Sunday, April 18, 2010

Daphne Hikes Beebe Hill, Part 3

Our Easter Sunday hike up Beebe Hill had been a bit chilly at the beginning, but the temperature had been on the rise from the start. By the time we crested the hill and caught our first glimpse of the fire tower, it had become a warm, beautiful spring day. I don't believe that I've ever seen an Easter Sunday with bad weather and this one continued that winning streak. The dogs ran ahead as we neared the fire tower:

I tied Daphne and Seamus to the base of the tower to prevent them from attempting to climb the steps with me. As you can see, Daphne was not happy about this. It's old hat for Seamus, but this was Daphne's first experience on a leash and she was not pleased:

I tied Fergus to the base of the steps to keep him from being too close to Seamus and Daphne. After all, I didn't want them getting tangled while I was up at the top. I had only brought 3 leashes, however, so left Wally untied at the bottom. His energy level was low enough and his legs short enough that I felt certain he wouldn't be climbing any fire towers any time soon:

The sun was warm but the winds increased with each step upwards. I set my camera's auto-timer and placed it on a step to snap my own photo with the scenery behind me. The wind was so strong that it rocked the camera and I feared it might knock it off the step, sending it crashing it to the ground below. If I had tried that on Hadley Mountain the previous week, the high winds might have blown the camera off the step and sent it flying off the fire tower. But on this day, the weather was warm and the sun was shining, even if the wind was gusty up at that height. Many of the dead looking tree branches which filled the forest at the beginning of the hike had begun to burst into leaf while we walked. Yes, it happened that fast:

When I reached the top of the fire tower, I snapped a photo in each of several directions and they were all lovely indeed:

The former caretaker's cabin which we'd passed on our way up to the fire tower:

Albany's Empire State Plaza was clearly visible from that height but apparently too distant to show in the photos:

I began descending the fire tower and took one more photo of myself on my way down:

As I neared the bottom of the stairs, I saw faithful Seamus and Fergus waiting for me. Daphne had already gotten used to her leash. She's a quick learner. Wally was snoozing nearby:

The dogs and I walked over to the caretaker's cabin where I reclined in the grass and enjoyed the sun and breezes. Daphne and Fergus came over and walked on me (yes, ON me), and then Daphne cuddled for a while.

Those brown twigs are low-bush blueberries next to where I rested, with the fire tower in the background. If their seasons occurred together, one could pick blueberries with one hand and wild strawberries out of the lawn with the other:

Well, it was time to resume our hike and go back down the mountain. Seamus struck a noble pose with his face toward Opal Pond, our next stop:

I'd hoped that the Wood Frogs would be out and singing, but alas, they were not. Several years ago I made this hike when they were out in force - and by "in force" I mean there were millions and millions of them and their song could be heard everywhere. Every pond was teeming with them and Wally went so far as to swim out into Opal Pond to get a better look at these strange creatures. Wood Frogs freeze solid each winter and thaw out in the spring, coming back to life and beginning their breeding season. Here's a brief glimpse of us stopping at a small frog pond on the way up the mountain. It's Daphne's first view of such a thing. She's certainly getting an education:

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