Blue is enchanted by the fragrances of cherry and apple blossoms.
This is the Haverstraw wetlands and that is Blue. He is sitting before still waters. He loves the water and morning light. Sunlight reflecting off the surface of the river along with water evaporating up into the sky intensifies the ambient light along the riverfront. It creates a beautiful glow each morning and afternoon and helps to make pretty pictures. Blue also loves a great adventure even though he has a bad leg, but it doesn’t hurt. We went for an adventure north along the Hudson River recently to see the country side because it’s spring and everything is blooming. Once we reached Bear Mountain Bridge it took us over to the eastern shore where we proceeded north again.
Then we went north again and stopped at St. Philip’s Church and Cemetery. It’s a beautiful stone church, built in 1700′s before the Revolutionary War and is named after Frederick Philipse who once owned most of the land in this area. Frederick immigrated to America from the Netherlands and became a loyal servant of England when the British King William III seized control of America from the Dutch in 1665. He gave “Lord” Frederick a tract of land along the Hudson. Frederick worked hard and prospered well as a land owner and commercial businessman until he died in 1702.
His descendents carried on after him and one of the good things they did was build this stone church so that their farm tenants could worship. But the Philipse family remained loyal to King George III of England during the Revolutionary War and when the war was over and England lost, they lost all their land and money. The family fled to England in 1783 and the land was redistributed among many different people.
From there Blue and I drove into the village of Cold Spring to see the Hudson River. When sat in front of Storm King Mountain and Crow’s Nest Mountain. Those two mountains help form the gateway to the Hudson Highlands, which are part of the Catskills Mountains. The Catskills are part of an even bigger group of mountains called the Appalachian Mountains.
At Cold Spring we met Jeff and Bishop. They were out taking a stroll enjoying the nice warm weather after a long hard day at work. They were nice to talk to us. Jeff told us all about his yellow Labrador Retriever, Bishop.
We could see that Bishop loves Jeff and he also loves to swim in the river. Labradors have webbed feet just like ducks so they can do that and their fur is very dense, like duck feathers. Bishop’s fur keeps the water away from his skin so he doesn’t get cold when he goes swimming. The Hudson is very cold and fast flowing but Bishop is a strong swimmer just like other Labrador Retrievers. He can even swim across the river if he wants too, but we didn’t want him to. We took pictures of Jeff and Bishop for you and one of Bishop in the water retrieving a ball Jeff threw in for him.
Then we said goodbye and started to drive home. It was late in the day but we wanted to return to Haverstraw Marsh to take more pictures of the golden rays of the setting sunlight on the water before dark. The Hudson had been calm all day. That’s the best time to photograph it, when it’s waters are leaden, like glass. That usually happens at low tide. The Hudson is a tidal river, it flows with the tide of the Atlantic Ocean. One day soon we’ll take a trip to that spot where the Hudson meets the Atlantic Ocean and take pictures for you. That should be exciting!
Haverstraw Marsh is just inland from the Hudson River. It’s a long narrow channel of water that zigzags alongside the Hudson, but difficult to see all at once because it meanders through industrial areas, homes, two parks and a marina. Even so, since the tide changes in the marsh lands all along the river, because the Hudson does, so there’s always something new to see here at Haverstraw Marsh!
Marsh lands are sanctuaries, they provide protective habitats to help fish and wildlife feed, nest, spawn and rest in peace. Wetlands are very important ecosystems so it’s really in our best interest to keep them clean even though they naturally help cleanse water by filtering out many man-made pollutants. In wetlands, organic materials are also broken down and recycled back into the environment, where they support the food chain. Still, some fish and birds that visit wetland retreats are endangered now so we need to respect their homes and visiting places.
Blue and I are careful not to pollute where ever we go because we love the peaceful beauty of nature.
Frederick Philipse: http://nysparks.com/historic-sites/37/details.aspx
New York State Wetlands: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/4937.html
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