Friday, December 31, 2010

Passing Through The Keene Valley And High Peaks

My visit with my sister up at the farm had been a happy one though we'd both left for our homes one day ahead of schedule because of an impending winter snowstorm. My drive southward through the Adirondacks had so far been a reasonably nonthreatening one in spite of a micro-storm in the valley of the Cascade Lakes. By the time I arrived in the Keene Valley I could actually see some of the high peaks and snap a photo or two:

This is a lovely spot and one of my favorites for snapping pictures. You can see why:

Snowy peaks rose up above the valley meadows in every direction:

And when I stopped at Marcy Field, the storm clouds were still flying across the tops of the mountains, alternating between obscuring the views and opening them up. Little tufts of clouds were floating across the mountainsides or, in this case, haunting that small white farm house like the spirit of a long dead Adirondack pioneer:

An old plow sat idle and rusting in Marcy Field:

After I'd traveled on a bit through the high peaks, I stopped at a cascade of water gushing out of the rocks alongside the road which had caught my attention. Indeed, it would have been difficult not to stop:

Here's a brief video of the roadside waterfall. At the end, I turn the camera toward my little red car full of dogs. They are always anxious for me to get back inside the car and continue on our journey:

At this point we were almost to the main highway. But still I couldn't resist shooting a few pictures of the stormy mountaintops:

Along this portion of the road, the mountains are nearby and not merely distant views. But I still had a very long drive ahead of me, so kept on traveling:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Homeward Bound Through A Wintry Snowstorm

I'd had a nice visit with my sister up at the farm and was on my way home as I motored through the Adirondacks. A major winter storm was on the way but it was already snowing and blowing by the Cascade Lakes:

The surface of this chain of lakes was already frozen and the rocky mountains surrounding them were collecting snow as the winds howled through the valley:

When I opened the car door to step out and snap a picture, the dogs wisely seemed happy to stay inside:

The snow squalls started and stopped. The winds gusted, swirled and stalled. This rocky mountain pass is often lovely, but it does also seem to be a micro-climate which collects severe winter weather:

The nearby mountaintops were icy and unwelcoming in that wintry blast:

But I was on my way home with six dogs in the back of the car and so I traveled onward through the windy valley:

And the weather cleared up somewhat when I made my way out of that narrow pass and into the broader Keene Valley:

The mountains ahead were visible and the roads were clear. The dogs and I were on our way home:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Time To Return Home

My sister and I cut our visit together short by a day when we heard on the news that a major snowstorm was heading our way. She had to travel along the southern shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, a particularly snow prone corridor. We took a morning walk across the south hay field (see yesterday's post) and then began packing up to drive home:

As I was carrying armloads of luggage out to the cars, an Amish neighbor trotted by on the County road:

I snapped a couple of photos:

And a brief video of his passing by. That's the tenants' dog doing all the background barking:

When I took the video, I got the impression that the Amish man was not pleased at being photographed. I've since checked the internet for their beliefs and learned that most Amish are not pleased with photos which reveal their faces. These photos did not, but of course he couldn't have known that. In the future I will be more circumspect about Amish photos:

My sister and I hugged goodbye, collected our dogs into the appropriate autos (which took some doing) and began our journeys homeward through the winter scenery:

For me, the way home was directly through the snowy Adirondacks:

I was not in a hurry, so I stopped to photograph this pleasant farm scene:

The weather, as it often does in winter, became more harsh in the valley of the Cascade Lakes:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Romp Across The South Hay Field

My sister was visiting me up at the farm from her home in Ohio and had planned to spend one more day. But on Monday morning we awoke to radio weather predictions of major snow storms and winter driving hazards for the northeast and the shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie in particular. Indeed it was already snowing at the farm. So we both decided to leave for home that morning. But before we did, we took the dogs for a hike across the south hay field. As you can see, the snowfall did not diminish the dogs' joy. In fact, they seemed to revel in it:

Seamus and Daphne hung out together while Fergus and Clover watched from a distance:

This was a good opportunity for my sister to see my farmland. But as you can tell, the weather was not cooperative in the "seeing" department:

Seamus walks alongside the edge of the woods:

My sister, the marathon athlete, decided to run through the snow storm - and the dogs, especially the Papillons, found this delightful:

A brief video of our romp across the south hay field. Wally and Winky stayed indoors, so we had five dogs with us. The three Papillons were off running happily with my sister, but Seamus and Fergus became concerned that I was lagging behind:

Big ol' Seamus joined in the fun with his ears a-flappin':

When we reached the far end of the field we could see a neighbor's buildings off through the trees. These are neighbors I've never met. I hope they like dogs:

And then we turned around and headed back to my farm:

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Driving Tour Of The Adirondacks

My sister and I were taking a driving tour of the Adirondacks with all seven dogs in the back of the car. We'd had a nice hike on the Hays Brook Horse Trail, so the dogs were relaxed and reasonably quiet. The weather, however, was not cooperative. So when the clouds parted momentarily, I snapped a photo:

Snow was falling and the skies were overcast as we pulled off the road alongside the Cascade Lakes:

And the wind was blowing so hard that my sister stayed in the car when I got out to snap a few photos. That's the three Papillons in the front seat with her (right to left): Madeline, Daphne and Clover:

And we got as far as the high peaks town of Keene, the home of my favorite store. So of course we stopped to look around:

They sell many Adirondack themed gifts in addition to the taxidermy of animals, both local and exotic:

And much of the taxidermy is set in action poses with artificial plants or other animals to complete the scene:

Overhead are antler chandeliers:

My sister was surprised and impressed by the awesome size of the bison:

And a stuffed bear next to the stairs which led up to a loft filled with pelts and other items:

It's a fun place to visit but one has to have lots of money and be truly into taxidermy to buy much there. I have, however, purchased other, smaller items as gifts:

On the way out we took each others' photos beside the chainsaw art mountain man and the pillar of moose antlers:

And I got my turn also. As kids, we used to pose for such photos at tourist stops all across the country, so this brought back some happy memories:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Hays Brook Horse Riding Trail Continued

My sister and I were hiking the Adirondack Hays Brook Horse Trail, accompanied by seven (yes, seven!) dogs. It was a lovely, Christmas type day and the dogs were as happy about it all as you might expect. Even crooked legged little Winky trotted merrily through the snow, a little canine elf if ever there was one. And to think he was almost put down at the Shelter. Well, he's now living a happy, social life:

My sister stopped to offer a word of encouragement to little Winky. Her daughter's Papillon, Madeline, was by then feeling confident enough to take her place in the pack and trot on ahead with the other dogs:

Snowy forests have a special quietness and we reveled in it. Only the jingling dog tags on our pack of seven broke the silver silence as we walked deeper and deeper into the forest:

I posed for a photo with Madeline and Seamus:

Seamus, Madeline and Winky:

A moment of joy. Seamus was romping along the trail with enough enthusiasm for his big ol' ears to bounce. I count six dogs in the photo. Only little Winky is missing, probably walking at my heels as I snapped the picture:

We eventually arrived at a steep hill deep in the forest where the trail seemed to disappear. Well, never mind, it provided us an excellent place to turn around and head back to the car:

And finally, a brief video of our happy hike through the Hays Brook Horse Riding Trail: