Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blink and winter is upon us....

That's how quickly the seasons can change here in the Mohawk Valley, and the change is more pronounced in the fast paced hustle and bustle and craziness the holiday season brings....
...That's why it's nice sometimes to slow it down a little and imagine what life might be like in a place like this idyllic farm I photographed near Paris, NY...
...or perhaps to go exploring for fossils along the banks of Prospect Gorge near Trenton Falls, NY...
...and it's great to just leave a litle time to watch the clouds sail by, and to look for familiar shapes and images in the clouds maybe as you're burning the last of the autumn leaves....
...or maybe a little jog along a quiet country road at sunset to quiet the mind....
...or just watch as nature transforms the landscape into a winter wonderland

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October transitions into November....

in the Mohawk valley, summer seems to transition into autumn very quickly. In the blink of an eye the leaves drop with the temperature, and the hot sunny summer is replaced with a cold, rainy and brooding autumn....below some images I took in between the cold damp rains
Grape Leaves & Autumn Sunset
Barn in Sauquoit
Dunrovin Farm in Paris
Chicken & Gourds

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October Images...

Autumn is a lovely time to visit the Root Glen in Clinton. A favorite spot near the Japanese pagoda. The leaves this day were cast a yellow glow on the Glen as the leaves were just past peak.
Jogging along near Westmoreland,NY affords one a little more time to take in and enjoy the brief seasonal color here in the Mohawk Valley. One reason I have always enjoyed my outdoor runs.
Kayaking is great this time of the year in the Adirondacks to enjoy the foliage and solitude, as well as the noticeable lack of bugs. Being in Zone 4 the leaves start turning a few weeks earlier than the Mohawk Valley, but if you time it right that gives you that much more time to enjoy the beautiful sights, sounds, tastes and smells of autumn in Upstate NY.
Breathtaking views of Utica from the first ski hill. Since the company hired to run the ski hill dug up the bottom and turned into a green season eyesore, I usually come up Valley View or the 2nd ski hill next to the zoo. Avoiding the Eagle is still recommended due to the well publicized lewd exploits of some of the characters that park or perhaps parked there.
We had the first official frost of the season here in my Whitesboro garden. Sunflowers seem to express their disapproval!

Monday, September 17, 2012

T Lake Trail

I have noticed the T-Lake Trail on my runs along Piseco Lake many times, and have thought about checking it out for many years. After running to Poplar Point from Evergreen Lake (about 5 mi) I decided what the heck. Life is short. So I signed the registry at the entrance and decided to run the roughly 8 mile round trip trail, thinking 8 miles would take me 1.5-2 hours. Although, most readers may opt to do the trail walking with a friend, water, and maybe a few granola bars, I ran and walked at points with maybe 8 oz of water on a day with 90% humidity and about 80-85 degrees. Remember also that this is after already running approx 5 miles. The trail itself was pretty well marked and maintained, although very narrow and angled toward drop-offs at some points.There are no indicators or signs to tell you how close you are to landmarks like T-Lake, so bring a good topo map or GPS device. The terrain was very dry because of the drought, so it was a good time to do this run, although my street running shoes were not a good match for the tree roots and rocks that pockmark most of the trail. So caution must be exercised as carelessness could result in a nasty fall in a place where it could be several hours before someone might discover you missing, or come up on you on the trail. I "ran" into no one on the trip in as I went up and down the many and seemingly endless mountainsides, hills, valleys and stream beds. You don't realize sometimes how long 8 miles is on a forested trail like this, and how difficult and arduous a journey this can become unless you are a seasoned trekker. After what seemed an eternity (approx 1 hour 10 minutes) I finally stumbled on the T-Lake lean to (no one was there) and checked out the accommodations. The lean to was built and in good condition, and included several charred skillets, some plastic tarps and some other odds and ends. I worked my way down to the river that comes into T-Lake, and then took an a fairly obstructed view of T Lake and the top of the falls, which was very difficult to see where I stood. I can see why several people have gone over the edge trying to check out the view. Knowing my wife would soon be getting nervous about the time I had been away I decided to head back out and save the photo ops and discovery for another day when more time was allotted and someone had my back. About 1 mile out I crossed paths with the first person I had seen on the trail. He was a younger guy (late 20's) who looked like a seasoned back country trekker. We both looked surprised. I was jogging along the trail and looked up and there he was. We studied each other for a few seconds, said hello, and he asked simply if T-Lake was another 3 miles? I said maybe a little less and ran off. The return trip seemed to go a little smoother and I even recognized some of the landmarks I had encountered on the run in, so I was a little more at ease. About 1 mile from the entrance, I encountered the second person I would see on the trail that day. I saw him about 50 yards away because unlike the previous person, this guy seemed to be totally out of place here. He was dressed in long white pants and a casual shirt looking like he had just gotten out of church. He had two tiny mi-mi dogs on leashes. I envisioned Wile E Coyote with his bib around his neck and fork and knife in hand, licking his chops as he studied these comical little doggies. This gentleman asked me how much further to T Lake, and after telling him he had another 3 miles of very rugged terrain to go, I continued moving back towards the trail head. This interlude seemed to give me an interesting diversion from my aching knees and ankles for the remainder of the run. Finally, after about 2 hours and 25 minutes I signed out on the Ranger's log and headed down Piseco to complete the final 5 miles of my run. I had been out on my run almost 4 hours, when my wife and son came looking for me, and found me running the last leg home just past the Piseco Lake Lodge. She looked both relieved and pissed, and I had that to think about that the last mile or so. Anyway, if you're a trail runner or hiker, this on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being most difficult, I would rate this hike a 5 or 6 if you're very athletic, and a 7 or 8 if you are in so-so shape.If you are a novice and have two Yorkshire terriers in tow, don't do it. In terms of interesting and scenic with 10 being heavenly, this is maybe a 7 or 8. T-Lake is very pristine and lush, the forests, hills and large stones are rugged but beautiful. I imagine it must be gorgeous when the autumn leaves peak.

Friday, September 07, 2012

If you like sun dried.....

September continues the exceedingly hot and dry summer we've experienced this year. A struggle for many of us to maintain our core temperatures and our sanity, as we plead for many cool and cleansing rains, to break the cycle and soothe the parched landscape and replenish the lakes and reservoirs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August In The Valley....ahhh rain!

August has seen some cooler temps and significant rains which has helped ease drought concerns here. Driving around it is nice to see bright greens and colorful wild-flowers instead of the browns and yellows all too prevalent in July....God knows we get enough of that in fall and winter. No doubt in my mind there is dramatic changes going on in our climate.
Farm in Westmoreland
Sunflower Army
More Sunflowers

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Most Dry July ...

As we wrap up the end of July, I thought I would share some more recent images with some wildlife friends...
... and beautiful water. We realize the importance of water, especially when we are in the middle of a drought. Like Ben Franklin said;"When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water." We are fortunate here in the Mohawk Valley to have the Adirondack Mountain run-off via the West Canada Creek and into Hinckley Lake as our primary water source. It is great to see our water authority has kissed and made up with the Thruway Authority over water rights issues, and that Hinckley Lake water hasn't been sent over the dam this year, and put our precious water supply in jeopardy, and turned Hinckley into a mud pit, like a few years ago. Although it is most disturbing that in times of water shortages, we still think nothing of wasting millions of gallons of Hinckley water, to fill each lock, each time a pleasure craft goes through one of the canal locks.

Monday, July 16, 2012

July Images & Thoughts

....twenty-two states have lost at least 50 percent of their original wetlands, and seven states have lost more than 80 percent of their wetlands. Over the last 200 years, wetland acreage has diminished to the point where their economic and environmental benefits (i.e., ground water supply and water quality, shoreline erosion, floodwater storage, and trapping of sediments) are now seriously threatened.~Sierra Club
This pair of proud (and protective) parents were finally successful, as they hatched and have almost raised this lone handsome chick. This, after an unsuccessful attempt last year in which the devoted parents attended to a lone egg, long after the egg had died and was spoiled.
The marshes are alive with color this year. Beautiful yellow, pink and white wildflowers and cattails aplenty.
Frogs seem plentiful despite the lack of rain in the Adirondacks. Especially as coal-fire burning plants reducing emissions has improved the water quality some, although there seems to be an inordinate amount of jelly looking algae blooms and some mucky mud slime balls.
A group of mallards "dabbling"
Tiger Lilies have become abundant in the Adirondacks and this Tiger Swallow was rolling in and thoroughly enjoying her brief visit in my garden.

Friday, July 13, 2012

July Images...the heat is on!

"Summers Golden Glow" Sunset Whitestown,ny
"The Eagle" Frederick Proctor Memorial, Utica, NY The heat is (still) on here in the Mohawk Valley....some "sun-drenched" photos to maybe enjoy more in February
"Bugs World" My back yard
"AC & Cold Coffee" Not every one (understatement) finds refuge in the great outdoors in the summertime. Interestingly enough on a day when it is 90+ degrees, this is where you will find many MV residents

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Heat Is On and Little Rain In Sight...

So, what better place to "escape to" than the nearby Adirondack Mountains. In the mountains the temperature is usually 5-10 degrees cooler and often gets a little more rain. Although, this summer is seeing most of upstate NY state being fairly parched, including the Adirondacks. Hopefully, we will see some much needed rains soon. Until then, enjoy the sunny, bright and hot summer. As we upstaters love to say; "you'll be missing it come January"
"Adirondack Stream"
"Moment in Time" I took these photos "rock-hoppin" and slapping my head silly to discourage deerflies while near Irondequoit Mountain over the 4th of July.

Monday, July 02, 2012

July in the valley....hot fun & work in the summertime

End of the spring and here she comes back Hi Hi Hi Hi there Them summer days, those summer days....! ~Sly & the Family Stone That's when I had most of my fun, back high high high high there Them summer days, those summer days
On Golden Pond, Adirondack Park, NY
Red Barn Sauquoit, NY
Sunset whitestown, NY
Golden Flowers, Whitestown, NY
Flopsy the bunny, New Hartford,NY

Monday, June 11, 2012

June in the Valley...

Images; A few farms near my local vegetable farmers. I support local farmers when I can, and my family and I enjoy our weekly vegetable pick-ups at the Old Path organic farm in Sauquoit. Our weekly potpourri of fresh vegetables, offers us a challenge each week to prepare and enjoy nutritious and fresh vegetables such as kale, beets, radishes, arugula and spinach to name a few. Normally we would not purchase some of these items so it can be a challenge to find recipes that our family will enjoy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Watching the World Go By...

In front of the Running Hall of Fame in Utica,NY
Although it's been about 20 years since Griffiss AFB closed, the runway is still used heavily by the military to train pilots to practice landing these vintage aircraft there and to help the county get a substantial increase in their "landing count"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Hook, Line & Sinker, Just before the doors closed for the last time....

a few photos I took just before one of my favorite restaurants; "the Hook Line & Sinker" was torn down a few years ago
Thanks for the memories Dick and company! Progress...now a Dunkin stands in it's place.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May in the Mohawk Valley....has spring sprung again?

The Raven
Trillium & Shadow
Apple Orchard, New Hartford,NY
Whitestown, NY
Ft Stanwix, Rome, NY
Legion Post, New Hartford, NY