Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hydro therapy

Kent Falls State Park
I'm a water girl. When I need to clear my head or think something through, there's no place so soothing for me as a lake, stream, ocean, brook, pond, river, or creek. And I'm awfully lucky that I can drive a very few miles south and be quickly on the beach near Long Island Sound or I can drive a few more miles to the north and be in the beautiful hills of Kent, Connecticut. The rhythmic sound of waves rolling onto the beach or the powerful buzz of rushing rapids are among my favorites. So I headed north on Route 7, unsure of my destination, and as I approached Kent I decided to visit a favorite spot of mine where I knew the water would be rushing madly...Kent Falls State Park. 

The first day of spring meant a good crowd--from motorcyclists to families using the grills and bbq-ing--would be out enjoying the glorious sunshine. The picnic tables were crowded with couples and groups basking in the mid-March warmth. Back in 1938, the Connecticut Guide (one of the WPA Federal Writer's Project books) had this to say about the area, "At 53.1 m. is the entrance to Kent Falls State Park (R), containing one of the most spectacular of Connecticut's waterfalls, where the brook, arched by hemlocks, rushes over a precipice in two cascades, down a 200-foot drop within a quarter of a mile. The lower falls have cut their way over white marble steps and have scooped out many potholes in the ledges. The best view is obtained by following the brook a short distance on foot. Fireplaces and tables offer picnic facilities." These old guides are wonderful and on the occasions where you stumble upon a place that is largely unchanged--and completely recognizable--from the 1938 description it's hard not to experience a little frisson of timelessness.

I couldn't help but notice the van Gogh-esque swirls and curves as I sat next to the brook. If I was an artist I'd be obsessed with capturing the play of light on water as it washes over stones and moss. You can almost hear the rush of the water and feel the cool refreshment as the breeze rises and falls.

A lonely picnic table (one of the few not in use) sits on a hillside where the snow stubbornly clings to the grass and refuses to yield to the sun's warmth.

I waited patiently (well, almost patiently) to get a shot without the usual assortment of other photographers in it.

And if you love the sounds of water as I do, a little video--apologies, it's not terribly well done--but you'll get a taste of spring as the water rushes over the falls here.

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