Stone Valley: Rapid Stairs

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).

Stone Valley: Rapid Stairs I

Farther along the river, the effect again repeats: stone ledges turn the rushing water into less-metallic slinky.

Stone Valley: Rapid Stairs II

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.

Stone Valley: Rapid Stairs III

Quiet Kill

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.

Quiet Kill

American Zen

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.

American Zen

Forest Bridge

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.

Forest Bridge

Rain and Roots

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.

Rain and Roots