3/16/14 Travel Theme: The One And Only Garden (for me)

Ailsa’s theme this week is gardens. As many beautiful gardens as I have seen, there is only one choice for me and if you tell me it isn’t really a garden, I won’t argue with you. Just about every definition of garden I can find describes a planned space. To the best of my knowledge, no one planned this place. Who knows, perhaps I conjured it out of some deep need. I know I have shown these pictures before but a garden was requested and my garden I will give.

Last August, after over 2.5 years of adventuring, I made it up to Henderson Lake which geologists say is the source of The Hudson River.  Next summer I perhaps will go to Lake Tear of the Clouds, which poets and politicians say is the source of The Hudson. Perhaps I will find a garden awaiting me there as well.

Last summer, after I put my hand in the water that poured over the sluiceway, I turned south and viewed the beginnings of the river.

RSJohnson_Hudson130814_source

I turned back to look at the Lake and my eye was caught by the garden just as a very delicate rain began to fall.  I walked towards it, and stood by it for a minute, then looked at the lake where I could see no evidence of drops hitting the water. I took this picture as rain bathed me.

RSJohnson_Hudson130814_garden

I then took a step past the garden and the rain stopped. I turned around and the rain was gone. I started to cry, not out of sadness or joy, but just because it is what I did.  I suspect that I never should go there again but time will tell.

Some other gardens.

http://delsotherstuff.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/travel-theme-gardens/

http://pathsunwritten.com/2014/03/14/travel-theme-garden/

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/travel-theme-gardens/

http://shyraven23.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/travel-theme-gardens/

http://therewildwest.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/travel-theme-gardens/

http://alienshores52.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/paris-gardens/

http://963thaidays.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/travel-theme-gardens/

http://nowathome.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/travel-theme-gardens/

http://prettypacked.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/man-meets-nature/

http://kerlundphoto.se/2014/03/15/travel-theme-gardens/

and please remember to check out “To Live Forever An Afterlife Journey Of Meriwether Lewis” by Andra Watkins. Sometime tomorrow she will be half way through her 444 mile walk of The Natchez Trace. I do believe that when she reaches Nashville she will be the first person to have walked the entire Trace since sometime in the 1800’s. Not exactly a walk in a garden but I thought it fit anyway.

1-23-14 To The Waters And The Wild

Another long day inside with data and keywords, optimizing SEO and organizing, but a part of me has been in this field where Henderson Lake spills into The Hudson.

Johnson1308140227130814

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scare could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.
William Butler Yeats

 

 

10-30-13 Travel Theme: Stone

There are two kinds of stones, as everyone knows, one of which rolls.

Amelia Earhart

Ailsa’s theme this week is stone.  I figure that this gives me a good reason to go back to the river which I haven’t featured in what feels like weeks. First off, I want to boldly go where photographers are not supposed to go according to every portfolio review, critique or class I have ever sat in.

Boro Walk

Please control your horror. It is true. These rocks are dry. This is from around 108th Street or about 4 miles north of New York harbor. The engine is the one I have been watching for almost three years now.

This next shot is about 2 miles south of Henderson Lake in Adirondack Park. The feet are mine.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Finally, what is a Travel Theme post without a Dominica shot. This is the beach at Secret Bay.

Stone-3

And now check out these other stones:

http://pathsunwritten.com/2013/10/25/travel-theme-stone/

http://lanterfanteren.blogspot.be/2013/10/whispering-stones.html

http://smallbluegreenfotos.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/travel-theme-stone/

http://windagainstcurrent.com/2013/10/25/travel-theme-stones/

http://elizabethkrallphotos.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/rock-on/

http://stephenkellycreative.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/ailsas-travel-theme-stone/

http://mariadesuede.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/trois-lieux-trois-departements-tout-en-pierres-wheres-my-backpack-stone/

http://the-sia-brat.com/2013/10/29/travel-theme-stone/

http://hemadamani.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/travel-theme-stone/

10-10-13 Color – 2nd Place

I thought I would show you the shots that finished second in my personal color competition. This will give you the chance to nod your head sagely and say, “He made the right choices” or to shake your heads and go “What an idiot. Doesn’t even know his own work.”

Red – Tomato

Red_Yearly Gunsting-8

 

Green – Hudson River just below Henderson LakeJourney's End_Source of the Hudson

 

Blue -Sunrise over the Hudson – Saugerties Lighthouse

 

Yellow – Peppers at the greenmarket

Yellow_Multi-Colored-2-2

 

White – Blizzard (same day and path as yesterday)

White-0069-2

 

Have at it!

 

8-27-13 The Adirondack Iron Works (The Tahawus Tract)

A short way below Henderson Lake, you come to the ruins of the last blast furnace of the Adirondack Iron Works.  The company operated between 1827 and 1857 but was finally defeated by the remoteness of the location, the failure to complete a promised train line to the works, and the presence of titanium dioxide in the iron ore.

156 years later the blast furnace still stands.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

8-20-13 Day #962. The True End Of The Begining

A little over 2.5 years ago, I started blogging about my experiences on The Hudson River – primarily through photography, occasionally with commentary.

I started the blog on January 1, 2011, and vowed to post everyday for a year, shoot everyday and visit the river everyday I was in town.  I also said that I would make it to the source of the Hudson in 2011. Today is my 962nd straight day of blogging. I have not made it to the river everyday but thanks to smartphones I have shot everyday. Due to significant challenges to our family I didn’t make it to the source in 2011. In 2012 I damaged myself, particularly my right knee and did not make it to the source.

On August 14, 2013 I reached a source of the Hudson River. “A” source not “the” source?  Yes.  According to the New York State Legislature of 1870’s, Lake Tear of The Clouds, high up on Mount Marcy, is the source. According to mapmakers and earth scientists Henderson Lake in the Tahawus Tract is the actual start of the Hudson River at the Henderson Lake Dam (Outlet).

On August 14th, I drove out of Queensbury NY and headed up into the Adirondacks.  The weather was very changeable, going from bright sun to threatening overcast and some rain and then back again. This pattern repeated all morning. The road runs somewhat parallel to the Hudson but with frequent switchbacks and side trips. You cross the river several times.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

It was a slow journey as I kept stopping to get out of the car, walk and shoot but always with the trailhead to Henderson Lake in my mind. I found myself slowing down the closer I got to the lake. Luckily only two or three cars passed me during the last 15 miles on 28N then Tahawus Road and finally Upper Works Road so I did not feel rushed.

When I finally reached the trailhead of the Upper Works Trail, I made sure to read all the park announcements, walk to the various trails that led off of it and even walked back down the road about 100 yards to look over some deserted and collapsed structures.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

When I really could not delay any longer, I started up the trail. I kept leaving it to go down to the banks of the Hudson, which is no more than 10-20 feet wide at this point, to shoot. I really cannot express how beautiful the park, the forest, the mountains and the river are. These pictures that will follow do them slim justice.

Soon enough I came to the fork in the road. The trail continues in one direction heading into the mountains. The path leads to Henderson Dam. I took the path. I could tell when I was about 100 yards away from the Lake. I don’t know how I knew, I just did.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

I turned on the video function on my camera and narrated the last bit of the walk for myself. I have not listened to it yet but I know it had to do with three years of work, three years of life, three years of striving, procrastinating, thinking and going on instinct all now coming to a (not the but a) culmination. I came to the top of the rise and stopped, just stopped. There was the lake no more than 20 feet in front of me. There was the dam maybe 200 feet away through a field of little purple flowers.  I took no pictures. I said no words. I just looked and listened. Did I not move for a minute? Five minutes? More? I have no idea.

When I finished absorbing what I needed, I picked up the camera and went to work.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

I shot in every direction. I shot the lake, the river, the fields, and the mountains.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

I bushwhacked about a half mile around the lake bank just because.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Then I walked towards the dam. I took over 100 photographs around the lake, the dam and the headwaters of the river. Two are out of focus. The two I took as I went towards the dam.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

When I came back I thought, “ok. Time to process. Time to leave.”

Like hell.  I had to get down to where the headwaters stopped being Henderson Lake and started being the Hudson. It was a steep but not impossible 10 feet down. For the first time I wished I had my old camera, both for practical reasons and sentimental ones but I had left it in the car.  I slid down, jammed my camera bag, gently between two boulders and walked/ crawled over three boulders.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

Then I looked down the river, the start of the river.

Journey's End_Source of the Hudson

I stuck my hand out and just let the water roll over it right at the demarcation point.  I cupped both hands and took a drink. I took an iPhone shot.

This is the end

I grabbed my bag and started to scramble up.  A light rain started falling. I looked up but while it was overcast I didn’t see any rain clouds. I came to the top and realized that it wasn’t raining on the river and there were no drops on the lake, seemingly it was only raining in a 30/50/100 foot circle around me.  Again I just stopped and let the light rain hit me.  Then I walked forward out of the rain and when I turned around it was gone.

I am not a “spiritual” person. I’m not an astrology buff, I don’t talk to the spirit of the trees, I do not go to church, I am a rational humanist and as such, I knew something very special had happened.

After I returned home, I told Katherine the story. She is a spiritual person. I like her interpretation.  “What is rain?” she asked me. “Rain is the tears of the clouds. You didn’t make it to Lake Tear Of The Clouds so it came to you.” I liked that.

Then I realized that the real source of the Hudson is not Henderson Lake Or Lake Tear but rain. It falls and becomes the Hudson, the Hudson evaporates and becomes the rain and on and on.

I will make it up to Lake Tear someday reasonably soon and I will be excited, awed, and blown away and will feel many things. But, whether or no, I already have found an ending and for one precious moment in time I was totally relaxed, happy and at peace.