Saunterings: Photo-essays exploring nature's truths and beauty.

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 @

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


The sun is warm as mid-morning advances. Some yellows begin to color witch hazel leaves masking their small but fragrant blooms. So sad the glory of season’s last blooming, unlike the first blossoms of spring, is lost among the dying.

 Cherry trees and nut trees, walnut, hickory, butternut also glow yellow in my morning sun, but this year many ash are succumbing to a new borer and next spring will not leaf out. Each breath of wind brings down more sere, brown and lifeless leaves from my ash. Its shade on my deck will be sorely missed come summer next but even worse the death of so many forest ash, for many years the woods will be scarred by their loss.  

Seems but yesterday the white pine began to brown older needles in response to dark’s daily lengthening. Around the equinoxes, vernal or autumnal, the day’s duration changes most rapidly. In summer and winter, the solstices the changes are the slowest. Soon a light brown mulch of needles will cover bare beneath the trees and tinge only lightly brown the green  grass.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


This morning from my keyboard, the valley is bathed in early day, gold cast sun, as distant green glows bright from between shadowed boles and evergreens. When light is cascaded throughout it’s way distance separates. There is a near, there is a far.

 Now clouds have enveloped, flattened. Far is lost as near is clear. Gone the special distant morning dear. Smaller my world is to me! 

As I look out the window the rhododendron blooms, heat shortened, but lovely still. So cold in winter it’s look, now proclaiming it is late spring. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Just sat down upon my lawn swing to enjoy the morning before the spring thunder storms develop later. Just now a slight breeze and a blizzard of cherry blossom petals snowed upon me. Another phase of spring passing as cherry and wild pear blossom shed white, their time for bloom is almost done. Next to bless with beauty will be the many apple and crab apple trees with some white and and many shades of pink and red.

Down in the former greenhouse gardens forsythia and magnolia trees, both white and purple, continue to bloom. The white star magnolia about done, the purple, a variety called "Betty" has just begun. 

This spring has been good, fairly dry, quite sunny and not too hot. 
Just thought you would like to know.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


April 17, 2013     
    Mid-April the sun is warm, a slight drift from the north renders cool the shade. Better a cool dry April with little mud and not excessive heat. Spring last year, like the winter, never was, from freeze to summer in March and then very damaging frosty nights late April when all was too advanced. With early leafing and flowering, so different was the sun, much lower on the horizon, when spring was quickly sprung.    

    Today the first bud break of spring, wild rose and honeysuckle leaves. Other woody buds are swelling, but these show true color and begin to mist the woods with green and tinge red. Some winter rosettes of perennial plants color a bit earlier, even at first melt of snow, but no new growth perceived on most yet.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


"I run across hills and dales, I wander through nameless lands ... because I am hunting for a golden dream."

Today begins as a warm, humid non-typical fall day, leaves beginning to change, mostly yellow, few are russet, and occasionally reds are seen. Changes in the next few weeks, although occurring every year, always seem so profound.

While it’s midday, or what used to be midday, now 4 o’clock, seems like early evening the days are so short.

Earlier for a brief time the sun broke though the thin clouds and I was almost moved to go out and take a few photos, but before I got around to gather up my gear the thin clouds became thick and that was that. 

Now I’m sitting on my lawn swing day dreaming fall thought. The air is still quite warm and very quiet, even the birds and squirrels are not around.

Into the woods I shall go,
Where quiet seeks its peace.
The babbling brook is quiet,
The windless air is quiet,
The bird-less sky is quiet too.
Leaves drop without a sound,
The quiet echoes all around.
Now is time for me to quiet too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Somber lighted dawn chases shadows deep,

Steep wooded slope, night’s secrets keep.

Early though and morning has just awoke,

Silver glimpsed as red fox silence bespoke.

Steadfast on well-travelled path, swift his gait,

As stalker’s chance encounter seals prey’s fate.

And so each day starts anew.

Friday, June 1, 2012


May 28, 2012
Hot, humid, summer-like days abruptly ended as heavy rain fell and thunder echoed the valley after lightning flashed the dark clouds of early afternoon.

Life shackles not mind overflowing dreams impressed upon reality.
Walls are built from within to escape without.
Intoxication frees not self, only smothers, hides,
Quenches not feelings deep and mysterious, marvelous and ecstatic.
Transforming reality beyond self, marvelous beyond ordinary,
Feelings excitable beyond reason, is life unshackled.

June 1, 2012

The first of June and a year has past!! Seems as yesterday so vivid that day. Yes, a year has past.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


March 17:

How unusual to seek the shade on a St. Patrick’s Day because the fore-noon sun is too warm. Morning fog hugged the valley until mid- , then slowly lifted and weakened, passing my hillside seat by 10 A.M. Now deep blue is the sky and quiet are the raucous crows. Peace penetrates, stillness prevails, as not a needle wavers nor does a single bird sing. A few chickadees, snow birds and even some nuthatches and blue-gray gnatcatchers do visit the suet nearby.

Now near noon, solar strength begins to agitate the atmosphere as gently sway the needled pines and still begins to move. In sunlit woods a tinge of green begins to appear in newly expanding leaf buds of honeysuckle and multi-flora rose.
These invaders have overtaken many woods and woodland edges becoming the dominate understory shrubs. Their success stems from the fact that their seeds are spread by bird poop and they are not eaten by Bambi and his ilk!

Now, about twenty minutes later, the air is once again very still. Perhaps a stasis between the uphill moving warmer air and the cooler downhill flowing woodland air has been temporally reached. In the summer this is very dramatic, as the sun
begins to set, cool air from the woods displaces the warmth of the day with its downhill flow.

March 18:
This morning the air is a bit more unstable as gentle breezes agitate pine needles and twigs, but the sky is cloudless blue again and warm the air remains. Sitting in the sun, listening to the brook babble from the sitting rock at “Sitabove Falls”
where early spring is again perfect. The brook flow is perfect and the sun sparkles in the splashing flow. Last year the brook was log jammed and cluttered with detritus from the extreme weather episodes of the previous few years.

The basin at the base of the falls is open again as in years past, its circular shape clear, speculation on its formation and as to why it does not fill with larger rocks that have clearly passed through the stream bed, as always, intrigues. Idle thoughts for idle times and warm March mornings are made for those.

Thinly and very so slowly the blue is fading from the north-northwest sky as tomorrow’s rainy weather begins to approach, 2’oclock in the afternoon. It seems odd looking forward to a rainy ay in March. Last year, even as May was winding down, in many places the ground was saturated and even too wet to even walk on.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


March 15: The sky is not as blue as yesterday, nor is the breeze as chilled. It is not coming from the north. With today’s warmth comes humidity and clarity suffers. Though still blue the sky has not the infinite depth that sends poetic fantasies into the yonder. Shadows are softer, for now, the spring will settle into a brief quiet before life begins its frenetic rush, as spring’s momentum builds with each passing day. Following warm breezes will the first warm rains arrive and all the magic, the joy, the beauty that is renewal after winter’s long, frozen silence begins.

March 14: sunny, but chilly, last night in upper 30’s, today “only” mid 50’s

This morning the sun was bright, the sky so blue and all is good. The white pines backlit in the morning sun glisten, shimmer as dew-bedecked, white against ever greening needles. At certain times and light the white in white pine is well deserved. At other periods the needles seem as black more than green. Of late the needles responding to our warm March are sweet spring green, greening with the grass of lawn. Needles seem more “open” now, not pressed against their twigs as in colder times and so the shadows cast upon the lawn and in the woods are denser.

The crows cawed quite a stir this morning as the alarm was sent out that a hawk was near. Against the blue, black crows rule and off was sent the hawk, out-numbered and out cawed. Noise and numbers won the day, but soon the crows will get their comeuppance as more migrant birds arrive.

Once, years ago I remember seeing, late in the spring, a crow harassing a hawk while being harassed by a kingbird, who in turn was being harassed by a smaller bird. Life can be unpleasant in the peaceable kingdom when survival is at stake.

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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