Musings: The Golden Hour

From my nature writing journal, Fall 2015

I was sitting on the front porch reading and watching the half dozen crows that were making a raucous in the trees across the road. The crows cawed loudly. The squirrels scurried about. A blue jay screeched its name, “Jay, Jay,” in the distance. Fall was quietly descending a little every day. I could see a tinge of golden brown in the grasses on the other shore across the river. Gazing with a squint to better my focus my eyes, I realized there was a great blue heron slowly moving in the river grass along the shore, looking for its evening meal.

All of a sudden there was a riotous and rowdy clambering in the trees coming from the crows and then a crash followed by a great fluttering of black wings. It was late afternoon. “Surely, those crows were up to no good,” I thought to myself.

Unexpectedly, I spied a bald eagle flying low and tight along the river from the southern shore, just across the way. “I should be out walking,” I murmured aloud. Perhaps I thought the crows were listening to my rumination, perhaps I thought the crows cared.

“I should grab my camera and go,” I reiterated… It was the golden hour of the late day, when the sun was setting and the light hit just so, casting a golden glow on all it touched. Yes, it was the golden hour when magic happened along the river, when graceful winged creatures hunted for their evening victuals as part of their daily rituals.

I grabbed my camera and headed out the door, walking east along the river to the bend in the road where the light caught the pines trees across the river, just so. The river was still, casting a lovely reflection on the slightly rippled pale blue water.


A walk in the golden hour light always gives me pause to think of the blessings in my life. To live here on the banks of the Merrimack River is one of those blessings. To look out each day and watch the river flow, I am captured in the constant yet sometimes imperceptible movement of the moment. Nothing ever stays the same, but in the golden hour, it is captured and bathed in a light of pure gold which brings to fore the value of the moment in which I stop and simply be.

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