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During one of the many recent rainy nights, I had some fun inside with my macro lens.

I tried to get some close ups of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial on the penny. I think it is pretty tough to see normally, without the aid of a macro lens or a magnifying glass. I almost forgot he was visible on the penny.

Jefferson’s home

one of the new pennies

Rondout Creek

my hiking boots green and dusty with pollen

I was recently back at Rondout Creek conducting fieldwork with a coworker. It was a beautiful day, so we ate lunch by the creek and snapped a few photos.
John Burroughs wrote this about the Rondout:

My eyes had never before beheld such beauty in a mountain stream. The water was almost as transparent as the air — was, indeed, like liquid air; and as it lay in these wells and pits enveloped in shadow, or lit up by a chance ray of the vertical sun, it was a perpetual feast to the eye — so cool, so deep, so pure; every reach and pool like a vast spring. You lay down and drank or dipped the water up in your cup, and found it just the right degree of refreshing coldness. One is never prepared for the clearness of the water in these streams. It is always a surprise. See them every year for a dozen years, and yet, when you first come upon one, you will utter an exclamation. I saw nothing like it in the Adirondacks, nor in Canada. Absolutely without stain or hint of impurity, it seems to magnify like a lens, so that the bed of the stream and the fish in it appear deceptively near. It is rare to find even a trout stream that is not a little “off color,” as they say of diamonds, but the waters in the section of which I am writing have the genuine ray; it is the undimmed and untarnished diamond. If I were a trout, I should ascend every stream till I found the Rondout. It is the ideal brook.[

Even though he wrote those words many decades ago, the Rondout has seemed to retain its beauty.
The photos provide only a slight glimpse into the beauty of this special creek.

a pool in the beautiful Rondout Creek
another view of the Rondout
a patch of wood anemone

Burger Hill Park

I have driven past this park dozens of times on my way to the Catskills to conduct fieldwork, and I have wanted to stop and explore it since I first saw it about a year ago. I finally managed to get over to it this past Saturday on my way back from Red Hook. The top of Burger Hill Park (owned by Winnakee Land Trust) provides a great nearly 360-degree panoramic view of this end of the Hudson Valley, with the Catskills visible in the distance. I snapped the panoramic image above while I was up there, it was a perfect spring day, leaf out is beginning on most of the trees, and the grass is already a vibrant green. Everything is coming alive seemingly overnight, as summer approaches.  It’s a short and easy walk to the top, it’s definitely worth a visit, and I am sure it would have been an amazing hill for sledding two months ago!