What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even your organization's events!

Encounters

Azure was covered in a layer of light fluffy snow, and just as we got to the top the sun broke through the clouds. For a relatively small mountain, Azure is always such a worthwhile hike and has some really amazing views.

A few inches of snow overnight and a bluebird morning made for a great trip up Azure. We skinned up and skied back down, and it was probably the most filled in that I've ever skied it. I'm always surprised by how great the views are for a relatively short hike.

These two experienced anglers were pretty pleased with their evening catch. And those big guys are back in Lake O gettin' even bigger!

This was a nice day without too many bugs or people. Azure's fire tower just turned 100 years old, there was a nice celebration in nearby St. Regis falls.

Due to Azure mountain's close proximity to Canton, I'm able to hike this short, but rewarding mountain often. I have hiked to the fire tower in the winter months with micro spikes, in the spring before the leaves have grown, in the summer among the greenery, and this past Thursday afternoon during peak foliage in the Adirondacks. Each time the drastic changes in temperature, and flora make the experience feel like a new adventure.

Thursday afternoon I got my feet wet, literally knee-deep, in the St. Regis River, just below the falls. This was my first adventure fly-fishing, and while I didn't catch any fish, I am hooked. For over 4 hours, I learned from one of my friends as well as a talented fly-fisherman, the basics. After 2 hours under his tutelage, I was let loose on the river. It was exhilarating, the prospect of emulating nature and taking the time to stop. Not only that, but the fish were brilliant!

I was kayaking back toward our camp at Lake Ozonia and was able to photograph several loons. One took to the air not far from my kayak and I was able to capture this image.

Some friends and I decided to go for a hike up Azure Mountain, fully expecting it to sprinkle. We weren't expecting it to rain steadily throughout the hike, and when we got to the top it was so foggy you couldn't see over the edge. While I didn't get the view I expected, the fog made me feel like I was on the top of the world! The fact that we had towels in the car was an added bonus.

While kayaking along the shore of Lake Ozonia, I was surprised to see a raccoon as it was nearly full daylight. I took some photos of it on a log but after it crawled out of sight into the weeds, I continued to paddle. I looked back over my shoulder, and it was standing next to a tree = presumably about to climb it. I was able to get this photo before it moved on.

The moth was on a chair on the deck of our camp, which is in a densely wooded area right on the water. Our resident moth expert (Pete Wyckoff) thought it appeared to be just "hatched" from its chrysalis. I arrived late afternoon and it stayed in the same place until dark. It was gone in the morning.

From my kayak on Lake Ozonia, I was delighted to be able to photograph loon parents with their two young chicks when they swam into an almost perfect family formation!

Went to Azure Mountain for an early morning sunrise hike before class. Made it up a little after 7, just in time to catch the sunrise.

Standing on the bridge, the St. Regis River in Santa Clara was reflecting everything along its shores as the sun was setting.

I was kayaking along the shore of Lake Ozonia when I saw this black bear at the shoreline. I was able to take several photos before it disappeared into the trees and vegetation that line the shore.

The summit of Azure Mountain. Fun trip, great views, and a wonderful place to meet friends. Peak leaf "peeping".

9-21-14 “Life’s Road” - Oh sure, on Life’s Highway there will be highs and lows.....but even in the darkest of moments.....the gloomiest of days....I promise you there will be bright spots that will bring you great joy....you just have to keep your mind focused on them....steer away from danger....stay out of trouble...respect the rights of others...they have their own lane. Yes, the pathway to happiness has been paved for you....all you have to do is keep it between the lines. I took this photo on Rt. 458 early last eve...during a respite in the rain and an inspiring breach in the clouds.

9-19-14 - “First Frost” - There is no looking back now....Mother Nature stepped up her game...her pace...yesterday morning...when she invited back one of her cronies...the well known artist and purveyor of “worse things to come”....Jack......Jack Frost. He doesn’t seem so bad now....still a bit of a thorn...”Do I need to cover my tomato plants and hanging baskets?”.....all seems worth it under the blue skies of autumn as Jack uses the hillsides as his canvas...his palette loaded with reds, oranges, yellows...his brush creating a masterpiece with every stroke...such breathtaking beauty.

9-8-14 - “The Harvest Moon” - I’ve got Neil playing in my head.....just dancing on the dock....pup in my arms...she must think I'm crazy.

Come a little bit closer
Hear what I have to say
Just like children sleepin'
We could dream this night away.

But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night.

Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

The steamy mist sits quietly upon my dreams... waiting...
Somehow it knows I am not ready...
I need more...time
Time to breathe in its life...
Slowly...then, as if not to interrupt my thoughts...
It lifts the blanket of support to unveil the subtle light of day...
And the excitement pulses through my body...like the steady beating of a soft drum...
Pushing me to enjoy this gift...
Another chance! A new beginning!
Today.

9-2-14 - “Soup Du Jour” - You could be nestled in your sleeping bag while camping within the Yukon Territory in Northwest Canada listening to the howls of a gray wolf pack.....on a sailboat anchored for the night amazed by the songs of the humpback whales...or with a small group of Maasai warriors armed only with spears crouched at an evening fire listening to the growls of the big cats in Africa...

As I was descending from the top of a BEAUTIFUL hike up Azure Mountain this common Garter snake crossed our path. The snake quickly slithered away, but only after posing for a quick couple of photos!

8-19-14 - "If This Is A Dream..." - I always forget..."On which day did God create the Adirondacks?" Ha. I took my camera with me kayaking yesterday morning as promised. The result was that I didn't get much of a workout....well my smile lines around my mouth and eyes certainly did. There was beauty everywhere I looked. I must have taken 300 photos and don't have the heart to delete any of them. Another day to remember on Lake Ozonia. Have a great day!

8-19-14 "Loonesta" - Just sending you a little sleepy Adirondack love this morning. It looks to be a steamy start to the day here at the lake...must go paddle. I promise to take my camera. Have a great day!

8-12-14 - “Twerly” - Silly me...as I paddled in earnest to the south end of the lake, my brain suddenly wanted to experience the fragrance of Nymphaea odorata. It had been so long....I can’t even remember the last time....so long that I don’t have a clear memory of it....only that it is pleasant....and powerful....filling the air with its sweet scent when one is among a large grouping of them. I knew there would be a several of them in the shallow water at the far end of the lake.

What a gorgeous day for a hike! We had never hiked a mountain before, so it was quite an experience! The view was definitely worth it. There were lots of people of all ages out today, and it was fun to encourage each other and share the excitement of seeing the summit for the first time.

8-15-14 - “Perigee Paradox” - I didn’t want anyone to think that I didn’t almost forget to photograph the supermoon on August 10th. I took this photo at sunrise just before the super duper moon disappeared behind a thick bank of clouds on the horizon never to be seen again as a full moon until September 28, 2015. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t recall perigee moons being called supermoons until fairly recently, and my eyes and brain can’t discern any difference between a supermoon and any other full moon.

Unlike this plantar fasciitis, I will never tire of observing deer coming down to the lake at sunrise for a drink and bath. That distinctive tan color can easily be spotted from afar. They are not as brazen as they were earlier in the summer....when they would stand there looking at me inquisitively...ears upright....wondering exactly what kind of animal my kayak was to be so rudely and noisily interfering with their lake time. I can only imagine how good the cool water must feel on all of the various fly and tick bites they must surely have on areas of exposed skin.

8-8-14 "What's Wrong With This Picture?" - As I was paddling my kayak at warp speed yesterday morning...concentrating on my arm movements...stretching that left achilles tendon on the foot peg....my breathing pattern....why the "needs servicing" light came on in my truck yesterday...what fruit I would use in my Nutribullet for breakfast....things I need to get done before I head to San Fran....why Tiger Woods even bothers...where are the loons this morning....etc, I looked up and was startled. Late winter....now this! My thoughts switched to firewood and Florida....not yet!!

8-8-14 “Azurific” - There is not a morning that I don’t look forward to making the turn around Split Rock in my kayak and having the panorama of the south end of Lake Ozonia and Mt. Azure beyond come into view. Some mornings the scene is better than others....none are ever a disappointment. This one made me put on the brakes...set down my paddle....take a few photos to get the camera settings I like...then just lay back for a few minutes and watch....it doesn’t take long for this scene to change...not at this time in the morning.

8-6-14 “Amazing” - From my cottage I could tell very early on that it was going to be a spectacular morning for photography...so I took Nikki on her poopy walk extra early and brought a camera with me as I jumped in the kayak for my daily paddle. I wasn’t disappointed...it was a photographer’s dream.

My husband and I were paddling Little Clear Pond in our kayaks when he noticed a family of Mergansers
resting on a log

Taking Hebron Yam on his first kayak excursion and we came upon this loons nest with 2 very large eggs of which only one loon survived. I suspect a snapping turtle or predatory bird had the other.

A beautiful view without a severe work out.

This is a close-up of a knobby tree on the hike up to Azure Mountain. All the knobs are where the tree has continued to grow over an area where a branch has fallen off. Considering the often harsh North Country winters this tree would have had to go through, especially on the side of Azure Mountain, it makes sense that this tree would have had so many branches fall off - and therefore be so knobby!

View from Azure Mountain; Waverly, NY
taken on the top of Azure mountain on March 26th at approximately 2:30pm

We were mostly out of breath when we reached the top of Azure, but the view of the landscape stole whatever breath we had left. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I've had in 2014, and that's why I took this particular photo. It felt like a fantasy.

Type: Landscape

Habitat description: The Adirondack Mountains are an unusual geological formation located in the northeastern lobe of Upstate New York in the United States. The mountains rise in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties. They are the only mountains in Eastern U.S that aren’t geographically Appalachian.

This was taken on a class hike on a beautiful, clear day from the peak of Azure. The hike is roughly two miles total to a summit height elevation of 2,518 feet, overlooking the Adirondak's forest and many other high peaks and ski locations. All of the valleys and ridges below we're created by shifting rock thousands of years ago.From the fire tower (which was originally built back in 1918 and restored multiple times since) one can overlook the St. Regis river.

It was a chilly January morning and we were heading to hike in the Adirondacks when we saw these two Majestic Eagles in the tree's with the glow of the dawns sun illuminating them for us to see. The 1st one was content with sitting on his perch soaking up the sun but the larger one, I assume was the female, was squawking away until the other one went to her. We snapped a couple pics and left them alone. These were in Santa Clara, on 458 by Clear Brook.

A few weeks back a friend and I ventured out to Azure and climbed the trail by headlamp. We summited and climbed up the fire tower just in time for a view of the rising sun!

Another gorgeous day at work working with students on a citizen science project through Monarch watch. What a beautiful creature.

I took this picture at the summit of Mt. Azure when we hiked up last Wednesday. It is a landscape shot out over the hills and off into the distance. The mountains here in the ADK park slowly formed into what they are today, and are surprisingly still growing. I was drawn to this picture because I love the colors contrasting between the sky, trees, and snow. It was one of my first hikes up a mountain that had snow on the ground still and therefore its beauty resonated with me. I only wish that the strong winds were visible in the picture.

On April 3rd our class took a drive to Azure mountain, it was about an hour or so drive. It was a beautiful but windy day.

Azure Mountain is located in the Town of Waverly, NY. Azure is a part of the Debar Mountain Wild Forest, locally known as "Blue Mountain". The roundtrip hiking distance is about two miles. The elevation of the summit is 2,518 feet.

In 1914 the 35 foot tall Fire Observation Station was constructed of wood. The Fire tower was then restored and made of steel.

Azure Mountain has a summit of 2,518-feet. It is about an hour drive from Canton, it has a steep incline although it is worth the climb as it has a beautiful view with a fire tower at the top. The climb was interesting as there was a lot of nature to see on the way up we saw........The reason that I chose this picture was because of the experience that I had climbing the mountain, I felt proud of myself at the end of the summit and wanted to immortalize this in photography. The view from the summit is also very beautiful.

Right before the end of our hike, as the last bit of elevation at Azure Mountain leveled out, I spotted this fuzzy brown caterpillar crawling along the thawing snow. At the time I thought it was a strange for a caterpillar to be around, because I'm used to seeing them strictly in the summer. After some research of common Adirondack caterpillars, I believe it belongs to the family Arctiidae. I couldn't narrow it down to one specific species, but the caterpillars in this family are recognizable by their hairy bodies.

Landscape 2: The summit of Azure Mountain allows for us to see the Adirondack mountains from an interesting perspective. First off, glacial erratics are a common sight in the Adirondack mountains. There are sizable rocks scattered throughout the mountain range sporadically, reminding us of the glaciers force in moving these rocks. Its formation, known as the Precambrian Shield, gifted the Adirondack mountain range with rocks approximately one billions years old, some of the oldest rocks found on earth.

video of an eagle feasting on a deer carcass and coyote that was very leery to approach

(landscape) Top of Azure Mountain, Waverly, NY. - This Sunrise picture at the top of Azure in the fall is a nice capture of the surrounding landscape. While Most of this photo is dark, the sunrise does a nice job of capturing the mountain ridges. Azure is about 2,500 ft in elevation and is in the Adirondack park. On top there is a fire observation tower, which was fixed up in 2001 and is now climbable for those who reach the top.