Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Today I was out running errands and while crossing east to west over the Hudson River I saw the most wonderful sight. The day has been preternaturally warm and very, very rainy. On my way over the bridge the first time, the roadway leading to the bridge was shrouded in fog. On the return trip I was treated to the sight of the river itself blanketed in the fog with remnants of the clouds still flowing down the steep, high banks. There was a barge making its way up the estuary (the Hudson is not, in fact, a river but a tidal estuary,) it was plowing through the fog leaving a swirling wake. It was quite magical. I wished I could stop my car and get out to watch the sight from the railing but that was impossible so I went on hoping to engrave the image on my memory.

That sight, along with many many others are why I treasure living here in the Hudson Valley, despite the many challenges. The winters can be harsh, full of extremes, unnaturally warm one day, frigid the next. The summers can be brutally humid and that climate promotes many fungi and blights, including what we call the "Husdon Valley Scunge" a persistent, low level chest congestion and cough. Southern Atlantic storms funnel up the river gorge and sometimes meet storms sweeping in across the Great Lakes from the west to dramatic effect. The area is infested with white-tail deer, the concentrations roughly 4 times the carrying capacity of the land; purple loosestrife, japanese knotweed, japanese barberry, tartarian honeysuckle, garlic mustard, mile-a-minute vine and multi-flora rose are all rampaging through our ecosystem like the barbarian invaders they are. I don't think most residents of the area would know a native landscape if they saw one, and it is very unlikely they would ever see one, the ecosystem is so depauperate. Oh, I am ranting... I need to remember the beautiful fog on the water and be grateful for the opportunity to see it.

No comments: