Saturday, February 27, 2021

Waterfalls Frozen in a Moment

The rushing flow of water
careening over the edge
caught in a freeze frame of motion-
turned solid 
and
no longer free falling 
into the deep pool of water below.
Solid white streams 
of ice highlighting
the magnificent beauty
of water frozen in 
time.
Shequaga Falls


It was a blue sky, sunshine day as we stepped out onto the trail. The sun on my face was a pure delight.

As we started, there was a well-worn path on the Catherine Valley Trail so we decided to give it a go without snowshoes

Well, about half way into the 3 mile walk (in one direction) that decision was a mistake! Oh, how I wished for snowshoes beneath my feet as each step took quite an effort. This was a winter workout without a doubt!

There was not a thought of turning back because the draw of 2 beautiful waterfalls and bakery treats awaited in the little town of Montour Falls. It kept me trudging one foot in front of the other while continuing to bask in the sun.

More motivation energized my steps as the sound of cars rushing by filled my ears. The first waterfall was on the side of a main road so I new it was close.

Aunt Sarah’s Falls



Aunt Sarah’s Falls was frozen in motion. It is 90 ft. in height and usually free falls in thirds down the gorge wall. It now looked like the world’s largest icicle plummeting to a frozen pool below. I just paused to partake of the sight.






Then just a short walk through this little town brought us to Shequaga Falls. This is the area’s largest falls- 156 ft. all. These frozen falls made me park it on a bench and just contemplate the beauty of nature.


Shequaga Falls




Shequaga Falls looked like a small glacier sweeping over the rocky facade of the gorge. Parts of the ice were so thin and clear that I could still see water gushing, bubbling and flowing forward beneath the surface. It was an interesting moment to see water flowing but not hear its melody.










After a 3 mile hike, I was starving and tired so we stopped at a local bakery for some delicious treats. I enjoyed a Nutella croissant and a warming cup of tea.

The returning hike of 3 miles awaited me. But I was fortified with some sweet treats, continued sunshine and amazing views of frozen waterfalls as I made my homeward trek.














Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Winter Wildflowers

 


Canes of brown
 bending towards 
     the clean whiteness,

Adorned with dried gray flowerettes
  at the end of
      thin, fragile shoots,

Fluffy parachute seeds
   still clinging to the
       vestiges of summer beauty.



As I followed my husband’s snowshoe tracks, I noticed a trail marking sign peeping over the edge of the inches of snow. We were on the Wildflower Trail.

I chuckled to myself- “Yeah- sure! Wildflowers in winter, I wish. Now all I will see is a blank palette of white.”

We progressed down the trail towards the ice crusted lake. Alongside our steps, brown and gray stalks shivered in the winter wind. 

I carefully stepped close to a delicate brown stem and paused. There were remnants of flowers opened wide looking like tan daisies with darker brown centers. Some even had tufts of white, fluffy parachute seeds still holding fast to the plant that produced them.

I immediately grabbed my phone to capture this unexpected beauty right in front of me. Winter wildflowers do exist and still offer beauty to those ready to behold it.

I guess that the trail is correctly named. 







Monday, February 15, 2021

The Summons




 The Summons


A glance out the window-

A beckoning

Flares in my soul.

Come out,

            Walk,

                  Soak in the wonder

             That nature

Beholds.


It is early Saturday morning as I lift the blinds. My eyes rest on the pure, fluffy, white snow that overnight turned the world into a winter game of hide-n-seek. I feel a pull deep inside- tugging me to get out there.

So I check my weather app. It feels like 5 degreees. Ohhh-do I really want to go. Another glance outside and my soul bellows, “Go, experience this!”

The crunch of crisp snow graces my ears as I step over untouched snow. I warm as I walk soaking in the sun’s rays and blue skies. The cold air touches the bottom of my lungs refreshing me with each breath.

As I loop back, I am so grateful that I answered the summons nature sent to me this morning. What a new perspective I have for the rest of my day to come.

I realize that nature calls to me through all 4 seasons....

~ Bright summer sunshine caressing all in its breadth

~ Raindrops pattering amongst the spring puddles

~ Leaves of russet and gold tumbling through the autumn skies

~ Snowflakes enveloping the world in a quiet, pristine blanket of white

I need to be open to the call and wander outside to see the gifts given to me by nature. It refreshes, renews and rejuvenates me. 

Nature beckons and I need to continue to say yes.

The Beauty in an Ending

Released from unsustaining tethers, golden confetti downwardly chass├ęs celebrating autumn’s final vibrancy. I was standing on a trail lookin...