The children and I went out for a drive yesterday with vague notions of roadside foraging and adventure. We helped a painted turtle cross the road, and found a dead pigeon with blue bands on its claws. We also ended up at Sages Ravine, the water of the stream so low that it poured underground and through the fractured bedrock, only to reappear from beneath a ledge several bends father down its dry watercourse.
There are plunge pools and waterfalls that extend in splendid isolation far up the ravine where it cleaves the side of the Taconic Plateau. In high summer the water is still bracingly cool. No one had a thought to swim on this last weekend of summer, but we listened to the music of the cascade and watched the light and shadows play across the surface of the pools and their mossbound rocky walls.
Both my goat-footed children were able to negotiate the climb up to the third waterfall and back without assistance, and the rocks were no as slick as they often are in wetter seasons. Still, it is a place where it is important to move with care. This affords the opportunity to see things that the fleet-footed miss, like red efts and shelf fungi and smooth stones that slip into the palm of your hand like they were made for it.
It is a landscape of gray and green, of dark water and bright reflections. It is one of the most magical places I know in these hills, and has few visitors. It was good to be there yesterday, almost by happenstance, and someplace I plan to revisit again before all is cold and rimed with winter ice.