Crowz Nest

Because it's time... as it was once before.

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Location: Port Murray, NJ

I'm a bit old to be starting out in life again, but that's where I am. Sadly. Or gladly. It's where I am. Come along. Watch the fun. Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Nearly Perfect Day

I drove up to Connecticut yesterday morning to spend the day with Joe. We were going to have a late breakfast and spend a few hours together. On a whim, at the last minute, I threw my hiking boots and parka in the back seat, thinking maybe we'd end up driving around and stopping somewhere. I'd rather have had them with me than regret not being able to hike into some of those pretty woods because I didn't. We drove into a park, overlooking Lake Lillinonah. Joe spotted an eagle soaring over the water. The eagle alit on a tree just across the water from us. We weren't close enough to get a good shot.
Even with zoom on my feeble little digital, this was the best we could do. You can just see the eagle as a black dot on a branch in the middle of the image (you can click for a closer look,) but it'll do for memories. I know it was there.

We decided to see if we could walk in a bit closer, but the CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH of our boots on the crusty snow was far from the shush shush shush we needed not to spook it, and it took off. We did have a chance to watch it swooping over the lake from a distance for a bit, but we soon got back into the car and started driving around the lake. We went past a picturesque little farm near a corner, and took the turn up a short hill just beyond it.

We stopped and almost turned around when we found ourselves on a little cul-de-sac, but there was a locked gate across the mouth of a trail up at the end that begged our attention. There were no signs prohibiting entrance, so we decided to hike in a bit. That turned out to be a good decision. There was one set of footprints going up, and the same set coming down, but otherwise, aside from coyote tracks, deer tracks, and racoon tracks, the snow was unmarked and we were alone. We hiked up and found the remains of a small building - just a brick chimney and a corner of the foundation, where some charred beams showed us there'd been a fire. There was a strange little stone tower, short and wide. A small entry led into the interior, and it had one internal wall bisecting it, with a small opening between the two halves. It had clearly had a roof at one time, but gave few clues as to its original purpose. Best guess was it might have been for silage of some sort. Joe said it clearly had some age on it. It was wrapped with some sort of pipe, the purpose of which eluded me, but Joe tells me it was reinforcement, put there to hold the stone in place. We couldn't figure it out, but it was fun to poke around in it and wonder.

Further on, we came upon three walls of a stone foundation left of what had probably been a barn. Interesting to think there had been a farm stuck up there on the side of a mountain like that. I remember in history class in elementary school, reading that farming had been hard for the settlers in New England because of how rocky the soil was. Pretty clear how tough it must have been when you're actually walking around on all that granite and quartz.

Coming back down, the views of the lake were spectacular.

The little farm we'd passed on our way up was tucked right up against the lake, and from up above, it was even more picturesque than it had been from the side of the road.

What a spectacularly beautiful day it was. Nothing feels better than to be dressed just right, such that your hands, feet, and trunk are comfortably warm, but your face is glowing with the cold. Nothing feels better than that except to look at your companion and realize you are exactly where you want to be, next to the person with whom you want to be, and so deeply present in the moment that you wouldn't choose to be anywhere else on earth. There is no feeling that comes closer to perfection.

The only thing that keeps such a day from achieving total perfection is that time moves too swiftly, and the day comes to an end. With more time that flaw is erased. Perfection lands lightly upon memory, and the day remains with me forever. Perfect.


Blogger Knatolee said...

I love sunny winter days like this. Beautiful! As opposed to here, where we are on our 21st straight day of rain, with more rain predicted for the next five days. Blech!

11:42 AM  
Blogger michele said...

What lovely photos and narratives. I came across your blog today, and I just want to tell you it made me feel so peaceful. I just enjoyed it so very much-thank you!

9:24 AM  
Blogger What_Have_I_Come_To said...

You made me smile at the end. You will understand. Not will, DO.

2:19 PM  
Blogger flyingfish3 said...

My sister, how are you and I born of the same parents? Hiking in the woods on a cold winter day a favorite? Yeah, not so much of mine! Floating around in the Caribbean on an 85 degree day? Now you've got! But honestly it all comes down to who you're with and as my loving husband tells everyone he sees, "all I have to do when my wife is mad at me is take her to the sea! As soon as she's in the water it's, 'I love you baby!'" He's right....

3:35 PM  

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