Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wandering at the Waterfall

Today I am grateful for abundant shade trees, cool water from a deep well and an
afternoon breeze that took a bit of the edge off the heat wave. The elevation of the 
hills here kept the temperature well under the one hundred degree mark, but others 
I spoke with were not so lucky. I was thankful it wasn't hotter, I tend to melt in heat 
and humidity. Pasha and I both moved around from shady spot to shady spot, me 
attempting chores in between long sits under the trees sipping lemon verbena and 
chocolate mint water. It would have been a wonderful day to go to Glendale Falls, 
but, alas, that was last weekends journey. 

The hills here are often nothing more than mounds of ledge covered in a wee bit 
of soil. Stones and ledges peek up everywhere, whispering their ancient earth 
stories. Glendale Falls starts as a small tributary brook with a lovely pool at the top, 
then cascades down in a series of falls and pools to the bottom. In spring it is quite 
a rushing waterfall, but this time of year the pools are fed by small streams providing
many a wonderful swimming hole. 

The pool at the top is deceptively deep, below, a fellow wanderer stepped into 
the deepest part to have a real swim. There is a spot for a whirlpool massage as
well, as long as you don't mind an occasional small fish dancing in your hair. 

One can climb down the smooth ledges from pool to pool, or walk beside the 
falls in the forest. The way down is often a stone path with hundreds of tree 
roots holding on for lack of deep soil. 

Walking slowly between roots and stone, a magical moment of light captures me. 

Small streams and pools sing gentle forest songs, 

and everywhere the trees seem quite able to pull up 
their roots and join me as I wander. 

Two trees reach for each other, perched together 
for a hundred years or more, holding root-hands 
at the edge of the waterfall. 

Scarred and knobbed, this broken root healed into 
something that looks rather like the eye of a tree. Or
maybe a giant, green dragon once met a great sorcerer 
and was changed forever into tree. 

Small springs sprout from stone and moss and tree, and 
I find myself walking further into the forest and away 
from the people scrambling quickly down the 
waterfall to see what is at the bottom. I am reminded 
of the importance of the slow, meandering path. 

I come upon a woodland cave, cool and dark and deep, and 
know this place must be a favorite of bobcat and mountain lion, 
once the humans have departed and the darkening forest 
belongs again to the wilder ones.  

As I look more closely at the pair of reaching trees, 
I see tree spirits peering at me. I could feel them
here in this forest, and now I know they saw 
me, too. 


kd said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your walk and this spirit-full place. All those beautiful spirits of forest and water.

Nancy said...

That 'Scarred and knobbed, this broken root' looks like a couched and braided fiber treasure! Beautiful - thank you for sharing.

Charlotte said...

Isn't our world a truly wonderful place.

Donna~Q~ said...

What a blissfull place to visit. It is remarkable how those trees grasp stone, and each other, and how the water winds its way through it all... such lovely photos! They are a welcome breeze on a too-hot day. Like yourself, I am thankful for garden shade and cool things to sip on.

ArtPropelled said...

Aaahh pure bliss! I'm scrolling back and forth, taking it all in and feeling the magic.

Ruthie Redden said...

Valerianna, this looks a magical, peaceful place, just looking at the images makes me feel that wonderful peace & calm i always feel when walking in the forests. I love to see the trees rooted as these are, woven in such intricate patterns, part of the earth.

Kimberly Wachtel said...

Beautiful photo's Valerianna! I haven't stopped by any blogs in awhile ...can't seem to find the time. Your post was a wonderful shot - the beauty of New England in summer and reflection - to my soul. Thank you. I miss you! Do you ever Skype? Maybe we can talk one of these days over the computer. I'll email you. Sending thoughts and love your way.

Lynn said...

A beautiful place filled with enchantment. The pool is so inviting. I love the dragon's eye! Many thanks for this.

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

Ah! what beauty this world beholds.
Have you listened to 'Deep Forest' its the name of the group and one of the CD's which is my favourite one. Your pictures put me in mind of it.
Thanks for sharing.

Penny Berens said...

Oh, Valerianna, I feel refreshed and much cooler after this beautiful post. I could feel the presence of the woodland spirits through your pictures. Was amazed at the dragon's first glance I thought you had stitched some lumpy thread in circles!

steven said...

i wish i had read and looked at this post yesterday when the heat was so very intense but somehow in the cooler quiet of the early morning it makes more sense. thanks for inviting us along to see the magic life in the lives of the trees and the rocks and the water! steven

Reading Tea Leaves said...

Oh your forest never ceases to amaze me Valerianna - it is SO atmospheric. Those trees seem to be hugging each other and the cool clear watching gushing over the rocks must be so cooling in the heatwave. Isn't it funny how we can all experience different weather conditions through the power of blogging!


Reading Tea Leaves said...

Oops I did of course mean water not watching!

trish said...

A magical place. Beautiful

Kathryn Dyche said...

Beautiful post, it looks like such a beautiful place. What I would give to be near that water today. Temps at 104F with us today.

Lecte said...

A lovely, refreshing post!
Our countries are separated by an ocean, but the heat here is the same, and the longing for cool water is as strong.
These streams on your photos are so temptive :)

barbara said...

Blessed are the creatures who know the slow slow slower walking in heaven.

Windsongs and Wordhoards said...

Hi Valerianna,
I love the forest and these pictures are wonderful, the forest pools look very inviting! I love the roots joined in companionship...
I've been so busy and tired that I haven't posted anything for ages, but I think you may have inspired me afterall to post some of my pics of Lynmouth with its twisted, contorted oaks - a little British wilderness in comparison to your vast American one!
Carrie... :)

Unknown said...

Hello, V - I am catching up on my reading this cool grey evening and grateful for this refreshing trip to Glendale Falls. What a magical place! Glad you and Pasha are keeping cool - best wishes, sus

BrandNewStudio said...

see you

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

I can practically hear that waterfall.
An enchanted place.

Sharmon Davidson said...

What a beautiful and magical place you've allowed us to see; I can tell the forest spirits are alive and well, there. It reminds me a lot of the Great Smokey Mountains. And speaking of the slow, meandering path versus scrambling to the bottom, I just watched 127 Hours- a perfect illustration of your point. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos!

helen said...

How I love to walk with you in your local paradise filled with magic ~ trees and water....the home of my heart.

Thank you Valerianna ~

Valerianna said...

Goodness, I sure am slow at answering comments these days!

kd- I imagine you see some amazing forest and water spirits on your adventures!

Nancy - I didn't see that before, but you are right!

Charlotte - absolutely, best place in the universe, or so I think!

Donna ~ Q- Waiting for rain today, hope it comes to lower the humidity. And I am always amazed at trees growing on stone, finding its way deep down to water.

ArtPropelled - hope you enjoyed your scroll!

ruthie- I, too, love to see the usually hidden patterns of roots, let's me understand more of what is under the places I can't see.

Kim- Yes, I do skype. I'll try to find you!

Lynn - thanks, gotta go find the rest of the dragon now.

Cranky Crone - yes, long ago I think I had a CD... I should listen again,
thanks for the suggestion.

Penny - Interesting that I didn't see that before, but now that a few of you mention it, it really does look stitched.

steven - I wish I was at the waterfall during the heat wave, we went a few days before it came. I'll remember to go back if the heat gets bad again!

Cottage Garden - it is a bit odd, especially when I read blog posts from Southern hemisphere and they are in winter, how amazing is that!

Trish - thanks!

Dyche Designs - me too!

Lecte- Hope you've cooled off a bit as we have!

Stille Linde - Yes, a good, slow wander is a good thing!

Swan Artworks - look forward to seeing your post, especially for twisted oaks, cool!

susan- yes, keeping cool, though today its humid, but not too hot, and about to rain. Gotta go find that Pasha cat so he doesn't run off in the thunderstorm!

BrandNewStudio- thanks!

Julie - Someday I want to record all the great water and creature sounds here and post them. Someday, when I get more techie!

Sharmon - oh, yes, I want to see that... thanks for the reminder.

Helen - you're quite welcome!

PK Studios said...

Just found you through Ruthie's blog....LOVE your blog and creations! I'll be back for more! Cheers, Penny

Heather said...

Thanks for taking me down the slow path! The swimming hole was refreshing, the trees serene and mysterious.

Valerianna said...

PK Studios - thanks for stopping by... and thanks for the feedback!

Heather - Looking forward to going back to swim... didn't have my suit and its too public a place to dip without it!

india flint said...

when i was little, my paternal grandparents were the keepers of a similarly magical place [but in Vermont]. it lives on in my memory and is a good place to go.
thank you for swinging by my neck of the woods and for leaving your lovely might want to pop back today for an announcement that concerns you!

Valerianna said...

iNd!nA - Cool beans, I'm heading right over!! Glad you came for a little wander in my woodlands!

layers said...

Such beautiful streams and moss covered logs and inviting sunlight and shadows dancing everywhere.. very Zen-like. Would love to be on the same paths...

rivergardenstudio said...

And I would love to be in that pool on the top of the water fall. Your words here and your photos are magical and lovely. roxanne

jude said...

you live in fairyland