Fall

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
 
As waterfowl continue to head south for the upcoming winter, many will pass through our area. In fact, just today I found a group of fifteen bufflehead (a species of duck) on the backside of Lake Colby in Saranac Lake along the railroad tracks. And everyone is familiar with a skein of honking Canada (not Canadian) geese. But if the honking flock overhead sounds a bit different than your used to (for instance perhaps the chorus of the honking flock is somewhat slower paced), then you should be sure to look up. You may find a V of white birds with black wingtips heading south. And you will have... continue reading
 
"Hallo! Halloween!" Tis Hallowe'en, and magpies meanAppear in ev'ry woodland green;Great wild-eyed bats, and hungry gnatsCome on to grace the spooky scene! Take care, take care, beware, beware,There's ghostly myst'ry in the air;The owls wise have sent out spiesWho pierce the darkness with their glare! Hop-toads and frogs, and pigs and hogsAre hopping, squealing in the bogs;And here and there, upon the airOn brooms which cause the folks to stare. Black cats they drop, on you kerflop!Then laugh to see you trembling there!Mischievous elves haunt all the shelves-A gnome into your pantry delves. ... continue reading
 
The day is perfect for the 4.2-mile hike up Noonmark in Keene Valley. The climb isn't an easy one but the summit view and numerous overlooks are worth the effort. We are starting up Noonmark (3,556 feet) via the Stimson Trail, named for Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War under Roosevelt and Secretary of State under Hoover. We split the group letting the faster hikers park the car at the "hikers' parking lot" on the edge of the Ausable Club property off of Route 73, while the slower one (me) is dropped off at the trailhead opposite the golf course. Parking at the "hiker's lot" is... continue reading
 
As the Adirondack fall continues to progress, leaves drop, temperatures fall, and our nights grow longer. Most of our songbirds have left the area for the winter, and others are continuing to follow their lead. As a result of this lower diversity, our October flocks of birds have a distinct feel as they move through the cool, damp woods. And many remaining species flock up in large numbers as many of them prepare to move further south in turn.While almost all of our warbler species have gone, yellow-rumped warblers remain abundant for much of the month. Large flocks of yellow-rumpeds are... continue reading
 
Today it's just a short walk from my home in Jay to an art opening. The Jay Entertainment & Music Society (JEMS) is hosting a regional art show just down the street at their building at the Jay Village Green.It's a great day for a hike and I wish the walk to the green was longer. But the work on the inside of the building is a delight worth interrupting my walk.Jay artist Nadine McLauglin has put this exhibit together and she is here today to welcome everyone to the opening. The show features local artists and, like many art exhibits in the North Country, it is eclectic. There are... continue reading
 
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is celebrating this spooky season with its annual Halloween decorated train. Ghosts, witches and goblins haunt the tracks but inside the train cars will be all about fun. My children are still not on board with the scary part of Halloween. They are perfectly content to dress up in costume and receive candy for their efforts. This train ride certainly fits their requirements. The Halloween train starts from the Lake Placid station with a 45-minute layover in Saranac Lake. Both the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake Train Depots will be festively... continue reading
 
Crisp, cool temperatures, no crowds, and clear views: the season between fall foliage and the fluffy snow of Adirondack winter marks a time of transition. It's also a great time to get outdoors and hike on the Adirondack Park's thousands of miles of marked trails.As a lucky resident of the region, I love to hike during this time of year when there are fewer crowds on popular trails, and fewer of those pesky leaves to obscure my view. But I've also learned a few things about hiking during this transition season.So here are my top 5 tips for those who dare to join in and crowd up my trails:1.... continue reading
 
            In his landmark book A Sand County Almanac, in which he wrote about the Sand Counties of Wisconsin, Aldo Leopold begins one of his essays on October as follows:            There are two kinds of hunting:  ordinary hunting and ruffed grouse hunting.            There are two places to hunt grouse:  ordinary places and Adams County.There are two times to hunt grouse:  ordinary times and when the tamaracks are smoky gold.              As the fall has taken us past the peak of leaf season, there is a tendency to think that the show is over and to brace as the damp chill of autumn sets... continue reading
 
Lake Placid area is past peak. Most trees have lost their leaves although there are still some very colorful, isolated trees holding out. Mostly yellows, coppers and golds. The beech trees and poplars are the last to lose their leaves.The Keene/Keene Valley area still has great color and is at peak or maybe just past. Lots of yellows, golds and reds and still some green. The photo below, of Cascade Mt. with snow on top, was taken this past Saturday (Oct. 13th) in Keene.The Lake Champlain Region is at about 50% with lots of green trees as well as some golds, reds and oranges.Schroon Lake and... continue reading
 

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