The rapids of Stone Valley in Colton, New York have a certain stair-like repeating quality to them (at least for the 363-ish days/year during which the dam above keeps its spillway gates closed).
Farther along the river, the effect again repeats: stone ledges turn the rushing water into less-metallic slinky.
This isn’t a mere trompe-l’œil where a particular angle makes stair-like shapes appear in the stones and moving water. A view shifted by 90º confirms the structure.
A special weekend post: Happy Earth Day from Decaseconds!
Among the vertical redwood shapes, the occasional contradictory tree trajectory is on its way to becoming a bridge.
The “real-world Zen garden” effect of northwestern Connecticut at the end of November was just the calming experience I needed: after a busy semester, stopping for a moment by the edge of slow stream, standing among the red, crinkly fallen leaves and short grasses, and feeling the wind lift puffs of snow from the rocks to my face.
Winter crisps and desaturates the landscape, and draws the eye from the Northeast to places more southern, where I wonder if, “the grass is greener on the other side.” That might sometimes be an illusion, but then there are cases like this one: the grass is literally greener on the other side.
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and New England has equilibrated to early-winter leafless distributions. On a morning coffee-and-breakfast-sandwich run, snow encrusted rocks form the boundaries of a real-world Zen garden.
Waterfalls don’t necessarily have the same impressive drama from the top, but they present another kind of wonder: the calm, burbling stream that disappears to infinity, replaced by the view of a sylvan landscape beyond. The pebbles and the trees contrast in lengthscale dramatically, but they all “belong” here.
I cooked up a bonus Sunday post: from the same waterfall on Mt. Riga where I took last week’s picture,another shot of the lovely swimming hole (and perhaps a broader perspective on what makes it such an incredibly lovely place to relax on a muggy summer afternoon.)
Here is your intrepid photographer (a.k.a. me), standing at the foot of a lovely waterfall on Mt. Riga. Near the summer solstice, on the perfect warm and breezy day, we paused here just long enough to take a few shots before we dove into the natural pool beneath the falls.
In the dead of winter, the rocks and trees and streams of northwestern Connecticut are a textured but monotone canvas. In this photograph, I’ve only exaggerated the stark difference between the dormant surroundings and the bright red of the small barn-like structure perched at the creekside.
Muir Woods astonishes and tempers with its beauty, but I had trouble avoiding the feeling that it was all a bit manicured and controlled by man. At first, that disappointed me. When I thought back to some of the gorgeous Zen gardens I’ve visited, however, I realized that curated natural beauty can be just as spectacular and authentic as true wilderness. The gentle drizzle between sequoias and down into the creek is the American version of the Zen garden.
Ok so you can’t fly fish in it but this stream that runs through Muir Woods National Monument really helps set the peaceful mood of the park.
This shot of, I believe, bridge 3 in the picturesque Muir Woods is proof that it really is the early bird that gets the worm. Early in the morning you feel almost like you’re the only person around, it is really a spectacular place which is definitely a spot to visit if you ever find yourself in the bay area. Having recently experienced it for the first time it really makes me wonder why I didn’t make it up here earlier.
This brook runs behind my childhood home; today, I present it to you as I remember it. Smooth currents of dark, freezing water (even in the summer), and the entrancing mishmash of old stones and roots encrusted with snow. No video game tops the pleasure of watching a leaf drift downstream.
Little pockets of calm exist all over Berkeley’s hustling campus, but Strawberry Creek on a rainy day is a particularly superlative example. The leaves and water take on this lovely green that perfectly offsets the red needles from the Redwoods above. Against this palette, the textures of the mud and roots are all the more striking.