Discovering Nature

Category: Landscapes (page 1 of 3)

Summer Falls

This is a 3/4 mile walk along a gorge, but that short span includes something like a 600 foot rise in elevation. We climbed a lot of stairs, then walked down the other side on a more gradual trail. It was an absolutely lovely day.

Bob-o-link field

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This field invited us to stop the car and try to capture the scene. The field was filled with bob-o-links making their strange, R2D2 racket.IMG_3034sm

Salamander Season

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We discovered yesterday that we’d completely missed a chapter of spring. It seems early, but there were lots of signs of the season advancing, including salamanders cruising about among the dead leaves in one of our favorite pools.

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Eggs had already hatched into plump tadpoles.

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Some frogs were floating about. This one’s trying to remain incognito, and she almost succeeded in getting stepped on.

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There were various signatures of creatures who were out and about and carving their names on trees.

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The wind had left its mark too. This tree had been split in two and turned into a drinking trough.

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And this was one of many that had been plucked up by the roots.

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We saw some kinglets, and a few geese squabbling endlessly over their own patch of pond. We also saw a new beaver lodge, and lots of signs of the beaver’s activity on trees along the bank:

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It was sunny and mild, and the green was just starting to show in the landscape.

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On the whole it was a thoroughly enjoyable walk! Even though our winter has been unusually mild, the sight of new growth always marks a welcome change.

Coltsfoot

A friend tells me this flower is called coltsfoot. It’s one of the earliest spots of color to be seen in the mud along the roadsides.

Watkins Glen

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Though it was absolutely mobbed with people, its spectacular falls, heights, depths, darknesses, brightnesses, grays and colors were on display. It was great that so many people were out appreciating the wonders of a state park on a holiday weekend. I heard wonder expressed in many languages, by people of all ages. It was well worth the trip on a prime fall weekend.IMG_1411 IMG_1412ed IMG_1415

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Roadside Splendor

We are at, or just past, the peak for fall color here. I’ve been struck lately, driving from here to there, how amazing this country is. One doesn’t have to pay to see its beauty, or travel far, or even get out of the car to see it.

We are blessed.

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Bald Mountain

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Another place we visited on our Adirondack vacation was Bald Mountain. It was a popular place the day we were there! There is a fire tower on the granite crest of the hill that you can climb to look out over the Fulton Chain of lakes. I’ve climbed it in the past, but not this year — the nice solid ground provides a sufficient vantage point for me!

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Bloom where you’re planted!

 

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Touches of fall

Touches of fall

Our most sure-footed hiker

Our most sure-footed hiker

Revisiting Ferd’s Bog

Lucy, our trusty hiking companion, urges us on

Lucy, our trusty hiking companion, urges us on

One of the places I love to visit in the Adirondacks is Ferd’s Bog, a 50-acre tract of boreal forest surrounding a black spruce bog. I first visited it in 2011, and the bog was filled with pitcher plants; I posted a picture of them here, at my other blog. I haven’t seen the pitcher plants for the last three years, though, and I suspect that people may be venturing off the boardwalk (judging from the many trampled trails I saw into the grasses) and taking them. It’s both foolish (since they won’t grow anywhere else — they grow in the bog because it’s acidic) and selfish (since it alters the ecosystem, prevents others from experiencing it, and even breaks the law by taking plants from a protected area). I hate to sound so negative, but it’s sad to see. I’m not sure whether the process can be reversed or not.

Nevertheless, the walk through the woods into the bog retains its primeval character. There are apparently many interesting birds that inhabit the area, but I haven’t seen any of them: gray jays, boreal chickadees, black-backed and three-toed woodpeckers, for example. But the many plants, trees and mosses always grab my attention and make the walk seem magical.

Here are a few pics from my most recent foray in.

Trail

Trail

Lichen

Lichen

You descend into the bog -- and climb back out

You descend into the bog — and climb back out

A stump beautifully furred with mosses

A stump beautifully furred with mosses

Wood between the worlds

Wood between the worlds

Boardwalk into the open bog

Boardwalk into the open bog

Micro-world

Micro-world

Creeping snowberry

Creeping snowberry

Stump host for all kinds of plants

Stump host for all kinds of plants

 

Open bog -- the black flecks are dragonflies. The air was thick with them.

Open bog — the black flecks are dragonflies. The air was thick with them.

Quietness -- no sound but a single white-throated sparrow

Quietness — no sound but a single white-throated sparrow

Big sky country

Big sky country

Boardwalk leading back into the woods

Boardwalk leading back into the woods

Follow the yellow -- er, white -- brick road

Follow the yellow — er, white — brick road

The trail back out

The trail back out

Red toadstool

Red toadstool

A tree bearded with mosses

A tree bearded with mosses

Red berries -- not sure what kind

Red berries — not sure what kind

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Polished roots

Polished roots

Evergreens

Evergreens

Baby evergreens

Baby evergreens

Log overtaken with other plants

Log overtaken with other plants

Decomposition

Decomposition

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Woodland benediction

Woodland benediction

Some pics of Ferd’s Bog from last year are included here. Some from the year before are here.

Random spring beauties

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This flower is actually called “spring beauty.” Everything else in this post gets informally classed under the same heading… We’re drinking in the sights of the world waking up around here.

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