RDS: "With familiarity the profound becomes mundane. With passion the mundane becomes profound."...... Saul Bellow :" A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." ......MORE PHOTOS @ saunterings.com

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Some mornings are better than others.


Downward Glances

Along life’s footpaths,
Too often overlooked
Are details at one’s feet.
Distilling life’s wonders
Into one small space,
A marvel so profound
By only looking down.
Tread lightly the earth,
Beneath one’s footsteps
A tale of life is told.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Sapsucker Woods is a wonderful morning saunter. The morning light, the lay of the land, the extensive and well maintained trails and boardwalks and the close proximity to my house all combine to make it one of my favorites.

Late March 2008 and a good ice storm went through the area. A good ice storm does no harm but transforms everything into fine crystal, especially if the sun and blue sky, accompanied by sub-freezing temperatures, enhance the moment. Late in the season this beauty is ephemeral, the rising sun will soon transform the magic back to the mundane

Remarkably, the oak and beech leaves hang on until the spring has sprung. Long froze and long dead, the foliage remains even as the first thaw fades and the early sap flows. Dried and sere, they catch the last spring snow and ice, adding a bit of color in the spring sunshine, while still recalling that long ago fall season. In March, the sun has the visuals of September but not its seasonal warmth, the cold of winter constrains. The past is prelude.
The uneven March of Spring

Strengthening sunlight serves three seasons at the same time, the long ago fall as freshly presented, colorful foliage, the freshly revived winter as finely crafted crystal and the upcoming flow of spring, dripping from every leaf and twig.

The melting ice and snow serve as external reminders of the life forces flowing internally through all living entities.

The burden of the heavy March ice seems especially dear as the winter weary branches struggle in defiance.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009



Algae And Ice
Formed by Late
Winter Sunshine,
Frozen in Late
Winter Nightshine,
Algae Bubbles Trapped
In Thin Surface Ice,
Thin Surface Ice
Etched as Fine Glass,
Catch the Early Morning,
Late Winter Sun,
Not Yet Warming,
But Greening Towards Spring.


If only, if only, if only I had the time,
I’d carve pure thought into solid rock,
I’d whisper eternal truths upon the wind,
I’d plant absolute beauty in rich soil,
I’d…. but wait, it’s already there
To see, to hear, to know.
I need only the time given to me,
To see, to hear, to know.

Voiceless conversations swirl
Around the restless plasma,
Boundless energy bounding
Throughout an endless universe.

A bundled data pulse,
Organized by a curious life,
Spreading at light speed,
Impacts upon infinity,
Changing, ever so slightly,

The Quickness of a Fleeting Thought,
Always Disappearing Before It Ought,
Leaves a Faint But Discernible Trail,
A Trail to Travel Should Chance Avail.
For on Another Day, Another Season,
The Thought May Reappear, No Reason.

The Quickness of a Fleeting Thought
Always Disappearing Before It Ought.
A Fleeting Thought Prepares the Field,
Sows Idea’s Seeds to Grow and Yield
Fruit Born to Ripen in Due Time,
To provide a Harvest That Is Sublime.

A positive thought or feeling can lie in ambush for an indefinite period until unleashed, out of nowhere, by events beyond one’s control.

The main pond at Sapsucker Woods
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The richness of chlorophyll-green is nowhere more apparent than at a pond’s edge at the height of summer. Waterlilies flood the surface, shrubs reach out to gather in the light, tree roots draw moisture and nutrients to nourish their leafy canopy. Fallen tree trunks become turtle ramps.

Catch the autumn in a single leaf
For the forest may overwhelm you,
Catch the glance of a single eye
For the crowd will surely bore you.

Taughannock Falls from overlook

The last waterfalls of Taughannock Creek before entering Cayuga Lake

Character is built from facing life’s vicissitudes over time and circumstance. That character is etched upon all providing uniqueness to each. Falling water reinforces that concept in a visual and physical way. Each discontinuity in a creek bed, its vicissitudes over time and circumstance, gives a unique flavor to each waterfall. The effect causes an emotional response, a sense of absolute or objective beauty because the time frame vastly exceeds a human life span.
Large befores and afters imply eternal truths.

Sunset in Chili

An audience of teasel witness an autumn sunset seemingly engulfing the distant hedgerow in flames, truly a fiery sunset. All should cherish front row seats to any grand finale.


Looking down onto the mosaic of light and shadow,
water and plants, drifting easily between heaven and earth,
a reflective moment humbles the thoughtful.

Reflections at Lime Hollow Nature Center

How long the bones last, giving mute testimony to defiant life. Once nurtured by that which killed, the branches now bow towards their watery grave. Ghostly remnants of teeming life, bowing in death towards the liquid of life. Now flowing and swaying only in reflection, once they were flowing and swaying with breezy life. Ageless seem the blanched bones, so fresh the green-life reflections of the distant shore. These sun-dried bones, a grim reminder, may they last a long, long time.
The sun-dried bones act as tombstones made from the once living. So many tombstones mark so many a watery cemetery, whether a flooded meadow or a flooded woodland.
The sadness of the passing of one lifestyle into that of another leaves a melancholy sense that oppresses more in older years than those of youth.
Can the glory of the past be more real than the promise of the future? Change although inevitable is not always better, sometimes the price exceeds the value.

Each generation must pay the price; each generation must assess the value.

Tossed upon the shore, the refuse of the sea takes a new meaning for those earthly creatures roaming the sand. Alien and ancient appear the sea debris, only hinting at the vast unknown contained beneath the waves. Endless seems the sand, timeless seems the sea and so temporal seems the interloper. A foot print marks his passage, a wave erases it, and the sea remains. Beaches and waves, eternal and monotonous, forming stretches of forever that last far too long to escape the curse of boredom. Temperate living allows time for reflective thought. Harsh wind, harsh sunshine, harsh surroundings, uninterrupted and endless, oppresses. Being insignificant in one’s surroundings yields insignificance in one’s thought
Adrift in thought, the sea is restless.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Ludlowville Falls late March-08

Ludlowville Falls Detail

A curtain of drawn in front of the "cowshed"

Shallow water, sunlight and stones in
Cayuga Lake at Long Point State Park
near Aurora, NY

When demons haunt they everywhere appear.
Banishment is of no avail.
Accept reminders, they help purge the soul
by making common-place the extreme.

Fear is tempered by familiarity.

Nature is a mutable cloud, which is always and never the same.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A shaft of sunlight piercing the leafy canopy illuminates, isolates and focuses on fern fronds normally reclusive in a shady fen. The form, beautiful in its simplicity, is the epitome of efficiency, a leafy surface and a central pipeline.

January 7,1852
Every day a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls.
And then sun goes down, and long the afterglow gives light.
And then the damask curtains glow along the western window.
And now the first star is lit, and I go home.
.............................................Henry David Thoreau



As fallen leaves mark the season; the endless stairway marks the pathway. The path of life is littered with discarded thoughts and feelings once held in lofty esteem but in the fall of life are seen merely as cluttering the path near journey’s end.

The journey is the reason fall can be the melancholy season.

A crop of leaves dissolves into the stream bed, the newly fallen leaves, the ancient rocky stream bed unite, yielding a glimpse into ageless geological and biological processes.

See the future by understanding the past before you

As endlessly repeated throughout the ages, the current crop of leaves melt into the stream bed, duplicating the ageless process of returning to its roots. The newly fallen leaves and the ancient rocky stream bed unite. Life’s interdependence, the continuity of processes, from micro to macro, the repetition through the ages, all are necessary for the system’s viability.
A fall rain will sweep this image away, yet the lesson is there to see, if only for a moment. A few weeks without a fall rain yields a glimpse into ageless geological and biological processes. Drawn together, forming an artistically and intellectually united moment.

Fluttering leaves open vistas to the sky,
Littering leaves a mess along the pathway.

When demons haunt they everywhere appear. Banishment is of no avail. Accept reminders, they help purge the soul by making common-place the extreme. Fear is tempered by familiarity

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Streams of gold lay before you,
The woods ablaze in yellow sunlight.

Patterns, patterns moving patterns,
Wavelets, wavelets traveling wavelets,
Vibrating harmonies for receptive souls,
Music for the eyes attuned to see,
Ceaseless change, constant patterns,
A symphony in the Garden of Eden.

The Sunshine Speaks to Those That Listen.
The close of day can be as the dawn of creation with golden sunlight unleashing eternal beauty. The common place takes on a momentary magic, transformed for a cosmic instant into epic glory, fit only for the eyes of gods, not mere mortals. Thus are the origins of mythical places.

The Solitude of Quiet Spaces
Rests a Mind That Quickly Races
From Beginnings to Endless Places.


The eye perceives while the mind conceives.

The visual unlocks many secrets,
allowing mind’s freedom to roam.
Light’s journey, from sun to mind,
converting innumerable photons
from matter to thought.
Transformed from pure energy
to what? Thought? What’s that?
From simple physical light
to metaphysical enlightenment?
Or just excess brain heat!

Is there more to is than what is there?

Milkweed seed and sunlight

Filaments of light dancing in stillness, moves the soul’s imagination. White light coming into full multi-colored splendor. The beautification of perfection, perceived as fluttering light, conceived as not yet fluttering butterflies.

Follow the light from its origin to its destiny, the journey is the only reason. A glance, a moments gaze, can yield immortal insights, open great vistas, leading to a glorious, untold number of paths to explore. Each discovery leads to yet another, leading to know-not-where, a place to be sought not feared, a place where you are found, not lost.


Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Dylan Thomas

Sauntering is an amazing activity. By allowing time to free range in thought and location, with contented solitude, with all senses open, awareness of self and non-self comes to the forefront. The ease that so much of nature is overlooked, yet readily available to the willing, in virtually any environment, astonishes. Awareness is life’s greatest gift, not easily learned, but infinitely rewarding.
Become an open vessel, willing, child-like, to accept from all the senses, the harvest of ages.
Unlocking the secrets of the universe is really unlocking the secrets of the self for we are all an integral part of this universe, a product of the long slow process that is the geological and biological journey of the planet earth, a one-way entropy journey, never to be repeated.
Glory in your personal journey of temporary entropy reduction!!
During almost every walk things are seen that really encapsulate the moment, season or location. Seeking that special something, finding and composing a photograph around it brings great satisfaction. The photograph etches the time and place, allowing revisits, visual and emotional. The feelings flood back, even decades later. Each photograph’s original concept is part of you, a treasure-trove of personal joy.
The great joy in photography is to catch the moment, catch the many moods, ephemeral by their very nature. Capture the memory in the moment. What you see should reflect what you feel. This is what is communicated in a well thought out photograph as opposed to a snapshot. The act of carefully composing a photo causes a certain inner idea to be brought out, the oneness of the place and the photographer.
The act of composing entails elimination of the unnecessary and emphasizing the concept, the uniqueness, the emotion of the time, the location and even the photographer. The state of mind is at least as important as the location, good pictures are everywhere.

The close of day can be as the dawn of creation with golden sunlight unleashing eternal beauty. The common place takes on a momentary magic, transformed for a cosmic instant into epic glory, fit only for the eyes of gods, not mere mortals. Thus are the origins of mythical places.

Streams of gold lay before you,
The woods ablaze in yellow sunlight,
Patterns, patterns moving patterns,
Wavelets, wavelets traveling wavelets,
Vibrating harmonies for receptive souls,
Music for the eyes attuned to see,
Ceaseless change, constant patterns,
A symphony in the Garden of Eden.

The Sunshine Speaks to Those That Listen

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Snow swan at Sapsucker Woods
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

A fleeting frosty filigree falls gentle from the infinite blackness that stretches from here to forever. A soft, white cover, providing protection to the temporal from the infinite.
The cold darkness wrings the last vestige of moisture from the clear night sky, as delicate white flakes float quietly to cover the dormant life below.

Many bare stalks and twigs litter the field, but at every black opening magic happens. Icy white forms feather into the darkness, searching and finding nirvana that is perfection.
Many seek, few find.

Looking down into the darkness, looking up into the darkness. The down darkness is mere punctuation in the expanse of whiteness. While the up darkness is the universe occasionally punctuated by lightness. Out there, how vast the dark, how little the light, yet our small part of the universe basks in the whiteness of awareness with at least an attempted understanding of its meaning. .
An icy rime seeks the darkness, drawn to the abyss, leaning in to take a brief glimpse. Almost turning its back to the outside world, knowing that there must be something in there, something profound waiting to be discovered. Looking at nothing, trying to see anything. The truly interesting occurs at the discontinuities, points differing from the norm, from the commonality. Seeing the above-normal within the normal makes one, well, abnormal.

Frozen Fog

Out of The Deepest Darkness
A Ribbon of Brightest Whiteness,
Rising Slowly From Its Creek Bed,
Driven By Morning Sunlight,
Is Caught By the Smallest Tree Twigs.
A Shapeless Frigid Mist of Dawn Time
To a Feather-Growing, Clinging Rime
Its Frozen Vapors Crystallizing
From a Brightening Sky Realizing,
A Reformation to a Greater Beauty,
Glorify the Rising Sun Its Final Duty.

About the Sauntering Recluse

My photo
Ithaca, New York
Greenhouse operater well-rooted, now branching out. Photo and writing interests now springing from a long term dormancy.



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