Monday, October 14, 2019

Autumn Colors

A Nor'easter came by last week and while it was centered some ways off the coast, the winds were too high for canoeing.  As I headed out the door, S asked where I was going.  I didn't have it figure out yet, so she added, "You'll just go where you end up."

I paddle out of the cove and into the main channel of the Housatonic.  This time, I head downriver into a reach that I've never visited.  I follow the shady southern shore, tracing it from two canoe lengths out, a distance that lets me peer back into the forest with the possibility of sighting a deer or an old stone wall.  A cool odor of stale smoke descends from the trees.  A sunny and warming day, the coolness of night still lies in the forest and that cooler and heavier air drifts out onto the water to replace the warmer air that is rising sunward.  I suspect that the smoke scent doesn't come from recent fire as the forest is undisturbed and the nearest houses are well away.  The odor is stale and reminds me of the smell of an old historic cabin where wood fire was the source of heat and the structure would go cold when not occupied.  It is more likely a scent from mold and mildew, the tiny stuff that helps power the forest.
The autumn colors are about midway to peak.  There are still a good number of green trees, but orange and yellow with a few coppery reds are starting to dominate.

The trip is a perimeter exploration.  I follow the shoreline down weaving into shallow coves until I get to the dotted line of  buoys near the dam.  I cross the fairly broad river at that point and follow the opposite shoreline upstream until it is time to cross back over and return up the cove from where I put in.

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