Saturday, July 28, 2007

Our Woods

We've almost finished clearing the trail along the lakeshore.
This mushroom nestled in the fruiting moss was too pretty to pass up.

There were Canada geese on the flow this morning. We see and hear them frequently this year.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I was working in our woods this morning, clearing up more on the trail along the lake, and saw these.

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora in the Pyrolaceae) was peeking up all over under the hemlocks.

There seem to be fewer Gentians (Gentiana sp. in the Gentianaceae) along the lake this year than in the past. (Note on 8/16/07 - many more appeared later.)

I found this gerardia (Gerardia sp. in the Scrophulariaceae) on the lake shore as well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

HP #7 - no spoilers

Finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Warning to anyone who has not finished it yet - the last 100 pages must be read in one sitting. Once you start them, you won't be able to put it down until you finish.

My only disappointment was that JKR didn't tell us what jobs most of the surviving main characters end up doing. I guess she is leaving that to our imaginations. But I'm sure she knows.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Abandon Ship

Or kayak in this case. We've decided to abandon our boat-building project for this season. We had decided we were not willing to give up our kayaking trips to work on it. And W is so busy with work there is very little other time to devote to it. We don't want to leave the hull partly done over the winter so we will stop it for now. Hopefully we'll have more time next year.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Kayaking Little Tupper Lake

Today we had a great paddle on Little Tupper Lake with Nancy and Larry. We paddled nearly 13 miles around the lake, including down the creek to Rock Pond until we ran into massive beaver dams.The weather was very calm so it was a great day for it.

We saw an osprey, lots of mergansers (one group contained 10 adults and 17 babies), several pairs of loons (one with a baby), and a bald eagle being chased repeatedly by gulls.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Should be about half done by the end of today. Not bad given everything else that is going on. The weather has been gorgeous - finally.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Saw a red fox today. It came out of our driveway and crossed the road in front of us as we drove up.

Today's Lake Placid Sinfonietta performance was at 4 PM so it wouldn't interfere with the ironman race the following day. (I just looked it up - the ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, a marathon, and a 112 mile bike ride. How do they do it?) We really enjoy the small ensemble of talented players. It seems so much more crisp than a big orchestra. We can't believe the season (6 concerts in 6 weeks) is already half over.

Since the concert got out at dinner time and since downtown Lake Placid was reported to be a zoo with all the folks in town for the race, we went to the Mexican restaurant - Desperados - right across from the arts center for dinner. It was really good. Definitely worth a return visit.

And of course, started Harry Potter #7. No spoilers please.

Friday, July 20, 2007

C Clamps and Copper Wire

Is this any way to build a boat? According to the instructions it is. It should begin to look more like a boat in the next few days.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Boat Building 101

They tell us these boxes contain the makings of a 21' tandem kayak. Time will tell.We finally started the project today and glued together the pieces that form the sides and bottom of the boat. It's a good thing we have a big garage.

Who pulled the plug?

Answer: The power company that owns the dam that our lake depends on. Fortunately, we knew in advance that they would be lowering the lake. Otherwise, it would really have been a shock. They are doing repairs to the dam and we won't have our lake back until at least the end of September. Sigh.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kayak Trip to Hitchins Pond

Another great kayak trip today, plus a hike. We put in above Low's Lower Dam and went about 3 miles up the Bog River to Hitchin's Pond. We then climbed a little over a mile up the ridge for a great view of the route we had just taken.

A Masked Bandit

We looked out this morning and discovered our birdfeeder on the ground and the pole it had been attached to bent at a 90 degree angle at the bottom. At first we suspected a bear, but then the real culprit showed up. This fellow eyed us from below the feeder, then climbed a tree for a better look. We assume he tried to climb the feeder pole and his weight caused it to go over.
After he (or she) decided we weren't much of a threat he climbed down and went back to eating the seed that was spilled.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Member of the Family

We went to the Tupper Lake Woodsmen's Days today. We hoped to find a chainsaw carving, and succeeded. This fellow now sits on our stairway landing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hike to Trombley Landing

We needed a close and relatively short walk this morning before the rains came again. We decided to hike down to Trombley Landing
on the Raquette River.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Saw the movie last night. As with all the HP movies, I was initially distracted by all the parts that were left out. But what was there was cool. Guess I'll just have to see it again.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Plants of the Lower Osgood River

Here are some of the plants we saw on the lower Osgood River.

Purple Fringed Orchis (Habenaria fimbriata) in the Orchidaceae

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) in the Caprifoliaceae

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in the Asclepiadaceae

We also saw

Marsh cinquefoil (Potentilla palustris) in the Rosaceae
Tall meadow rue (Thalictrum polygamum) in the Ranunculaceae
Yellow loosetrife (Lysimachia terrestris) in the Primulaceae

Kayak Trip on Osgood River II

Today we had a wonderful paddle up the Osgood River from Meacham Lake. This is the other end of the Osgood River from the one we paddled last week. The Osgood originates in Osgood Pond and ends at Meacham Lake with some unnavigable sections in-between. Our trip started on the arm of Meacham Lake pictured here.

We saw several great blue herons, including this one that landed in a tree near our route.

As you can tell from the map, the river twists and turns but the flow was strong enough it was not difficult to tell which way to head. We paddled to Baker Pond and then turned around, meaning a total round trip distance of about 10.5 miles. Someday we'll start out earlier and go farther, provided we don't run into too many beaver dams. On the portion we traveled we only came across one small dam that we were able to skooch (a technical kayaking term) over.

The vegetation is very different from that upstream. Here the river runs between steep eskers on either side that are topped with huge white pine trees. The river is lined with alders and other interesting vegetation - see the next post.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Quilt II

This is a sample of the quilt top I just finished. Great thing to do during rainy weather. Unfortunately, the next step is preshrinking the cotton batting and hanging it out to dry. Definitely not a thing to do in rainy weather. So I guess I'll just have to start the next quilt :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kayak Trip on Floodwood Pond

Given the prediction for rain, we chose a route through Floodwood Pond and the creek into Little Square Pond, figuring we could find shelter on shore if the rains caught up with us. We did have a shower and pulled up under a large hemlock in the creek for part of the time. But given the temperature in the mid-80's the rain felt good. By the time we got to Little Square there was lots of thunder in the area so we headed back to the car. Still, it was nice to get out since the weather had kept us indoors for so many days.

Gobble, Gobble

We had a family of turkeys (the feathered kind) cross our driveway this morning - mom, dad, and a bunch of chicks - and head into the woods.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Damselflies, Dragonflies, and Owls - Oh My

Elegant Spreadwing
Marsh Bluet
Hagen's Bluet
Eastern Forktail
Calico Pennant
Chalk-fronted Corporal

Those are some of the damselflies and dragonflies the class identified in my Damselfly and Dragonfly training at the Wildcenter today. I even managed to catch one in a net. Hopefully I'll be able to put the training to good use in the Adirondack All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory to be done in a couple of weeks at Paul Smiths' VIC.

And since the training was in the Wildcenter (otherwise known as the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks) and since it was Saturday, which is their bird of prey display day, I was able to take the following owl photos. The first one is a screech owl and the second one is a great horned owl.

Friday, July 6, 2007


We saw the movie "Ratatouille" last evening. As they say, it is for "kids" of all ages. We definitely recommend it. And there was a Pixar short beforehand that was even better than the movie. A real gem.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ausable Chasm

Went to Ausable Chasm south of Plattsburgh today. We walked the rim trail and took the raft ride.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Plants of the Osgood River and Church Pond

Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) in the Ericaceae

Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum) in the Ericaceae

Blue Flag (Iris) in the Iridaceae

Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) in the Sarraceniaceae

Round-leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) in the Droseraceae

Rose Pogonia (Pogonia ophioglossoides) in the Orchidaceae

Kayak Trip on Osgood River

We had a great paddle on the Osgood River today. We put in on Church Pond, paddled through a small stream to Little Osgood Pond, and then through a hand-dug canal to Osgood Pond. The canal was quite shallow and difficult to navigate. Note to self - put in directly onto Osgood Pond in the future. Then we went across Osgood Pond and up the Osgood River.

The Osgood River wanders through a tamarck swamp with a nice variety of bog plants.

We went up river about 3 miles until we reached a small log dam that prevents further progress. The river is not navigable below it. We got out and stretched our legs at this point.