Monday, September 21, 2015

Hill and Vale

     Sunday was such a gorgeous late summer day. Blue sky above, still green below but with hints of the color to come. Pity those poor souls who had to stay inside and watch football on TV. At least they have alcohol to take the sting out of their suffering.
     Holly and I managed to sneak away for a few hours and a little bike loop in Easton. Parked at
Christ the King and took Burton Road to Mountain Road, with its grand vistas and tree-shaded coolness. We were riding on top of the Taconic frontal thrust fault, quiet today as it has been for the last 450 million years. Snuck around the south side of Willard Mountain, climbing up past the ski resort (no snow yet!) and then back on Intervale with its charming little cemetery, breathtaking views and eye-watering descent. Finally turned onto Birch Hollow for one last woodsy dirt road before rolling back to the truck. It was an hour of hill country scenery at its finest and we even left enough time to stop at the Ice Cream Man on the way home. Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon since there's nothing worth watching on television...
     Here's a few photos Holly took (while talking to a friend on her I-phone, pretending to listen to her dad, and biking up and down hills):

Wild Watch
     This will be a good week for sky watchers with three planets in the east before dawn. On Thursday and Friday mornings (September 24 & 25) dazzling Venus will be easy to spot. Lower and to the left will be Mars (much fainter) very close to Regulus, a star in the constellation Leo. Lower yet and near the reddening horizon will be Jupiter.
     Sunday evening, September 27, offers a real treat. There will be a total lunar eclipse starting shortly after 10pm and lasting till about 11:30pm. This will be the last one for several years so let's hope for clear skies.
     Also a good time to watch busy wildlife fattening up before winter. On our bike ride we came close to being hit and run victims as turkeys, chipmunks and squirrels scooted across the road in front of us. Apple trees are having a very good year and we encountered places where there were so many drops that it posed a danger on the bikes. Butternuts were falling from above as well. The wild harvest is happening.

Google eye view of Easton. It looks a little different from a bike seat.

No snow on Willard but there was plenty at Inman Pond up near Hogtown when Jim Appleyard took this winter shot. "Apples" is an old hiking buddy and gifted photographer of weddings and wilderness

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