Gorge-ous Day!

I step out of the truck and the sound of the water rushing in the creek below washes worries and stresses from my mind.  My body relaxes.  I promise myself to be fully present.  Here.  Now.  Nothing else exists.

Mo watches... Terry fishes...As we hike the gently descending path to the water, a pair of birds teaches me that one of the songs I’ve been assigning to Chipping Sparrow may actually belong to Dark-eyed Junco.  Most of the snow is gone, but there are still some spots where the sun doesn’t shine quite long enough…

When we reach creekside, Terry fishes and I experiment with my new camera.

Chautauqua Creek

Willow   Pine Cone Willow Gall

Hemlock Needles - Back

It even does video…

We meander down the creek clinging precariously to the edges of the banks, stepping carefully to be sure that our feet are finding the rocks that aren’t slippery.  We decide to take the high road back and I discover a tributary I never noticed before, with lovely falling water…

I’ve hiked this path before… How could I have missed that?

From the top of the razorback I spy hundreds of Hepatica (finally!)…  I climb down the near 90-degree slope (doubting my own sanity) to capture a few photos.

Hepatica Hillside - Can you tell how steep it is from this photo?   Hepatica

Hiking the razorback is always a little scary to me…  The world falls away very steeply on both sides.  One missed step and… let’s not think about it.

Hiking a Razorback

We reach the top – the plateau where the big Black Cherry grows.  I think the view is spectacular already, but I have to wonder what it would be like from the top of this ancient tree whose lowest branch we can’t even see.

Enormous Old Cherry

Enormous Old Cherry

There are places on this planet that make me slow down.  I breathe more deeply.  I think less.  I experience more.  The gorge is one of those places.

14 thoughts on “Gorge-ous Day!

  1. Jennifer, I really enjoy your blog thoughts and your photos. What part of the gorge are you in here? What is the access point?

  2. That is one awesome black cherry tree! And it looks to me like your new camera is metering (assuming you’re set on automatic) a variety of lighting situations really well. Nice set of shots!

  3. @Ruthie – it smelled great. I wonder when we’ll have the technology to send a smell via the internet… haha.
    @Linda – no! we got the snow on Monday, as predicted… and it’s still coming down today, Wednesday. But Sunday is the day I went to the gorge and it was a beautiful spring day.
    @Barb – Went in at Lyons Road and hiked downstream toward Hannum Road, though never got that far…
    @Dave – you are probably right! One of the times I hiked the razorback it was winter…
    @Adam – Canon Powershot A1000 IS. I’m liking it! I’ll still want to take my XT for certain kinds of hiking… but backpacking and creek walking… this will do fine.

  4. Pingback: A New Toy « A Passion for Nature

  5. Beautiful pictures! How true that nature gets us to slow down, be present, and fully appreciate each unfolding moment. Your words and photos are a great reminder of the richness of each moment of life.

  6. Jennifer,
    Your new camera takes great photos…you must be thrilled with it.
    Looks like a wonderful place..and a great hike…dont look down..Yikes..I have done hikes like that.
    I forget…what camera did you end up getting,,,the canon?

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