Photography and text by George Cassidy Payne
Because parks have closing hours and even the most dedicated fishermen must go home to their own beds, there are certain times when Irondequoit Bay is rarely seen by the lens of a camera. These hours are lonely and forbidding. The puddles along the trails feel deep and fresh, as if the woods are occupied by lurking mammoths. And in the cold breeze the shadowy presence of ghosts can be felt hovering above the water.
The sign at the bottom of the hill, the one near the Kayak shop, says, “From Irondequoit Bay, Indian trails led southward to Seneca villages and on to the Ohio country. “
At dusk, when the air thins and the sky turns a dark lavender, those footsteps no longer feel so historic after all; they are no longer cultural artifacts left over like molds from the 17th century. They are here. They breath. They move through the Hawthorne trees. They are as absent and as real as the empty bench on the bank of the marsh.