...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tivoli Bays - Part 1

Tivoli Bays, a Hudson riverside trail through fields, woods, marshes and mud pits is located across the river from our home. On past drives we have often seen the sign marking what we thought was the start of a scenic trail, but once we walked it found it lacking. One fork took us to an open field with high grass and no idea where the trail went from there. As this side of the river is known for deer tick infestations, we decide not to proceed. We turned back and took the other fork only to find ourselves deep in the woods going farther and farther from the river we were hoping to see. With sunlight starting to fade and past experiences with Dutchess County mosquitoes, we once again turned back.

A few weeks, ago after some research, Jim directed us to the start of the new trail head. First, we had to take the Rhinecliff/Kingston bridge to cross the river to the Bard College campus. This college is spread out over several town roads and it is an interesting drive. To get to the trail head, we had to pass historic homes, churches, dorms, college offices, recreation fields, the performing arts center and other areas of study. As we pulled into the parking lot, we were awestruck first, at this mansion tucked away at the end of Blithewood Road,

and then by the most unusual tree we had ever seen.

The students use this lawn to have frisbee contests.

It was a huge tree that had survived severe winds, lightning strikes, and rot. We think the white rock-like formations were from earlier supports of some kind. Possibly the tree grew around them or they decayed to the point they are now. Looks like a spook tree for Halloween, no?

We walked around the grounds of the mansion which we later learned was the Levy Economics Institute and before being purchased by Bard College was the home of  Andrew Zabriskie. Beautiful!

The house faces north rather than the river and on the west side are these formal gardens.

We found many beautiful flowers in this garden which gave me inspiration for my own at home.

The gardens included some great photo opps in addition to the flowers.

We have seen many statues like this in our tours of gardens and often wonder, why men and women alike are always depicted with one boob uncovered? Can any of my artiste friends explain this to us? We were tickled at the expression of the cat on this one. The smile on the subject's face is surely fictional as we are sure the claws of the kitty are digging into his/her leg at this point!

At the west end of the garden is a view of the river.
We can only assume that when the house was built the trees were probably cut back to allow a more magnificent view, but this one was beautiful and peaceful just the same.

 Hmmmm, we might have to come back when the leaves are down to check it out again!


In a later blog I will give you insights from the actual trail, just in case you were wondering...

(Remember, you can click on any of the photos to see the detail in the full size.)