...

Fantastic photos - makes me miss Ithaca and the finger lakes.
Wish I'd been there hiking too!

Aprilynne said...

Awesome pics! Great narration, too =)