Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another Delightful Small Town - Russell, New York

I'd hiked the Wolf Lake Loop Trail with my four younger dogs in the morning and was on my way back to the farm. We'd passed through the town of Edwards and some lovely farmland on our way. Then we crossed over the Raquette River and into the town of Russell, New York:

Russell is small and rural. There was a white clapboard church up on a hill:

And a surprisingly large and impressive municipal building:

A fire department:

And a highway department with what appeared to be old Army trucks parked in front:

Another white church with a nice steeple:

And a small town park with a gazebo:

But my favorite part of Russell was the farm fields just outside of the village. As I've said before, this is real hay country:

And cattle country, cattle who are grass fed, healthy and contented:

Hay fields as far as the eye can see with attractive old farmsteads nestled beneath Maple trees:

More cattle and an old farm house:

I took the wrong road out of Russell, but I had a map and was enjoying touring the country. I passed through a tiny hamlet called Pyrites (pie-RIGHT-eeze) and turned onto Pink Schoolhouse Road. I was particularly taken with this picturesque country church, situated comfortably in the trees and with old fashioned Spirea in bloom:

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Farm Country Of Edwards, New York

It had been a magnificent Monday up at the farm, beginning with hiking the Wolf Lake Loop Trail (see preceding posts). The dogs and I were tired and enjoying the air conditioned comfort of the car as we traveled the county roads back toward home. We'd driven through the small town of Edwards and I was particularly enamored of the lovely farm country we were encountering:

This flat land looked like it stretched on forever, which seemed odd as it was adjacent to the Adirondack mountains:

Big modern farms, old fashioned farms, this would be a fine place to live and raise cattle:

This was truly big sky country:

It appeared that hay was the primary crop here, providing me with glorious rural scenery:

This field was recently prepared for planting:

Here and there were small homes, apparently owned by folks who were not farmers themselves but loved living in such rural loveliness:

Silos lifted up into the big sky wherever I looked:

A hay field ready for cutting:

An old stone house. Was this built of the famous Potsdam Sandstone?:

And a large and modern high school. Apparently their children's education is a high priority here. I really loved this countryside tour. The next small town was Russell. I'll post about that tomorrow:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Beautiful Little Town Of Edwards, New York

After our big adventure hiking the Wolf Lake Loop Trail, we were all exhausted but happy to be sitting in a comfortable, air conditioned car once again. I'd driven through the town of Edwards on the way to the trail head and been very impressed but hadn't taken any photos. I decided to remedy that on my trip back home:

Edwards sits southwest of Potsdam and Canton on the great northern plain just above the Adirondacks. It's great, flat farm country yet also a next door neighbor to the Adirondack mountains. As I pulled into town, I saw a man on his front porch, apparently just watching the (infrequent) cars pass by:

Edwards was a very small town but did have a bit of a business district: Notice the sign for their nearby neighboring towns of Russell and Fine:

They had an impressive Town Hall:

A few houses, a few store fronts:

A purple and pink home with a brick red roof:

Old, well kept homes with Spirea blooming out front:

And big, wrap-around porches:

Picturesque churches:

And their own Post Office:

The "downtown" had a row of stores, apparently with apartments above them:

And a magnificent library. But the most impressive part of Edwards to me was the surrounding farm country. I'll post some photos of that tomorrow:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wolf Lake Loop Trail, Part 4

Seamus seemed to be having a case of heat stroke or an allergic reaction to the deer flies, or something. I'd gotten him cooled off twice, once in Moon Lake and once in Huckleberry Lake. Then I let him rest and recuperate for awhile before we resumed walking:

Huckleberry Lake was so exquisite that I couldn't imagine it wasn't flooded with tourists. But it's in a wild forest and requires a hike in and out, so I suppose most folks won't go to all that effort - especially in deer fly season (which is pretty much all summer long):

The eastern shore of Huckleberry Lake was contained by a wall of rock, and just on the other side of that rock was yet another beaver marsh. The trail wound back and forth between the two bodies of water:

I kept Seamus on a leash as we continued along the shore of Huckleberry Lake. There were no more access points to the water, though, as the trail was high up on the wall of rock:

But the views were magnificent.

I wasn't taking many photos, just walking slowly along with Seamus on a leash:

We arrived at a lean-to with water access just as a couple of folks in a canoe were leaving. I explained what I was doing, took everything out of my pockets and walked Seamus right down into the water until it covered everything but his head. I don't think he liked it much, but it did him a world of good. When we came out, Seamus and I lay down to dry out and Daphne bounced around, still having fun:

Seamus seemed much revived as we continued on our way along the shore of Huckleberry Lake toward the trail head. Nevertheless, I kept him on a leash lest he take another tumble down one of those rocky cliffs:

When the trail veered away from the lake I stopped for one farewell shot:

I then allowed Seamus off his leash. He was doing pretty well by then, but you can tell in this photo that he was still a little unsteady:

We passed more beaver marshes:

And Clover looked so tiny in that big forest. The daylight just ahead of her was a trail head. It wasn't our trail head, though. We had to walk another third of a mile on a dirt lane to get to our parked car:

The last third of a mile was a breeze, and both Seamus and I were overjoyed to rest our weary bones in a comfortable, carpeted car with air conditioning and windows to keep out the deer flies. I'd love to hike this again some day, but will only do it in the spring or the autumn when the temperatures are cooler and the deer flies are absent. Seamus, by the way, went on a diet immediately following this hike and is doing well and looking much thinner:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wolf Lake Loop Trail, Part 3

We were almost to Moon Lake on our hike and the deer flies (or were they horse flies? They sure were huge) were coming at both Seamus and me by the thousands. I kept us both sprayed with Deep Woods Off but it only seemed to help for a few minutes. And the deer flies found spots I hadn't sprayed on Seamus and attacked him there. At one point he passed me and I saw his short tail plastered with about twenty deer flies I wiped them off and applied more spray. He began to run off into the brush, lying down and rolling to rid himself of the deer flies:

The other three dogs, being younger, smaller and more white, didn't seem too much bothered by the deer flies. They were still having a grand time:

We arrived at Moon Lake and trail sign said that Wolf Lake was only 4/10 of a mile to the right. But I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the Moon lake itself. Be sure to notice the cluster of brilliant Pink Ladyslippers at the base of the sign:

A closer look at the Ladyslippers and of Moon Lake just beyond:

 I walked to the edge of the rocks and snapped a photo of lovely Moon Lake:

And the three younger dogs watched me with interest.This was a fun excursion for them:

But I was worried about Seamus and turned around to find him at the base of the rocks by the edge of the lake. I didn't know how he'd gotten down there but feared he'd tumbled. He seemed disoriented and weak in the legs. I suspected heat stroke and scrambled down there to help him. I tried to cool him off in the lake but couldn't get him into the water. So I then tried to help him back up the steep rocks but his legs were weak and it quickly became apparent we wouldn't make it. Just then a woman hiker, the first and only person I'd seen since we'd left the car, came by and offered to help. She pulled on his collar while I pushed from behind. We got Seamus up the rocks and discussed where the closest water access would be. She suggested the lean-to on the other side of Moon Lake. Who says there are no angels?:

So I cancelled my plans to see Wolf Lake and turned back past the trail sign and field of Ladyslippers toward the lean-to. I put Seamus on a leash to prevent any more tumbles down cliffs:

We got to the lean-to and I managed to get Seamus into the water to cool off. He was soaked, but it seemed to do him a world of good. By this time he was quite ill, vomiting and with diarrhea. But he revived after his cooling bath in Moon Lake:

Little Clover investigated the campsite for food scraps until I felt Seamus was ready to begin walking to the next lake on our way home, Huckleberry Lake. I kept him on a leash as we walked. This served to keep him close and under control as well as to help shield him from deer fly attack. As long as he was next to me, they focused their evil intentions on me:

So we walked slowly toward Huckleberry Lake. I didn't take any more photos as all my attention was on Seamus. But when I got to this exquisite patch of Fringed Polygala, I stopped to snap a couple of photos:

They are quite odd little flowers with a vivid color, a real show stopper on the forest floor:

And then we arrived at the northern end of Huckleberry Lake. It was even more beautiful than Moon Lake. I immediately began searching for a place to get Seamus into the water again:

He cooled off a bit here and then lay down. I let him rest for awhile before we began walking again. I'll post more tomorrow: