Sunday, July 31, 2011

Conifer Easement Lands

Yes, I know. What the heck are Conifer Easement Lands? I Googled it and found out that they are part of the (Adirondack) Bog River Complex, I didn't find out much else. But when I saw this sign on my way home from the farm, I quickly turned into the clearing to give it a try as a rest stop:

The first two things I noticed were the abundance of Milkweeds in full bloom (the air was so perfumed by them that it smelled like a florist shop) and the abundance of hungry deer flies in full attack mode:

I tried both ignoring and swatting the deer flies as I walked the dogs from the clearing into the forest:

As at the last rest stop, Wally fell behind because he was following by sound only, and Winky fell behind because his short, crooked, old legs could only carry him slowly:

The clearing had a profusion of wildflowers such as this St. Johnswort, Hypericum perforatum:

And I believe that this was Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca:

The younger dogs had made it to the forest, but Wally and Winky were still in the clearing. I stayed in the middle and kept an eye on them all:

Seamus was still looking handsome, sporting his first ever professional grooming:

But I called the youngsters back to me and we headed toward the car:

When we met up with Wally and Winky, I had six very happy dogs. We'd all had plenty of exercise and adventure so far on this car journey, but it was time to continue on our way home:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Carry Falls Reservoir

I'd had a wonderful, adventurous, exhausting trip up to the farm, but the time came to make the long journey home. The dogs and I were traveling south along the Colton/Tupper Lake/Long Lake/Newcomb route when I noticed a small sign designating canoe access to Carry Falls Reservoir. Of course I pulled in to take a look. An earthen dam was right next to the parking area and a bark chip trail led off to the side to access the water. I let the dogs out and we went exploring:

This was perhaps the most deluxe trail I'd ever walked, and yet we again had the entire forest to ourselves:

The trail wound around and up onto the earthen dam:

The only problem was the two small, old dogs. Winky was unusually slow even for him. Wally was unable to see us and I had to keep calling him so he knew where we were. The two of them fell farther and farther behind:

The four younger dogs and I made it to the top of the earthen dam:

And Wally, following the sound of my voice, soon caught up. The reservoir was huge, but I've since learned that the part we could see is perhaps only 15% of its surface area:

We explored the area and then headed back to our parked car:

Alas, Wally again began falling seriously behind:

And little Winky had never even made it to the top of the dam. He was by then getting lost and confused, having wandered off the trail. He knew where we were and was making an effort to get to us, all the while appearing to be having a happy outing:

We finally met back on the trail and continued back to the car:

By the time we reached our parked car, Winky appeared to be tired and I carried him for the rest of the way. But this had been a wonderful excursion and a beautiful discovery. I'll stop again the next time we're passing through the area:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Parishville, New York - Part 2

I'd parked alongside the road to snap a few photos and noticed this sign across the road from me and next to the dam. It bore an odd message, "Site Of First Bridge Made By White Men In Town Of Parishville 1809." I at first believed this to be the first bridge in all of New York State to be built by European settlers, but have since decided that it was only the first bridge in the tiny town of Parishville - which to my mind wouldn't be particularly notable:

The dam (or head gate, or floodgate), however, was quite impressive:

And the water of the St. Regis River which pushes through or over those gates then rushes down this rock-walled gorge. YouTube has videos of teens jumping from the bridge down into that gorge and you can view one of them here:

I was impressed by the dam and thinking how wonderful it would be to explore the gorge:

When I saw this sign. Apparently they want to be prepared should the dam give way:

But it was hot and I got back into my air conditioned car and continued my driving tour of Parishville, snapping pictures as I went:

There were lots of old houses, mostly in very good condition:

As I pulled out of town headed north, I passed through Whiskey Flats State Forest. High Flats State Forest. The White Hill Wild Forest and High Flats State Forest lie just south of the city:

And the Timber Tavern advertised pizza and breakfasts just north of town along the highway:

The town cemetery was home to a flock of exceeding large turkeys. I was on my way home and this was the end of my photo taking:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Parishville, New York - Part 1

I'd arrived up at the farm on Sunday afternoon with all six of my dogs and had a good night's sleep. When Monday morning arrived, I first hiked up (and down) Azure Mountain and then hiked the St. Lawrence County Reforestation Area 12 (see previous posts). Both the White Hill Wild Forest and Reforestation Area 12 are just outside the pleasant little Adirondack town of Parishville, New York. I stopped there for a cold drink and then decided to snap some photos of the town:

It's a small town with a very old fashioned Main Street:

And this, surely, is where the town got its name:

The town was filled with pleasant, well kept old houses and had a friendly feel to it:

And the town straddles the banks of the St. Regis River. Just ahead of my car, you can see a reservoir on the right and a dam on the left. The town sits on both banks of the river:

The reservoir is large and really just a very wide spot in the river. It is, therefore, very long:

The town has a nice park and river access:

Many houses sit along the river and I'd imagine that many of them own boats:

The highway bridge across the river is small, apparently because the earthen dam traps most of the water and the actual bridge spans only the narrow channel through which the pent up water flows. Just beyond the bridge is a water gate or floodgate, but I'll cover that later:

The Parishville, New York Post Office. I'll post more about Parishville tomorrow:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

St. Lawrence County Reforestation Area Number 12

I'd arrived at the farm on Sunday afternoon and gotten settled. On Monday morning I took the four younger dogs hiking up Azure Mountain. We'd done our hiking early in the morning and were back on the road by lunchtime. I stopped at a convenience store in St. Regis Falls and bought a couple of sandwiches and sports drinks. When we arrived back at the farm, I took a nap.

Well, that was all very nice, but the day was still young and the sun was shining. I decided to drive back to the White Hill Wild Forest and hike in from the opposite direction from last time. But the road to the trail head became totally impassable and I had to abandon that project. But on the way home I passed the St. Lawrence County Reforestation Area Number 12. Not only is my farm surrounded by State Forests, there's also many County Forests (and that's not to mention the Adirondack Park only 3 miles from my door):

So I pulled the car off the road and parked. Little Clover led the way down the sandy hill into the forest. The sun was hot and both the deer flies and mosquitoes were biting fiercely:

But the dogs were happy and having a wonderful time:

I passed by large Honeysuckle bushes full of red berries. I've searched my Peterson's Field Guide and decided this must have been Fly-Honeysuckle, Lonicera canadensis, a native flowering shrub:

And blooming profusely in the sandy trail were multitudes of short Maiden Pinks, Dianthus deltoides, an alien species but beautiful nonetheless:

And of course there were ripe raspberries. I helped myself:

The dogs ran up and down the trails, thoroughly enjoying this hike in spite of the heat. It looked to me like the deer flies and mosquitoes were concentrating on me and leaving the dogs mostly alone:

And, of course, Lowbush Blueberries. Again, I helped myself:

The heat was becoming oppressive. I led the dogs through the woods toward what appeared to be a pond, but it turned out to be only an impenetrable swamp. So we turned around and began trekking back toward our parked car - Me, the dogs and billions of deer flies:

Always in the lead, Daphne and Clover arrived first at the car. There are so many State and County Forests to explore that I will be kept busy for a long time: