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

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Silent wanders a mind sauntering
Vast vistas in quiet soliloquy,
Seeking within, content in being,
Thoughts adrift about eternity.

Quiet is right, quiet finds luminance,
Illusions delude, thoughts so crude,
Pondering self, pondering existence,
Receive revelation in quiet solitude.

I know not others, I know not me,
I can only dream, imagine that I see,
For all I see exists only at my will,
From chaos to tumult to all is still.

Your bright rays are not my rays,
Your rainbows are not my rainbows,
As thoughts pass through all days,
Blessings untold, glory life bestows.


Monday, December 6, 2010


December and winter arrived together, not unexpected, only dreaded. In early December winter seems to be in store forever! But eventually the daylight lengthens and the sun rises earlier each day, still two weeks from now by the way, and winter's beauty begins to snow. That is until waning March days when winter forever appears.

Crescent moon part aglow,
Dark abates but slight below,
Warm appears basking sunlight,
Delusion against chill twi-night.

Still and chill tests one's will,

Never a jay's screaming shrill
Cracks the morning still with chill
When from dark night frosts distill.

Short the sun's daily ascent,

Sharp journey's arc is bent
As the end of year is sent,
Gone forever, forever to lament.


Saturday, November 27, 2010


Wispy white brushed upon the blue, wispy white thickens to gray, to cover all the blue. Now the early wispy white thins ever so slight with a tinge of blue showing thinly through.

Looking at a single stalk of seeded goldenrod, dock or even freshly faded frost aster just recently gone to seed is a marvel to behold. Uncountable the seeds developed on even just one and uncountable stalks just within my line of sight. Prolific are the living trying to continue with a legacy, so awesome is the profligacy needed to survive. Also note well that each individual will continue this profligacy for many years, trying to legacy continue.

Go with the flow, an admonishment to be admired perhaps, but passion only just begins when flow becomes agitated.

A subtle drift of air from the east, as gently from the west a wisp of white envelopes blue and dissolves shadows into nothingness. Thinking of photons from the sun dancing or is that waves dancing on the nothingness, sustained only by electro-magnetic self. Clutter fills the mind, clarity floats away as clouds disperse shadows.

The quiet echoes between the ears, quiet are thoughts, no whirr of grinding gears, no vibrating hum of electron gigabytes galore.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Still, so very still, on a weak sun filled November morning. The chill of the black, starlit night stiffens still, all about, frosty blades of grass and still morning breath of air. Few are left the leaves, unmoved in the morning bright, single spider strand dangles pine needle in the calm, only the raucous blue of the jay disrupts the solitude.
Soon waning late sun of fall doubling with a southern influx, will rite the serenity. But as the sun path this late in the year is brief and low soon another black night will still again.

Life’s domestic chores must be done for the season as quiet as the natural world seems. No birds, no squirrels of chipmunks, no rustle of leaves hung from branches, dead calm is the afternoon air, even the bright sun cannot muster enough to disturb the calm. Such is a wan November day as the wait for winter has begun.

Soon bluster and snowflakes will rile the air, gray clouds abound, snow snakes will prowl the roads, and darkness will overwhelm both the mind and the spirit. So low the sun’s zenith it barely tops the trees. Even at the noon hour, shadows are so long they seem as cast from giants.

Again high clouds form in the west, its thin veil broadcasts the change. Fronts buffeting air masses frequently, fall hastens to winter. Late fall becomes the winter before the winter solstice arrives to begin our inevitable and tortuously slow march to spring. Today’s shadows are akin to late January but without the fate.

Even as now I write, gone are the shadows, blue sky and pleasant musings, thin clouds drift in from west to east. Tonight the stars will not twinkle, Orion will hunt unseen behind his cloudy blind, frost will not whiten, yet still is the calm.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Clouds give sight to air, masses drift or storm across the upper atmosphere known only by the clouds that move. So subtle and sweet the many forms of water that envelope our very being, the sine qua non of our existence. Can life’s complex subtleties exist in another realm, say a methane “friendly” world or is the H2O dipole molecule unique?

Liquid, watery sap drawn up hundreds of feet from root to dormant twig to explode into a leafy canopy, all without mechanical moving parts. It’s magic, truly mystical in every conceivable way. Constant life’s current flows liquid and vapor, amorphous forms, rock-like ice given much character by temperature and pressure, by density’s intensity itself!

The strangest fact of life in the entire universe is not life itself but that ice freezes less dense than water. A miracle of miracles as miraculous as can be. A simple fact, quite unique, but the basic fact of life is ice floats!!! And so our living world exists.

Clouds form and float, ice forms and floats!

Clouds form and rain falls, so simple a basic fact, but WHY. What if water vapor was slightly more dense than air, how would water get from here to there?

A distant cloud shadow blues the tree horizon as from the west a weather front advances. Slowly more white than blue, soon late fall sunshine will disappear too and spring in fall will yield to winter’s approach as the week comes to end.

But first a gentle, aimless breeze is developing some character. Swirling first east and then west and now only west, change one could say “is in the air” and in the clouds and inevitable.

Another cup of coffee later quiet again, advance clouds are thinning into drier air just east of here. Distant western horizon clouds thicken, but wind was east and now within minutes from the south, now calm with slight east drift, now south, a little more brisk enough to twirl a few leaves across the way. A quiet coffee morning watching a distant flag, a quiet Sunday morning before winter perhaps begins. Back to flag observing, it is pointing west by gentle eastern breeze, now south but drifting west again, now southerly in bent, but tending west again. The tension is almost unbearable!!!!! But now I must go, my coffee cup is empty and my sunshine is fading fast.

And now I must go home. RDS

Monday, November 15, 2010


Low the late October sun, chill the northern blow that may chill worse than a winter’s blast, trees less of leaves, open vistas long obscured, crowds thin too, not around to view, all the glory of an evening sun at noon. Sparse the leaves, sparser still the crowd, but glorious the mighty falls, the wonder that is Niagara.

Glimpsed through new formed vistas, the river gorge below the falls opens, framed by foliage colorful and still glowing with autumn’s shrubs bared not yet by late fall breezes.
The arch of the Rainbow Bridge and the half-arched Observation Tower become new focal points now the leaves of trees are almost gone. Arches are of course less obtuse than a glaring straight line, and a simple, single tower accomplishes its need while not overwhelming its surroundings.

Once my images would always strive to avoid man-made intrusions, intrusions into the natural world, but now I see they intercede not intrude, are necessary at times to give scale and perspective to the awe at hand.
Today’s chill breeze suppresses the mist of the falls and hustles it towards Canada opening the view on the American side and making the saunter drier and more pleasant.
The torrent, the headlong rush to the brink and frenzied final leap off the edge to froth and foam and white purity freed by power basic, but almost divine, mesmerizes. Standing so close, at the brink, the glorious line between the flow and the chaos, before such force, eternity beckons.

I have always loved to wonder above a waterfall, as the quickening pace of the water’s flow begins its rush to the edge, seemingly oblivious to all the tumult that lies ahead. However, water, unlike the living, emerges unscathed by such chaos, tumult and abuse, for after this horrific ride comes the calm again. Not so us!!

Niagara Falls is split by Goat Island. On the USA side the falls of Niagara is called American, the falls in Canada is called Horseshoe, Horseshoe is obvious, the title American seems only a mere afterthought. The falls called American is more accessible and personable.

Many small “islands” dot the river immediately above the precipice, even if quite small, each supports some woody growth, defying the majesty and awe-someness of the great Niagara. In the spring, I have seen large ice floes rush the scene above the falls that should scour clean each “island”, yet the trees and shrubs still seem to defy and life clings brazenly.

Goat Island, someday destined to be a pinnacle perhaps, as the falls inevitably retreats from that ridge of limestone known as the Niagara Escarpment, divides the great Niagara River into unequal parts, the Horseshoe Falls much larger and dramatic, and the American Falls smaller and accessible.

In the late October season, with no jostling crowds to contend, solitude and piety indulge the moment. A vast force intoxicates, humbles and empowers, universal thoughts collect, time disperses, uniting forever with today. Humbling is the great falls of Niagara!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Gently fall the yellow honey locust leaves, russet colored white ash leaves descend to the earth from on high, droopy are the blossom spent goldenrod and aster blue or white, exhausted in the summer heat of almost early fall! ~90F.

Oppressive is the newly arrived fall, resigned to summer heat. Quickly on the morrow a front will toss the heat and brisk chill will follow, follow on the retreat of this last of summer heat. Always one must remember wherever one does live nothing more can be asked of the weather than “Give me long-term averages and no questions asked.”

Retreat the summer green, early stress of shorter days and late summer dry, protect against come what may, abort excess to save the rest, early fall is late summer triage. Slow the summer dies, quick the fall advance. Leaf by leaf the story’s told, how the summer dies, but fall does not begin, it’s seen as summer’s end.

Standing beside a stream the water rushes by; following along stream banks, to its source or end, streams seem a journey. Perception changes from one’s attitude, along the banks when sitting at one spot, life is seen as passing by, always changing, yet never has beginning nor even an end, but walk along a bank and as each bend and rill leads to another, life’s a journey once again. Take the time sit and watch and take the time to walk.

From where I sit, a sugar maple changes into fall, mid-September and already one third is a lovely Red, two thirds remain a summer green. Each year this tree is among the first to change and always the pattern is the same. As the tree grows on a very dry embankment to its north, dry stress would seem to favor the north side. The south facing branches seem to be the first, perhaps added stressed by the summer heat? Anyway, the blush of Red begins the tree’s undress of summer greenery.

I always love the many shades of Red in the early fall. Red is the color, the color that is fall, from berries to foliage to fiery sunsets, the glory that is fall.

Fall also seems spider time, everywhere they appear. Especially tiny ones that like to wander and jump about. The arachnid wolves who hunt and stalk, not ensnare. Some how this seems a more honorable way to gain ones nourishment than weaving webs of death.

Soon some quiet night, out of clear black darkness a killing frost will fall, thereby ending all tender summer growth. Sometimes it seems a blessing if early frost is hard, mercifully ending daylight-starved, suffering summer plant life, or worse soft-frost disfigured beauties lingering on and on.

Although fall weather following a killing frost can yield pleasant days, these days are but an interlude, only a false image of summer plenitude. Spring and fall transition times are better than the doldrums summer heat and winter cold present.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Dragonflies zigzag the open lawn!!

Earth-bound August morning dew twinkles as July’s evening fireflies, falling out of the dark starry-night, twinkling only from one very special spot. Formed from star-filled sparkling nights, they are, perhaps, ephemeral starlight, not just diffracted sun rays, for sunny morning delight. Each drop seems a blinking rainbow in the morning light or perhaps a blinking Morse code from starships far away, revealing eternal truths for every one to see.

Drifting in a ray of morning sun, strands of a night-constructed cobweb death-trap float gently in the air, harmlessly passing by. I’ve seen a spider fall from a branch fifteen feet to the ground, attached to a silken bungee cord, formed so effortlessly. How can so much silk so quickly flow from such a tiny source? Truly does astound!!

The first hints of fall’s approach are seen in the early goldenrod. Goldenrod, glory of the fall, has kin that blooms late July and early August and is quite the family, friends of insects, butterflies, wasps, bees, bane of gardeners, farmers, livestock and many other fall bloomers. A stand of goldenrod, Solidago sp., covers dense areas with invasive, overlapping roots and rhizomes, choking out virtually everyone else.
Not eaten much by bugs or foragers, only stung by gall mites that disfigures but doesn’t really harm, Solidago canadensis is the worst offender. Makes one wonder why it hasn’t taken over the entire sun-drenched areas of the northeast. However, eventually a stand weakens, becomes shaded or invaded, a bad season may give reason, but someone moves in and changes the neighborhood.

Change is always King, variety the spice of life, to resort to an old cliché. Seems clichés become old because they speak such basic truths.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


From meadow and valley fields, though open deciduous woods, then dense evergreens growing smaller as road’s ascent grows longer and higher and vistas begin to open. Then in a well- marked demarcation trees reach their end of line. Grasses, sedges, few small flowers too, barely clinging to mountain side, mosses rare and lichens, yellow bright, declare tree line is finally reached. Life becomes most difficult.

Winds whip, abrade w
ith specks of rock, freezes thaw, then freeze again, well below the base-line norm. Botanic life is shorn of height, hiding from the furies might, between weather ravaged rock, sheltered in frost created cracks, within a pile of freeze created rocks.
Primitive and basic, life is lived in extreme, as from beginning it does seem. Water is life’s necessity, water is the enemy. While flowing moist it nourishes, wind-driven, frozen-dry discourages.

Imagination cannot comprehend the time that has been spent to construct and destruct such massive stuff. Fragile and easily destroyed we are, civilized but not too far, searching for a place to realize who we may be and Why. Reduced to insignificance we seek to find our magnificence, but there is no inevitable defense, for soon we all will be past tense. That is what unites us all, visitors from around the globe, to clamor to the top to find ourselves in awe.

At the top of the northeast all the world comes to see, by foot, by rail, by car, truly an amazing sight. Many languages spoken, bound by a common bond, to stand atop Mt. Washington, to stand atop and stare. Stare to see forever, everywhere, a universal need, a universal desire. Many cluster a the top, the goal being reached, but few stop along the way to discover that the journey is the true goal, the peak but a brief reward, a trophy.

The mountain train has been climbing the this high peak forever, a hundred fifty years. The highest peak was much higher once, forever ago, two hundred million years, give or take a few. Forevers are indeed forever, forever will they seem. Each forever is forever in its own esteem. Each a cosmic blink depending how you think. On the macro-side the frost chunks the rock apart, forever freezes thaw and water slips between, on the micro-scale lichen does the same! One an act of physics, the other of chemistry.

Billowy white the clouds that float the sky become gray fog when with mountain peak collide.
Slow the rock does bend and fold, perception does lie, rock is not as solid as we’ve oft been told, for solid rock so old belies such tales told bold.

Browns and tans and greens and yellows, bright blooms , dull seeds, bright seeds, dull blooms, in the late summer the stress of living shows how great the toll extracted. The pain of reality, reversing one small patch of entropy, is obvious, yet so painful to see. Wonder what the point is really meant to be. Strive and die forever, but prepare to future face? Such is the faith of living, running the great race. For each life exists to better life for life yet to be.

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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