Fall

The other week, some friends and I traveled to the Westport area for some birdwatching. The excitement started as we passed through Elizabethtown when I spotted a few pine grosbeaks high in a tree. The birds then came down and began drinking at a small stream along the road and we watched them for a while in the morning sun. We eventually found between 30 and 40 grosbeaks – many of them feeding on an ornamental crabapple tree. And, while grosbeaks will come to bird feeders from time to time, fruit trees are the best places to look for them. They are also extremely approachable as they feed... continue reading
 
Just happened to be heading through the area of this short loop and decided to check it out and do a short trail run.We dropped down off the backside of the parking are and proceeded to the trail register to sign in, after a bit of stretching we were off. It didn't take long to reach the glacial erratic at the trail junction for the lollipop loop. We decided to head in a counter-clockwise direction. We thought that maybe if we did it fast enough we could turn back time – we didn't.We enjoyed the few rolling hills along the trail that meandered through old stand of tall evergreens. Once we got... continue reading
 
As the remnants of last week's turkey are being picked off the carcass and turned in to cold turkey sandwiches, and as my Labrador retriever has now recovered from eating an entire turkey carcass that a family member placed down low and then went out without thinking, it is a good opportunity to consider the wild turkeys which inhabit the Adirondacks. After all, some families are gearing up for another round of turkey feasting in late December – we love it so much that we have one defrosting in our refrigerator right now (my dog can't wait!). This is the time of year when turkeys rule the... continue reading
 
Anyone who frequents the Bloomingdale Bog Trail knows there are some very active beavers along the trail. The marsh at the southern end of the trail is dotted with a couple lodges, the inhabitants of which are responsible for the dams at the end of the marsh as the water runs north.Go not even a mile up the trail to where it opens into the bog and you will see some even more impressive work, where the beavers have built a series of dams in the ditch along the trail. The largest dam is perhaps a mile and a half up from the south end, not far past the old rail car on the western side of the... continue reading
 
I am the last person on earth who would have thought I would be driving a group of teenagers to play paintball. No one in my immediate or extended family has experience with guns, except my son during his biathlon meets. I was feeling like I was a chauffeur to the Coliseum and my husband's Hunger Game's reference of "Let the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor" did little to ease my mind.I had already inundated the people at Tigerstripe Paintball in the Adirondacks located in Keeseville with numerous questions about safety. I was bringing other children and wanted to be able to provide the safest... continue reading
 
The Sentinel Range can be one hostile place to play in; however, Slide Mountain tends to be less intrusive to visitors. On this particular day we woke up to a couple inches of fresh powder on the ground, this just whet our appetite to get out and play in the mountains – so, why not a little bushwhack to wake the senses? We decided to start a bit earlier this time just to assure we would be out before it got dark. One of the downfalls of hiking in late fall is the clocks get set back an hour and we lose some of the daylight on the back end. In the grand scheme of things, 8am isn't... continue reading
 
The backside of Lake Colby along the railroad tracks in Saranac Lake continues to be a good place to find ducks and other waterbirds. Today my walk started with a fly-by Cooper's hawk as a well as seven fly over Bohemian waxwings.Both species were nice finds, and I headed down to the railroad tracks where like the day before, a large number of bufflehead stretched across the quiet backwater of the lake. The water was flat and smooth – even on the main body of the lake – rare for this time of year. I counted about sixty bufflehead and two female common goldeneye on the glassy surface. The day... continue reading
 
Though certain members of my family are content to sit in front of the TV and work off their weekend meals by making sure the remote is fully charged, I have just as many other people interested in getting around outside and enjoying the fresh air. When we aren't climbing a High Peak or waiting for ice to freeze on the Adirondack ponds, we are enjoying one of the many Lake Placid (and beyond) sights.One activity the whole family can enjoy is the Adirondack Carousel. The unique carousel is not just for the very young but for the young at heart. With 24 hand-carved Adirondack animals (18... continue reading
 
Just about every Adirondack deer hunter has stories of big buck encounters at the worst possible time. Stacking wood outside on a fall day. Driving to a high school soccer game or the post office. Walking the dog up the road just before sundown.Always without a gun in their hand. Sometimes the buck of their dreams.Although it hasn't happened to me yet this season, I do have plenty of such stories filed away. And it started early in my life as an Adirondack resident 15 years ago when, heading to a school board meeting, a bruiser of a rut-crazed buck strolled in front of me pickup one evening.... continue reading
 
A project I'm working on had me in Willsboro this week – which gave me a great excuse to check out a few points on Lake Champlain for birds after I was finished my work. It was a beautiful, clear, cold day – perfect after so many cloudy days with snow and rain.I checked out the boat launch at Willsboro Point where Willsboro Bay can hold nice numbers of ducks in late fall and winter before it freezes. It was quiet for birdlife, but I did find a pair of hooded mergansers as well as a small group of Canada geese.I headed just south of Willsboro to Noblewood. Noblewood is a park run by the Town... continue reading
 

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