Tag Archive for hudson river

“He who starts on a ride…

…of two or three thousands miles may experience, at the moment of departure, a variety of emotions. He may feel excited, sentimental, anxious, carefree, heroic, roistering, picaresque, introspective, or practically anything else: but above all he must and will feel a fool.”

— Peter Fleming

She will, too. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you’ll recognize the quote. I use it whenever I take a big trip because it’s always accurate. I’m leaving in half an hour for the airport to go to Budapest and points east, circling back around to end in Prague. The cat, plants, and apartment have a great sitter; all my work is done; even the weather’s beautiful. And what a fool I feel!

But I’m going to the land of my people — not quite, we’re from Ukraine, but on this trip I’ll spend a lot of time walking the streets walked for centuries, until WWII, by Ashkenazi Jews, who are my extended people — and I’m going with some of my favorite traveling buddies, the gang I’ve been to western China and to Mongolia with. I expect once I really get there the whole fool/jitters/travel anxiety thing will melt away, and the trip will be great. Right now, I just want to stay home in my comfort zone, but that’s why you travel, isn’t it? When the comfort zone gets to comfortable, then you gotta go.

Try to stay out of trouble while I’m gone. Or, if you insist on getting into trouble, try to enjoy it.

I leave you, and NYC, with a river photo. The next river I sit beside, if all goes well, will be the Danube.

 

Quiet gray river

 

Quiet gray river

Two ferries too far to hear

Raise frothy white wakes

 

Brant geese flock swims by

Stops to breakfast at seawall

Gull swoops down to watch

 

Joggers’ bright shirts glow

Red, blue, yellow, acid green

In foggy morning

 

Snow day

Windy, heavy snow and sleet when I was out this morning, but blizzard? Nah. Still, almost no one down by the river but me. One other photographer, two joggers, and one dogwalker: the big tattooed guy with the four little dachsunds. This is their foot/paw prints in the snow.

 

And this is the dogwalker with the dogs and the jogger. These are all 8:00 a.m. photos, by the way.

 

Water taxi dock.

 

Pier 46 pilaster.

 

Blue light with snow hat.

 

Curving pathway.

 

 

And the river still flows

Lots of action on the river this morning. A pair of Canada geese swam south; a pair of Brant geese swam south a few minutes later, then turned around and swam north. I wondered why until I saw, about twenty feet behind them, the Canada geese also swimming north — that is, escorting the Brants out of Canada goose territory. A cormorant flew low over the water and dropped into the area at the end of the piling field where a male bufflehead was already fishing. A male red-breasted merganser popped up from his underwater fishing grounds. I saw the female yesterday. He must have been finished with his breakfast because he swam a ways out, groomed his feathers, and stuck his head under his wing for a nap. A pair of mallards glided in for a landing on the pilings. Then the male Canada goose set up a major squawking fest, as another pair of Canada geese swooped overhead, but lifted again and didn’t land. Mid-February, Canada goose mating season. This land may be your land, but this stretch of the river is mine all mine!

Red-breasted merganser photo not mine; it’s from allaboutbirds.org. I thought this post needed a visual, and he’s so cute.

Rain in the snow haiku

Green swells roll slowly,

Lap up seawall, slide away,

Dotted with raindrops.

 

Gulls circle, swoop, land.

Cormorant pops up with fish.

Starlings fly above.

 

Blue lights on railing.

Snow on branches, walkway, grass.

Red life preserver.

 

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The return of the haiku

The haiku have been on hiatus (no, I couldn’t resist that line, would you have?) but now that we’re in for a long, dark time, I feel the need to write them again. So they’re back, now with photos.

Bright windless morning
Gulls cry, loud in the quiet
Sun glints on ripples

Hawk slides across moon
Circles up on rising drafts
A black speck, then gone

Patrol boat churns past
White wake rises, fades again
Glassy water shines

 

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Nineteenth Saturday

Across the river
Streetlamps glow into gray day.
Single red light blinks.

Ferry churns thick wake
Passing before sharp white tents
Against green hillside.

Water laps seawall.
Runners’ feet slap stone pathway.
Fog melts towers’ tops.

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Sixteenth Saturday, two days late

Brant geese at pilings
Fattening for the trip north
Speed-eating that moss.

Sharp contrail in sky
Cuts across thin smudgy clouds —
Chalk line on blackboard.

Construction cranes still
Scattered on far shore’s skyline
At resting angles.

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Thirteenth Saturday

Seagull circles, lands,
Pecks at food scrap, changes mind,
Floats on rippling waves.

Second gull soars in,
Tries same scrap. Same opinion.
Bobs beside his bud.

Big blackback swoops down.
Others lift off, flap away.
Empty kingdom’s his.

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Twelfth Saturday

Pearl water reflects
Red rim surrounding far clock,
Palest blue of sky.

Looking for breakfast
Geese zig-zag through piling field.
Slow-motion pinball.

In sunlight spotlight
Tanker powers upriver.
Two white gulls follow.

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