Third Sunday: bright, sunny day, though still cold. Had a touch of snow earlier in the week, which had mostly cleared off. I realized that I’ve had amazing luck thus far, to have snow-free days for my planned rambles. As I headed for the park, I wondered if today would have a theme, or if I would just wander.
Ah, the footbridge. Gateway to adventure! And today, presenter of a theme: light and shadow. I was struck by the sharpness of the shadow from the railing. Set the tone for the visit, I must say. Not to go all metaphysical, but it sort of reminded me of a challenge, something “barring my way” into the park beyond, yet something easily passed.
The next thing that caught my eye is a long-time favorite, a tangle of roots and rocks and irresistible forces just to the north of the cave. I’ve included a photo, though I’m not sure you’ll see what I see: that the main tree, the one slightly in front, seems to be pulling free and getting ready to move along. On this day, the shadows emphasized that feeling for me.
Rounding the corner, into the shadow of the bluff by the cave mouth, I turned to look out over the lake. “Shadow” isn’t just a dark spot on the ground, see; sometimes it’s an area from which one looks into a lighted world. I paused for a few minutes before making my own move into the lighted world beyond the bluff’s shadow. Because that’s what I do well: pause! In fact, pausing may be my bestest thing to do, as a child of my acquaintance used to say.
On this day, after making the scramble up and over the bluff – this time assisted by my trusty walking stick – I took an unpaved path down to the creek that runs from the spill at the south end of the lake. A couple of hours later in the day, and I wouldn’t have done, as it would have thawed into mud. No thanks. Mud in summer is fine; mud in winter? Uh, no. Anyway, the area down along the creek is a tangle of hideously-invasive Japanese honeysuckle, native vines like grapevine, saplings, old trees, and winding creek bed. Fertile ground for chiaroscuro hunting, I figured. I was right. Took several photos but will only bother you with a couple of them. First, a large tree, across the creek. I can only guess that the parks department not only left it, but reinforced it, as a bridge for the adventurous. Which, today, did not include your humble traveler. Second, I spotted ice on a backwater; the ice lent a different quality to the light and shadow that fell on it. Thought it was neat.
Once I won free of the creek bottom, it was smooth, paved, almost shadow-free path back to my car. Altogether a fine day for a ramble.