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October 2013Nature Writing en Plein Air
As I begin my boardwalk hike (yes I’m in Huck Finn mode and, no, not the down the shore boardwalk), I pass a young girl with colorful fall leaves clutched to her chest – no doubt her prized possessions destined to be show-and-tell at school.
Across the swamp I see trees softly swaying in the breeze. How best to describe the color? Willows pale, moldy, mildew green against the yellows and golds of partners in Nature’s landscape. A huge sycamore highlighted silver against a backdrop green and earthen brown reaches out to me visually against soft shades of browns and brown-greys of grasses and plants that inhabit this majestic colorful swamp.
I walk, at times giving way to another of Nature’s wonders – colorful dragonflies landing on the boardwalk, beckoning, before me.
Up ahead I eye the coolest suspension bridge and for a moment I become Indiana Jones in a new and exciting adventure in a far off land.
This for me is part of hiking, finding that reflection time, escaping from the humdrum of the work week. I walk. The bridge and the fantasies it stirred in my mind now behind me. I approach the hardwoods of Wawayanda Mountain. Below, wild chicory grows on the drier footbed. Hazelnuts create a rhythm as the October breeze sends them bouncing across the boardwalk, seeking to start a new cycle of Nature for another generation of “Huck Finn” hikers.
Editor’s Note: Lance Casper wrote this in a plein air writing seminar on the Pochuck Swamp boardwalk led by Mary Jasch. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org
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