Harry Carter perceives his connection with nature as a dreamscape of philosophical muses, vibrations between people, nature and wildlife of silver-toned images viewed more or less in black and white through the lens finder of his box camera photographs made in his transformative years; however he now sees an electric multi-color fluidity to the effect we have on nature and nature upon us. When asked what music he thinks best represents this ecology, Harry, a DJ at WRPI, tells us blues and musical fusion. He speaks poetically of the trees rustling, even dancing in free-form jazz. You can’t help but be transported to the aspen stands on Wheeler-Watson or the beech forest above the falls with a mellow sound track of life thrumming in your head.
Surprisingly, despite growing up near a five-mile track of woods in the New Jersey suburbs, there were times in his journey that Harry wasn’t as connected to nature as he wished he were; so at age of 22, he made a break from urban life to the Helderbergs, specifically Rennselaerville and the Huyck Preserve. While less populated, this area reverberated back to his childhood adventures in Dave's Woods along the Morris Canal. He was drawn to this rural native-farming community, doted with summer folk, the Preserve's forests and the Lake Myosotis Beach Program, where he immersed himself in swimming, sailing and rowing his single shell on lake "forget me not.” He ice fished, cross country skied and took invigorating runs in addition to quickly making friends in the Huyck and Rensselaerville community.
Harry’s story is one of connecting to both nature and community through the Huyck Preserve; one that is also reflected by our other members. Remarkably, after 40-plus years as a member, his support never wanes. Harry is often the first member to renew his purchase of a beach pass. He points to the importance of the swimming lessons we offer and his desire to be part of maintaining room at the lake for all to enjoy, even though there are no longer cabins or the boat house, as reasons why he is still committed. These days, though he may not get to the lake or out on the trails as often as he’d like, Harry still enjoys the calming effects of nature, whether it be running, skiing, or enjoying the literal connection to the earth by traveling barefoot through the summer.
The Huyck Preserve is grateful to be able to count Harry Carter as one of our members. In appreciation of his long-standing support, we are pleased to honor him as part of our 85th birthday celebration as the epitome of recreation, envisioned by our founder Jesse Huyck.