Today Al and I decided to go for a hike to Minnewaska. I hadn't been there in years and had forgotten how lovely it is there. The morning was sunny, warm, but with a delicious cool breeze that kept the bugs away. Because of the slight elevation flowers are behind the valley - coltsfoot was abundant, ferns were just unfolding.
We decided to walk around the lake first. I wish I knew birds well enough to identify them by their songs and flight patterns. They were everywhere. We spied a water snake coming to the edge of the lake to warm itself. Al had been hiking last week with a friend who loves snakes. They came across a rat snake sunning itself and Al was surprised to see Mike reach down and gently stroke the snake's back. Mike said that it was trying to warm itself and so was a little more sluggish than it would have been on a warmer day. The snake enjoyed the warmth of Mike's hand. We didn't try to touch this one - just enjoyed spying it along with lots of salamanders and a few small fish.
In my early 30's I loved going to Minnewaska to swim. The water was alkaline, silky, a beautiful blue. There was a raft where you could lie in the sun and warm up until you were ready to swim again. Brave souls would dive off the cliffs. It's much more regimented now, and even the water has changed. You didn't used to see fish. But I'm glad the state took it over. Otherwise, there would no longer be any public access. We attended some of the hearings when there was a dispute to decide whether it would go to the state or to developers. I remember one of the opponents of the state complaining that if the state got it, you'd only have "backpackers and skinnydippers" there.
We walked down to Awosting Falls - such a beautiful spot.
After lunch on the rocks overlooking the lake we headed out to do some errands. Even those were pleasurable, colored by the magic of the day.