What's Your Nature?

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Lampson Falls

I spent Columbus Day with a solo kayak trip up the Oswegatchie River (Fine NY) to High Rock. The leaves are well past peak, and the water was REALLY low. I didn't have to carry over anything, but I ran aground several times. The temperature was great considering it's October

A nice day of social distancing was had at Streeter Lake in Aldrich (Fine NY) was had over the weekend. This is always a favorite of mine, and being nearby makes it a nice last-minute hike.

I have wondered about a road/trail that used to run from near the mausoleum to the old railroad bed on the west side of the lake. This road or trail shows up on several topographic maps from a century ago. I was able to find remnants of the road for a bit, but it soon turned into a full-on bushwhack. It's a pretty rough piece of real estate, so be prepared if you try it.

We finally got a chance to hike to Colvin's Great Corner monument today. A long (12 miles) but rewarding trip that I can finally scratch off my list. We hiked south from the old Schuller estate in Aldrich (Fine). This was a great day of social distancing- we saw one family camping at the Streeter Lake lean-to.
The monument was set in 1904 to give a more fitting marker to the point of the Totten & Crossfield and Macomb lines, and St Lawrence & Herkimer county lines.

In keeping with the social distancing guidelines, I have been seeking out some lesser-known/used trails as well as staying local. This trail I found by looking over the DEC’s website. This hike was to Gulf Stream in the Aldrich Pond Wild Forest, Pitcarian NY.

The good weather earlier in the week made for a nice day of social distancing at Streeter Lake in Aldrich (Fine NY). Though Streeter Lake is a common destination for me, this was my first trek there via the Tamarack Creek Trail. The trailhead starts from the Youngs Road in Star Lake NY.

Christmas Eve offered the perfect weather for a trek into Moon & Wolf lakes. The ground is frozen, but not enough snow to need snowshoes. The trip is about five miles in total.

I brisk 47-degree morning on Streeter Lake was perfect for an early paddle. Loons, pitcher plants, and sundew plants made it even better.

A nice hike to the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River. This long-abandoned trail was once a logging railroad for the first 1.5 miles. Altogether it is around 5-miles round trip.

Other than the hungry mosquitos, it was a nice evening to walk along the Oswegatchie River in Edwards.

While flipping logs and stumps, I flipped a stump to find two red-backed salamanders about 5 cm apart.

At the end of my herping for the day, I flipped one more stump to find not one, but two spotted salamanders! They were my second and third of the day, and overall my favorite amphibian (I mean look at those chubby heads and costal grooves!). This was a great way to end my day outside enjoying nature and its wonders.

While I was out herping on this beautiful Saturday, I flipped a log to find this wonderful creature amongst the leaf litter!

A gloomy day, but still a nice day to trek back to Huckleberry Lake. It's between seasons , some snow and the lake has some ice. Not quite winter or fall either. We saw a bald eagle flying in the area, always a treat.

A nice pre-snow hike through some large white pines & hemlocks. Great views of Cold Spring Brook and plenty of beaver activity too.The trail is only a little over a mile and well marked. This would be a nice snowshoe trek as well.

This is a very neat trek.Usually we hike or paddle to our destination- but this time we changed things up. We rode on a horse drawn wagon that runs the 5 miles (each way) to the great camp. It costs $25 each and was well worth it. The trip in is typical Adirondack mixed hardwoods.after about a mile you stop at the farm site to look around the remaining building there. The camp and outbuildings are open for exploring and there are canoes and a kayak in the boathouse free to use. The fellow driving the team(Larry) did a nice informative tour of the grounds.

This is a short (3 mile round trip) hike on the old G&O railroad grade. It starting to look like fall, and the continuous flocks of geese made it sound that way too.

A late evening paddle on the Oswegatchie river in South Edwards. This is always a favorite short paddle of around 3 miles. The trip ended with a pretty great sunset.

The day before was 58 degrees with heavy rain all day, and down to zero by morning. Add in a foot of snow overnight and the Oswegatchie river was as high as it gets in the spring. The water was running at least 6-7 feet above normal, and had already dropped about 18" by the time we were there in the afternoon. There was a pretty big ice jam several hundred yard downstream of the trestle. The water and ice were backed up about 200 yards into the woods from the banks of the river. It was only 2 degrees, but made for a fun and quick snowshoes trek.

On my way back from a hike at Carry Falls reservoir, the sun setting against the overcast skies were too good to pass up.

With the crazy amount of rain we received this week,Greenwood falls (Pitcairn) was running high & hard.

We went here to see the fall foliage. The leaves were beautiful and really added to the views on the lake. There were a lot of frogs and quite a few snakes. Most of the snakes were less than a foot (including a green snake!) but they were all too fast to take pictures of. At one point you literally have to climb over a beaver dam so be careful. Very nice day hike.

Streeter Lake has long been a favorite place for me. Whether it's hiking the old Schuler tract with the "potato patch" and the mausoleum , or paddling the lake-I always enjoy ever minute of it. Definitely an overlooked gem, maybe that's a good thing.

A nice hike at Streeter lake, through the Schuler ( of the Schuler potato chip company) tract. About six miles covered the trip across the potato patch, the lean to, crystal lake and the Schuler family mausoleum. We hiked close to trailess Pansy pond, but the bushwhack looked pretty wet & miserable, so we passed on that. Located in the Aldrich pond state forest.

This is the first snapper I've seen this season. He was pretty big too, looking at the leaves on his back will give you an idea of the size. Possibly he just ""woke up" for the year.

. Mother nature is quite an artist with only water & temperature as the medium.

This is the part of town referred to as the "island" in Edwards. It was the first part to be settled around 1812, and was on the Russell turnpike .The Russell turnpike was built for use by the military to move troops and supplies between Sackets Harbor and Plattsburgh. The Oswegatchie river splits and made the small island, with a gristmill on the side branch, and a sawmill on the main flow, both powered by water. The gristmill was last used as a private residence until sometime in the early 80s, when it burned.

The Edwards nature trail was donated to the town of Edwards, by the Iroquois natural gas line. It runs on the old New York central railroad bed. The train ran from 1893 until the late 1970s. Interestingly enough,in the distance, the sound of the train whistle running through Richville and Bigelow could be heard today. The trail runs about 1.75 miles southwest to the Talcville road. At about the 1/2 mile mark you cross the main branch of the Oswegatchie river on the old railroad trestle.

This isn't the biggest white oak around, and not the oldest. But this tree has been through 2 world wars, a civil war, 37 presidents and the majority of the years that the town (and village) of Edwards has been in existence. I came to know this tree in the late 70s/early 80s. I have hunted, fished and trapped by this tree. Rode bicycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and dirt bikes past it. Camped and hiked under it's branches. I've thought often of what has happened in this tree's lifespan, so I decided to do some research.

It was a a great day for a hike, mid 40's, no wind (but a little overcast). We left from the Ames road parking area,on the blue trail. It's an interesting hike to watch the transgression from abandoned farm land (this was originally the Clark farmstead) to mature forests. There is a particularly interesting section between Moon and Huckleberry, where a stand of large white pine had died from damage (most likely from a recent ice storm) and naturally reclaimed the area with young pines in the 10' range. These have grown in thick, like the proverbial "hair on a dog".

It was breathtaking, God's work for sure!

We found this rather large, unusual moth on the outside of our chicken coop. Anyone know what it is? It stayed there for at least several hours in the hot sun and was gone by the next day.

I went to the Wolf Lake State Forest Beaver Dam with my biology class. It was a beautiful day and the blue sky was reflected perfectly in the water. The most incredible thing, however, was the size of the beaver dam - it must have been at least six feet tall! We explored the edges of the pond, examined the beaver lodge up close, and even saw a beaver! We also heard the beaver slap the water with his tail as a warning. It was a great way to spend a Monday afternoon.

A female Goldenrod Crab Spider waits patiently amongst the Daisies, for her next meal.

The Oswegatchie River is as wild as any in the Adirondacks. In the Winter, her looks are often deceiving, almost in an attempt to lure you in.

In most cultures, a Dragonfly is seen as a symbol of change. It spends most of it's life in adolescence, only briefly experiencing life to the fullest before it passes on, Nothing is forever. Never take anything for granted. It can all be gone and over before you realize it. Spread your wings and fly.

Multicolored sunset looking towards Blue Mountain in the Hamlet of Oswegatchie, in the Foothills of the Adirondacks.

Northern NY is famous for it's spectacular sunsets. This flaming August sunset certainly lived up to, and surpassed expectations.

Incredible sunset over Star Lake, in the foothills of the Adrirondacks, captured with only a cell phone, and completely unedited.

Early morning sun light over the Oswegatchie River in early July.

Macro view of Dandelion spores.

The warm April Sun,rejuvenates and with it, brings life back to the frozen harsh Winter landscape. Photo: Freshly opening buds on a Lilac bush graciously welcome the warming sun.

Although difficult to work in, sub zero mornings in the dead of Winter in Northern NY, can lead to breath taking landscapes. This is the Icy Little River in the Hamlet of Oswegatchie in the foothills of the Adirondacks,

Mushrooms of all shapes, sizes and variety are bountiful and beautiful in the Autumn in the Adirondacks.

A road less traveled, holds more beauty.

BEA Utiful!

Lucky shot... happened to catch this loon while I was sun baithing on the boat! #iLOVEloons

Serene wilderness in a hiker's paradise

Beautiful start to the fall foliage


If you would like to witness the impressive ability of beavers to structure a forest community, take a hike at Wolf Lake State Forest. There is a very significant beaver dam that has been there for years. As you hike, you approach from below the dam, walking across the dam outlet and slowing going up hill until first your eyes are level with the water and then you find yourself standing on the shore of the beaver pond. Very impressive (not to mention beautiful) spot.