Male broad-tailed hummingbird [Selasphorus platycercus] feeding on Siberian peashrub [Caragana arborescens] blossoms.
I didn't start out writing this about a river, but as it took shape, it reminded me of how a river flows and grows. Starting out as a seep or trickle somewhere in the hills, gathering speed and strength as it moves downhill, sometimes meandering lazily through broad flat plains, and eventually being dissipated into a larger body of water.
The Susquehanna River is the largest North American river that flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It starts in the rural reaches of New York and Pennsylvania, runs down through the Allegheny Plateau, and empties into the head of the Chesapeake Bay. It drains an area the size of Ireland - over 27,000 square miles.
The Susquehanna is one of the world's oldest rivers, and predates the mountains through which it currently flows.
The piece starts in a contemplative mood and ends up that way, too. Various things happen in the middle.
This is music about a place I have never seen. A tarn is a high pond or lake that rests in a cirque scoured by glacial action, and filled with rainwater or runoff from the surrounding mountains.
The tarn that is the subject of this tune exists, and I hope to reach it this summer. Until then, this is my impression of a day where clouds swirl around the mountain peaks but down in this sheltered bowl, you can watch the rain drops splash into the calm surface of a pure mountain lake.