Monday, February 28, 2011

A Final Rest Stop On Our Way Home

I was on my way home from the farm with all the dogs in the back of my little red car. The weather and road conditions had been difficult and the snow banks had been high. I make it a point to let the dogs out for a "romp and poop" at least once during the trip but had so far found no safe place to do it. So I pulled into the Marcy Field parking area in the beautiful Keene Valley of the Adirondacks:

I'd hoped we could get onto the hiking trail which begins there but the snow was far too deep. However, since there was no one else in the parking area, I let the dogs out right there. That sign you see at the edge of the woods is a trail head to one of the high peaks:

The snow banks were almost as high as the top of my car, but the skies had cleared and I was enjoying the scenery as the dogs ran around the parking area:

When I look at the tops of mountains, I always watch for rocky outcroppings which might provide views should I ever hike up there:

But it was soon time to load the dogs back up into the car and finish the drive home:

I snapped one last photo of the surrounding Adirondack mountains as I drove out of the parking lot. And then we were on our way home:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Marcy Field Parking Area

The dogs and I were driving home through the Adirondacks from a night up at the farm. The weather had been difficult but cleared up just a bit as the road descended into the Keene Valley:

A small flock of wild turkeys crossed the road in front of my car and I managed to pull off onto the shoulder in time to get a quick snapshot of them. It was only afterward, while editing the photos, that I noticed the snow covered pickup truck parked in the woods:

Once again I'd been unable to find any place to let the dogs out. The snowbanks were high and the pull-offs were mostly unplowed. But then I turned down the entrance to the parking area of Marcy Field and found it mostly plowed. I'd hoped to let the dogs walk the hiking trail which begins from there but found it totally inaccessible because of the deep snow. The views from the parking lot were still good, though:

Though the skies were gray and overcast, I could still see the closer mountains surrounding Marcy Field:

So I shot a few pictures of the surround Adirondacks while I was in the parking lot:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Morning At The Farm, Beginning The Drive Home

I'd fallen asleep early and the dogs, who also enjoy their sleep, were quite happy to accommodate my strange schedule:

I slept for awhile and then got up and fixed myself some dinner (it wasn't even dark yet). The dogs got several more chances to get outdoors. Once dinner was over, the dogs had been outside and I'd listened for a while to NPR, we arrived at the "real" bedtime:

And having been to bed so early, I also was awake extra early the next morning. It was very cold and snowing lightly. I let the dogs out into their shoveled "yard" but stood at the door to keep an eye on them. I looked away for a moment and then noticed that Seamus was on his side in the snow with nothing moving but his head. He'd had a seizure once before so I assumed this was a recurrence. I tried to lift him but he's about 150 lbs now and I couldn't do it. So I called the other dogs in and waited it out. He recovered in 5 to 10 minutes and came back indoors. I've since Googled "Standard Poodles and Seizures" and learned that the breed can be prone to epileptic seizures. The online advice agreed with what my vet had said, that nothing needs to be done unless it becomes too frequent or too severe. It'd been perhaps 6 months since the first seizure and the vet suggested that I only worry if they happen more than once every 3 months. Once Seamus recovered, we all came indoors and began our morning:

Later in the morning, once I could tell that my across-the-street neighbors were up, I drove over there. Yes, I drove in spite of the short distance because by then a freezing rain was falling and it was extremely treacherous walking. They were eating breakfast with their two young boys and we had coffee and chatted. They charged me only $30 for two months of snow plowing! I snapped this photo of my farm as I got into my car to drive home:

And then I turned off the water supply, set down the heater, locked up the farm apartment and loaded the dogs back in the car. It was time to drive back to Albany. Happily, the freezing rain turned into a light snow. I'd have preferred it be warm and sunny, but that just wasn't going to happen in the Adirondacks in February:

Another long drive only 24 hours since the last one. Oh, how I am looking forward to spring and summer:

Friday, February 25, 2011

An Early Evening

It'd been a long day and a long drive up to the farm. The weather had not cooperated and I was tired. The tenants were not home when I arrived, so I didn't even get to say hello. I stuck a baby gate in the snow at the end of the path I'd shoveled to keep the dogs from exiting that limited run. Who would have imagined snow so deep that it could serve as walls to keep the dogs in place?!? I was fading rapidly, so I let the dogs out one more time:

And then we settled in - extra early, even by my standards:

The Golden Delicious apples outside my bathroom window had inexplicably turned red during the winter:

Fergus and Clover jumped up on my bed. Daphne and Wally like being up there also but require a lift:

I laid myself down "just to read" but of course fell asleep almost at once:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Settling In For The Evening

The dogs and I had just made the long drive up to the farm and were getting settled in to our little apartment in the farm house. We hadn't been there in 7 weeks, but all was well. I cranked up the heat and turned the water supply on. The dogs made themselves comfy:

Clover must have felt chilly, because she settled down in front of where the hot air blows out and didn't want to move:

You may notice the wet spot, recently mopped, over to the right of the photo. I found several places where the dogs peed on the floor. I didn't know why and I didn't know who, so I just cleaned them up:

I left the dogs in the apartment and drove east to the small town of Malone, New York. I'd heard tales of The Market Barn, a collection of independent sellers (antique and other) with their own booths set up inside a converted barn. The drive was difficult because of the high winds and blowing snow. In fact, I passed a bad accident caused by the difficult conditions. The Market Barn was everything I'd been told it was, but I just wanted to get home. So after a quick perusal, I drove back to the farm:

As soon as I arrived, I let the dogs outside. The sun was beginning to set and the temperatures were dropping. The dogs were happy to see me, I had food in the refrigerator and I was tired. It was time to settle in for the night:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Getting Comfortable In The Farm Apartment

We arrived at the farm and I shoveled a path between the car and the back door to my apartment. The snow was very deep, 24"-30" where it hadn't drifted and Seamus was the only dog who could get through it without a shoveled walkway. But once it was cleared, I found that it made a nice confinement system for keeping the dogs from straying:

I unloaded the car while the dogs explored and did their business:

Winky needed some encouragement to get him through the snow which remained after my shoveling:

I found the stairs underneath the snow and shoveled them clear. Then we all clambered up inside the apartment:

I turned up the heat (notice Clover positioned right in front of the heat register) and went down in the cellar to turn on the water. Then I fed and watered the dogs and put their pillow-beds down on the floor for them:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We Arrive At The Farm

We came to the end of Rt. 458 and turned onto the smaller roads toward the farm. Though it was no longer a surprise to me, I found that these roads had even more snow on them than the highways. But there was no traffic at all and I could stop right there in the middle of the road, roll down my window and snap a picture of an old sugar house set back in the woods:

I stopped to get a photo of this old barn which was in fine shape although it didn't appear to be used much anymore:

A few more turns and we arrived at the farm. The snow was 24"- 30" deep on the flat areas and up to 5' high where it'd been plowed. I shoveled a pathway from the car to the back door before letting the dogs out:

Little old Winky, with his short and crooked legs, was the last one to make his way through the snow. There was still quite a bit of snow underfoot, even after I'd shoveled a path:

Clover spotted the two horses across the road and went on alert. But we were at our second home and would soon be indoors getting comfortable:

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Ice Palace And A Parking Lot

The dogs and I had made our way through the Keene Valley and up through the high peaks region of the Adirondacks. I'd been looking forward to the town of Saranac Lake because I knew that this was the final day of their Winter Carnival. But when I arrived, I found traffic jams and a full parking lot. But I did get to snap a picture of the ice castle as my car inched along:

Apparently the Adirondack tourist business is doing well this winter. I'd wanted to stop and get photos of the ice palace and other ice buildings, but it would have been nearly impossible to get in there and then parking with six dogs in the car would present yet more problems. But I was stopped, waiting for traffic, so I got one more snapshot before continuing on my way up to the farm:

Once I'd passed through the town of Saranac Lake, the traffic dropped to almost nothing and the drive became more relaxed and scenic. I still hadn't found anyplace to let the dogs out, but I knew that there was a parking area on Rt. 458 which was likely to be plowed. When we arrived, I found it only semi-plowed, but since there was no traffic on the highway, there was also no one parked there. We had the parking lot to ourselves and the dogs were overjoyed:

Seamus and Daphne found something which smelled interesting:

"C'mon over here, guys. Look what we found!":

I never discovered what the group of them had found because little Clover discovered poop and immediately began eating it. I quickly put a stop to that although she couldn't understand what was the big deal:

Once I had them all unglued from their fascinating but disgusting aromatic tourist attractions, I walked them up and down the parking area a few times:

And loaded them all back into the car. The car needed to get a running start to exit the parking area through the plowed snow banks, but we were soon on our way again, by this time only about a half hour from the farm:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Clearing Skies, Adirondack Views

I was traveling northward through the Adirondacks on my way to the farm, but the weather was making things difficult by masking most of the views and causing random slippery spots on the roads. The traffic was heavy and the roadside snow banks were tall, so pulling off the road to snap pictures was tricky at best. And I could find no place to let the dogs out. But every now and then the clouds would part and I'd get a glimpse of the beautiful Adirondack peaks all around me:

As my car climbed up out of the Keene Valley, the views opened up and I found a few plowed spots where I could pull off the roads. The surrounding mountains there are very close at hand, making the trees, rocks and snow on them were visible in great detail:

Blue skies! What joy!:

I briefly considered letting the dogs out here but, as you can see, the highway was too close and it would not have been safe. Sorry, dogs. We'll keep looking for a spot as we travel onward:

As I looked back toward the Keene Valley, the mountain views were just beginning to open up: