New River Gorge, sunset
The afternoon sun shines strongly on the western-facing slope,
the New River, narrowly snaking far below, beyond densely treed ridges.
In the distance, that marvel of engineering, the giant spanning this divide, stands proudly above them all—within these woods, Tulip Trees, green giants in their own right, tallest of the eastern hardwoods.
They are common here, and prized in the timber industry for their tall, straight trunks.
Yet, with each passing, my eye marvels at the leaf.
Tiny, tender, and green—folded in half, side-to-side, so perfectly, it seems to have been cut as a paper doll.
Unfurling from a sheath, to open broadly, flap and flutter against a blue sky.
And when I think I have not seen anything more beautiful than this leaf against the sun,
its glow fades into the fog--carries raindrops on its sturdy breadth.
And glistens like silver against the white sky.
The New River Gorge Bridge is the highest vehicular bridge in the Americas, crossing the New River in Fayetteville, West Virginia at a height of 876 feet. Completed in 1977, it was, until recently, the longest steel-arch bridge in the world.
See more Skywatch here.