The Highest Peaks Are Bare

Went back to the Catskills today to say goodbye to the leaves. They are coming down in droves and next week the real cold comes–snow predicted for this weekend–so it’s really the end. I am waving goodbye to a ship that is leaving the shore. It’s a moment. The oaks are in all of their glory–muted but rich brownish-red. We stop at an ice cold pond in the bottom of an old quarry where leaves sink to the bottom, and you can still see them because the water is perfectly clear. I am still for a while wondering if there’s anything living in there, looking for salamanders. Sure enough, soon I see one, then two. My guess is Jefferson’s salamander? And huge tadpoles–must be emergent salamanders. Like the largest tadpole you’ve ever seen. They shimmy past and disappear into holes in the rocks. 

Out on the reservoir, the water is glassy and smooth, reflecting the sky which was blue and is now covered with the slightest web of clouds. Makes the water’s color subtle and pearlish, I just can’t tell what color it is. Is it mauve? There is the palest brownish-purple tint to it. It depends on where you stand. That’s when the mountains are reflected. When the sky is reflected, it’s an iridescent blue. I sit on a bench and take in the view of the span of mountains across the reservoir. It’s stunning. The mountains so big with folds so gentle. I can see up at the top of the highest mountain that the peak is brownish-gray studded with green dots of conifer stands. It’s a different color than the lower peaks, which still have bursts of red, orange and sprinkles of yellow; it is dull in comparison. The highest peaks are now bare.

Notes: Thank you for reading this week’s microseason. Do you feel like we are two weeks behind, weather-wise? It’s only just starting to feel like November, yet it’s midway through the month. Last week we got two intense and epic rain storms that felt weird for November. I’ve been drinking lots of tea, wondering when we’ll get the first snow. Feel free to write me at julia.c.sforza at gmail dot com. Hope you are well!