Mar 222009

When I visit my friends Phil and Karen in Garrison, New York, one of my favorite places to hike is Mystery Point. It’s a small piece of land the juts out into the Hudson around 10 minutes north of Bear Mountain Bridge.

I’ve visited Mystery Point in the past few months. One of my visits was December 27 of last year. The tide at Mystery Point was very low, and the water level was very low. December 27 was relatively warm, but the ground was still covered with snow.
Mystery Point Panorama

A light haze covered the water, and you could see it accumulate as you looked into the distance.
Mystery Point Low tide at Mystery Point
Every now and then you see odd artifacts; this hook was embedded into a large boulder at Mystery Point. Was it used to dock small boats? Was it part of a larger structure? Around 100-200 yards north of Mystery Point is a loading dock; perhaps this was part of that infrastructure.
Hook at Mystery Point

Even in the middle of winter, there are splashes of bright colors all around Mystery Point. The bright red flowers seemingly pop out of the middle of boulders. Mushrooms and other fungi abound.
Lichen near Mystery Point Fungus near Mystery Point

My friend Anne frequently hikes up to Phil and Karen’s house.
Anne near Mystery Point
Phil has been doing quite a bit of hiking–I think he wants to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in New York.
Phil near Mystery Point

Karen, Anne and Phil on the goat trail next to Mystery Point.
Hiking near Mystery Point
Tilt-shift effects can sometimes be fun….
Fun with tilt-shift effects at Mystery Point

I went back up to Mystery Point last weekend. Spring has already arrived at Mystery Point, yet it was a bit surprising how much the weather, water, and land resembled the weather of late December.
Swamp near Mystery Point Mystery Point Trunk at Mystery Point Swamp at Mystery Point

Wildlife abounds at Mystery Point. My friend Kathy took a fantastic photo of an immature bald eagle on the Hudson next to our friends’ house. She was also kind enough to lend me her camera for this most recent trip since I had left mine at home. One of the signs that Spring was arriving were the large number of red-winged blackbirds migrating back. They had a distinctive call and a stunningly sharp and bright swatch of red and yellow on a black body.
Blackbird at Mystery Point Blackbirds at Mystery Point

Metro North and Amtrak share a train line that runs parallel to the Hudson. Near Mystery Point is a bridge where you can see the train motoring North and South. I created two stop-motion images of both trains: Stop motion #1 of train next to the Hudson Stop motion #2 of train next to the Hudson. Of course, I also have the individual photos that made each video.

 Posted by at 10:39 pm
Jan 182009

My friend Phil Jache’s is very close to the Appalachian Trail. I went to his house for Thanksgiving this past November, and we hiked a couple of small segments. Hiking through the forest is relaxing and energizing.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Phil, Anne, Kathy, and myself

Hiking the Appalachian Trail Hiking the Appalachian Trail
The flora and fauna on the trail are amazing. I could probably spend hour just documenting an area of land less than ten square feet.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail
The trail winds up and down mountains of all sizes, from hills to high peaks. It also dips into valleys and wetlands. Across many of the swamps, people have build walkways across the mud and water. Since it was November, this land was semi-firm mud.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Hiking trails are marked with blazes at irregular intervals attached to features like trees and rocks. The Appalachian trail is uses one white paint blaze most of the time. When the trail turns, you will sometimes see two blazes pointing the way.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail Hiking the Appalachian Trail
If you walk the trail quickly, you sometimes miss odd features. I found the skull just to the side of the path.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail Hiking the Appalachian Trail
The views from the peaks can be fairly spectacular, even if they aren’t actually that high. The second photo is a self-portrait. It was back-lit, and it wasn’t possible to get a perfect exposure on my small camera.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Anne, Phil, and I hiked two sections of the trail, while Kathy left after one. The trail goes by a lot of houses; a man was walking dogs along the trail.

A video of one minute of the hike.

If you live on the East coast, it’s definitely worth taking a day trip along the Appalachian Trail. And it’s arguably a good reason to visit the East coast.

 Posted by at 11:04 pm
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