Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Colored Leaves And Reflective Lakes

On my return trip from the farm last Monday, September 21, I noticed that a theme was evident in the scenes I was seeing and photographing. There were Adirondack lakes all along the route, each of them calm and reflecting the colored leaves of the surrounding trees. It was quite lovely and I decided to collect some of the pictures I took into one blog post.

The first, most northern lake I pass is Barnum Pond, whose waters actually come to within 4 feet of the road:
There were two Adirondack chairs on one of these jutting rocks where someone must have had a beautiful view and a peaceful rest:

Not much hardwood color along this shoreline but the reflected firs are striking:

The child in me found this shoreline particularly inviting. I wanted to explore it and to wade in the shallows, searching for minnows and crayfish:

A joyous scene of exuberant color, with both leaves and goldenrod:

On a calm day, every Adirondack scene becomes doubled when it's adjacent to a lake:

This is Church Pond, in the town of Brighton. There's an old fashioned country church nearby:

Color, color everywhere. You can see why I often find the drive between the farm and Albany so inspiring, and sometimes (not always), even restful:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Adirondacks Get Serious About Autumn - Part 2

This photo was taken not in the Adirondack Park, but in my yard on the north side of the farm house. There's the orange berries of a Mountain Ash, red apples and colorful Sugar Maple. That's my north hay field in the background:

And just south of my farm in the Adirondack Park, a scene of autumn. These grassy roadsides are very often filled with grazing turkeys:

And speaking of turkeys, this flock must surely have numbered over a hundred. I couldn't get them all in the photo:

On my way home from the farm, I glimpsed some real autumn color off down a side road and turned onto it for a closer look:

A real mixture of hardwood species:

Color, color everywhere:

And more color:

Notice the mailbox in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Someone lives there, amidst all that beauty, in a home set so far back into the woods that I couldn't even see the house:

By the time this posts, these pictures will be over a week old and I'll have taken new pictures of the ever developing, colorful foliage. I fear they'll be lots of other "leaf peepers" on the highway, though, so I'll have to drive cautiously:

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Adirondacks Get Serious About Autumn - Part 1

Once again, it seemed as if the color I saw on my way home on Monday was much brighter than the color I saw headed north the day previous. Is that possible? Maybe it's because of the direction of the light, or because I'm rested and more inclined to notice the beauty. Judge for yourself, but these pictures will show you what I mean. Be sure to click on a couple of them to enlarge them. This first photo was taken alongside Route 458, just south of my farm:

Again on Route 458:

Still on Route 458, getting closer to the high peaks region:

Some trees just seem to be extra friendly, and these are some which did:

Reindeer moss (lichen), flowers and maple leaves at the roadside:

This mountain is taking on an apple red blush as it watches over a tamarack filled bog:

A fireworks of color above an Adirondack mountain stream:

Behind the wetlands and firs, the maples are in glorious color:

These trees were so red they almost looked artificial:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Irish Dexter Cattle

If you've been reading this blog, you know that there's a man near my farm who has a herd of Irish Dexter cattle. I've driven over to his place 3 times but never found him at home. Well, this past weekend, I tried one more time. He was there and gave me an extensive tour as well as the benefit of his lifetime of experience with both horses and cattle.

He had perhaps 20 horses running free in an adjacent pasture roughly the size of Rhode Island and they were a beautiful sight to see. Closer to the house were 20 or so cattle of various breeds and colors, and about half of them were purebred Dexter cattle. Here's a few of Dexters from his herd:

This man had sold his 300 head dairy farm and retired to - well, to farm some more, but this time for pleasure. He'd recently purchased this trained and tame pair of oxen. And boy, were they ever friendly, following us around like dogs. That became a bit disconcerting because of their horns always at our backs. They meant no harm but they wanted attention, kind of like a couple of pesky puppies:

This brown cow is a Dexter but when he bought her she'd been mated to a Scottish Highland bull. The calf she produced was beautiful, but not worth much money. Her most recent calf was a purebred Dexter. She's a fine looking cow but he said she's got a bit of a personality problem and just doesn't want to be bothered by humans:

Here's the brown cow with her current calf. That's a Dexter bull behind her. More about him later:

This experienced cattleman gave me all kinds of pointers. To begin with, he told me not to believe that nonsense about Dexters being naturally tame and docile. This bull tried to kill him when he was being unloaded from the truck. Furthermore, as we stood in the pasture and talked, this bull ambled around behind us, carefully checking us out and I was instructed not to make any sudden moves:

He also told me that because Dexters had recently become so popular with small landholders, they were being bred by novices and their conformation and temperaments have suffered as a result. He showed me some of their leg problems and udder problems. I didn't tell him so, but he pretty much talked me out of that breed:

And I said goodbye to the friendly ox and returned to my farm apartment full of dogs with much to think about.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Doggy Rest Stops

With 6 dogs, a small car and a 4 hour drive, I have to allow for rest stops every now and then. Luckily, the Adirondacks is (are?) full of places to pull off the road and explore nature. I've developed a few favorite places to stop and one of them is the cemetery in Brighton. I turn off the highway and drive down a slight incline with this view out my car window:

I've never seen another person in the cemetery and yet it's immaculately clean and groomed. And, of course, the view is perhaps the best in the high peaks. Here's Casey and Seamus just out of the car and enjoying a romp:
I can't tell for sure, not even after clicking to enlarge the photo, but I think that's one of the dogs down there among the gravestones. Also, you can see what I mean about scenery:

Wally and Seamus enjoying the sun. Alas, this spot will not be available after the snow season begins:

Casey, Wally and Seamus:

And crabby little Winky, he of the giant sized personality:

After my blog post about tall garden phlox, a friend dug some up and gave me a clump to plant up at the farm. So I traveled with 6 dogs and a clump of 4-5 foot flowering phlox. The car smelled wonderful, somewhat like a florist's shop - and that's a big improvement from how it usually smells with 6 dogs inside. This is us, still at the cemetery, dogs and phlox, loading back up to continue on our way:

I'd planned to plant the phlox alongside the dog fence at the farm but discovered that there was little soil there, but only crushed stone from the installation of the driveway. So I hatched a new plan. I put them in the middle of the lawn where the power pole guide wire is anchored. I figure they'll be less likely to be accidentally mowed down there. Also, I got to tie them to the wire so they stand upright:

And while we're at the farm, the big old Northern White Cedar notched into my porch and only a foot or so from the house is dropping these little cones, each bunch connected to a leafy fan. They're really quite intricate and beautiful, even if I do have to keep sweeping them off the porch:

And one last rest stop photo, this one from the trip home again on Monday. Here, Seamus and I walk a path through a wooded area. The other dogs are there somewhere. I can see Casey's tail in the background:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Autumn Color On The Drive North Through The Adirondacks

Virginia Creeper vines have turned beautifully red alongside the road. This scene was not, however, in the Adirondacks but on the highway exit in the Albany area near my home. I couldn't resist taking a photo of it:

As I drove up the Northway and entered the Adirondack region, I began to see some nice autumn color on both sides of the highway:

And once I was off the limited access highway and driving through the high peaks region, I could see a red blush appearing on and spreading across many mountainsides:

This horse pasture had a rapidly coloring pair of mountains as a backdrop:

It's easier to see the color if you click on these photos to enlarge them. This scene was on Route 73 near Keane, New York:

And in Brighton, New York, a scene of farm fields and red colored mountains:

The farm fields were sometimes as colorful as the mountainsides:

Alongside the road:

And in the town of Raybrook, Rosa rugosa displays orange rose hips and a couple of flowers beneath the tall pines. The cabin in the background is available as a vacation rental: