Sunday, October 25, 2009

Such an Extravagance of Extraordinary Beauty

Such an extravagance
Of extraordinary beauty.

Imagine it.

If you will,
Just before daybreak,
In darkness
Nearly absolute,
On a covered footbridge,
Between either bank
Of a rushing mountain stream.

Looking to the east
Just as a sheen,
Only a promise
Of the light that is to come,
Covers the sky
And begins to bring
To the inky blackness.

To the water
Beneath you,
Rushing on,
Waiting on nothing,
But all the same,
Inadvertently making music
On the stones
In its transit.

And listen.

And wait.

Wait upon
The steady
And relentless increase
Of this burgeoning light.
At its whim,
The sky
Transforms to blue,
Shifts to pink,
Splashes to orange.

And with each
Passing moment's
And steady
Of increasing light,
The mountains take shape.
The trees become silhouettes.
The stream becomes a mirror.

Having witnessed,
Turn away.

And walk
The short distance
Just to the other side
Of the covered bridge.
Look upon
An aspect
By the opposite direction.

It is there
In what,
Has been behind you
That the true measure
Of the extravagance
Of such extraordinary beauty
Is finally and fully

It is there,
Behind you,
That the full,
But subsiding,
Gives shape to the mountains,
Defines the prickly outlines of the trees,
Makes of the stream a mobile plane of moon-dappled light.

Look away
From it all.
Look up.
High above the mountaintop,
High above the trees thereon,
High above the singing waters,
The morning star presides.

One perfect
Of appointed

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Fishing Trip to Remember

This is is the view of Lake Chelan looking uplake toward Stehekin from the first promontory on the trail to Domke Lake. It was to be a trip to Domke to fish the lake for rainbow trout.
The day itself was beautiful, but there was an ominous forecast for temperatures to fall to the as-yet-unexperienced-this-fall-season mark of 20 degrees. Knowing that it was the last chance to get any fishing done before the winter set in, we went anyway.

The prize...a stringer of rainbow trout to be cooked and eaten just out of the lake.

Part of the way up the trail, we replenished our water bottles with water from a spring.

The fall colors (here the very unique colors of a dogwood tree) were still very much in evidence along the trail and served to cheer us on.

The trail to Domke Lake is 3 (long) miles. Going there, the gradient is relentlessly up, up, up. What is worse, on the return, the journey is made by going down, down, down. (For those of us no longer in their prime, and for those of us with bad knees, the descent is excruciating.)

Once you are at the lake itself...Oh, my goodness! It is beautiful, quiet and peaceful. A lovely piece of the wilderness.

As soon as we had rowed across the lake to a campground and set up the tent and stowed the gear, we rowed out into the lake to fish for our supper. Here Terry holds up the string of fish we caught before calling it a day for the fishing.

As we rowed back to camp to cook our fish, this was the late afternoon view from the place we were camped.

Darkness came quickly, but a blazing fire with a skillet of fish cooking over it cheered us on. Temperatures were falling rapidly and little did we know that the night ahead would be one of the most miserable on record. To say that we nearly froze to death is putting it mildly and making a long story short.

As daylight came and it became abundantly clear that we had survived the night in spite of the cold, we took the boat out on the lake to fish again. Terry is holding the stringer of fish we would take back to Holden to share with anyone wanting fresh rainbow trout for breakfast. It is a tradition that the kitchen will cook your fish for you and have them ready to eat at the time you specify. They were delicious and were enjoyed by many.

Returning down the trail to Domke Lake, this was the view of Lake Chelan stretching into the distance far below...a beautiful end to a wonderful camping and fishing trip.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The First Snow

Tuesday, October 13, 2009: From high atop her perch on the Agape porch, Miss Scarlett (bonnet by Robert Monsen and leg warmers by Carole Young) looks out on the first snow of the 2009 winter season.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Railroad Creek Valley: October 1, 2009

The view of the Upper Railroad Creek Valley from "the third level."

Current weather conditions in the Railroad Creek Valley are as follows: Just gorgeous. Couldn't be better. Takes your breath away. Heavenly.

Translation: Sunny days. Starry nights with a currently full moon beginning to be on the wane. Temperatures in the day are warm and pleasant 50-somethings. Temperatures at night are high-30's to low 40's.

Snow is collected at higher elevations. It does not melt during the daytime hours now. No snowfall in the village as yet although the Annual Prediction of the First Snowfall Contest is off-and-running. (The winner gets to plan a dinner of choice.)

Foliage is beginning to turn to the brilliant fall colors. The golden larch at high elevations is very dramatic just now. Peak season for color at lower elevations still a couple weeks away.

Just gorgeous. Couldn't be better. Takes your breath away. Heavenly.