Friday, November 30, 2012

A Return To Fishhole Pond Road

We were on our way up to the farm, the dogs and I, and it's a darn good thing we weren't in a hurry because I kept taking detours and making stops. I decided to swing by Fishhole Pond again and drove up the tiny dirt road as far as the pond. I'd fully intended to take the road past the pond but it had been gated, apparently for the winter. So I turned around and found another spot to stop and let the dogs out:

Daphne and Clover ran full speed into the forest, finding a clearing in which they could wrestle and race:

I followed their example, but at a more leisurely rate with Seamus and Fergus keeping me company:

Alas, old Winky and Wally were, as always, lagging badly behind. I can't trust them to find us so I have to keep going back to collect them and urge them forward:

Daphne explored a bit farther into the forest:

And then Clover and Madeline came along:

 Pretty soon all five of the younger dogs were sniffing, exploring and playing:

And I was left tending to the old timers. In all honesty, though, Winky and Wally were as happy to be out as the youngsters. They're just slower and a tad more easily confused:

And then we all walked back to the car. Just look at that natural beauty! It's no wonder I love traveling through the Adirondacks:

Winky got stubborn, or possibly confused, and I had to go find him and hook a leash to his collar to lead him back. I believe that someone must have taken him for walks when he was young, for the simple act of snapping on a leash fills him with a great joy and puts a puppy-like bounce to his steps:

We were all back in the car and ready to resume our journey when I snapped this photo of my three front seatmates. What a happy crew!:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Stop At Chapel Pond

The dogs and I had just had a nice rest stop in the forest by the Ausable River and were headed up Route 73 through the Giant Mountain region when I saw this scene off to my left. It was a usually flooded area adjacent to Chapel Pond which generally prevents any access from that direction. But on this day, it was the driest I'd ever seen it. This was my chance:

I parked alongside the road, left the dogs in the car and began picking my way across the dry areas of this landscape while trying, not always successfully, to avoid the wet areas:

I made it to the sandy shores of Chapel Pond which I'd always wanted to visit and, indeed, the pond itself was at the lowest water level I'd ever seen:

Giant icicles were breaking off the cliffs and falling with great crashes to the ground below. I made a mental note to stay far away from that area:

And Chapel Pond, for all that its water was low, was still lovely:

I walked around, enjoying the spectacular scenery:

And I could see more peaks through the adjacent mountain passes:

But I knew that I had a carload of dogs who would go into barking madness if anyone walked by, so I began looking for a new, drier route back to the road:

I stayed on the sandy areas as much as possible. I'd already learned my lesson about stepping on what appeared to be only leaves when my foot dropped through the floating leaves into a foot of water:

I saw what appeared to be an access route back to road and began heading in that direction:

I turned back once to admire the beauty of Chapel Pond and then began climbing up to the road, twisting my already sprained ankle in the process:

And there, waiting for me, was a whole carload of very anxious dogs. They were delighted to have me back. There's no welcome on earth as hearty as one's dogs provide at every return. We continued our way toward the farm:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ausable River Rest Stop

Another trip up to the farm had begun on a Sunday morning. I drove right past the Frontier Town exit and on to the High Peaks exit, merged onto Route 73 and headed for our favorite little campsite on the Ausable River. I let the dogs out to run and boy, were they more than ready!:

It's difficult to get photos of little Madeline unless I tell her to sit because she otherwise scurries around with her nose to the ground. So I got her to sit on an old log beside a row of Eastern White Cedar seedlings, but even then her active little nose was following every scent which wafted by:

The two old timers, Winky and Wally, were dragging their feet as usual and I had to keep walking back to bring them along. Winky is showing his age more markedly with every passing week. I do think his crabby personality is finally thawing, though:

Wally has a sparkling personality but very little eyesight. He still needs occasional reminders that he's with a group, not alone:

And little Madeline sat on a bed of moss, all of her own accord. I had to record the moment:

Winky was very slow, but really tried to keep up. In fact, he did better than usual:

Daphne and Clover, as you've likely guessed, were busy racing each other up and down the trails at full, breakneck speed:

So I grabbed Daphne as she sped by and sat her down on a rock to cool her heels:

It was soon time to go and I called all the dogs back toward the car:

Fergus and Seamus arrived first, probably because they were the most eager to please:

I got everyone loaded up into the car and and counted noses. But where was Winky?:

I walked up to the car window and looked down and there he was, staring up at me. All was well, the dogs were in place and we resumed our trip up to the farm:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cascade Lakes With Hurricane Sandy On The Way

I'd driven up to the farm on Sunday and met with the fence contractor on Monday morning. But Hurricane Sandy was roaring up the east coast that very day and I had to make a decision whether to stay up at the farm and ride it out - or drive quickly home to Albany where the hurricane was predicted to be much stronger. I chose the latter and began hightailing it for home with all the dogs in the car. I stopped at the Cascade Chain of lakes along Route 73 just as the winds were beginning to pick up:

There was no one else there, so I let the dogs out for a run and a romp as the fog rolled in:

Seamus roamed widely, happy to stretch his extra long legs:

Little Madeline trotted across the grass, bracing herself against the ever increasing winds:

Winky did likewise, but his denser, more tangled coat and barrel shaped body seemed to make him extra wind resistant:

I called the dogs down into an area with more trees and less wind:

Daphne, ever the adventurer, braved the gusty winds to explore a retaining wall:

But Madeline and Clover were happy to be in a more sheltered spot. No, I don't know why Clover appears to be leaning like that. It wasn't because of the winds:

You've probably noticed the ever increasing fog which was shrouding the area. We had our windy rest stop beneath its cover and I wondered if it would soon envelop the area or if the winds would drive it away. We never stayed long enough to find out:

This little park along the Cascade Chain of lakes is always beautiful, but it took on a bit of a haunted, excited look with the promise of a hurricane on the way:

I got all the dogs except the two old timers down to the sheltered spot where they could explore in peace without fighting the winds:

And then we all began making our way back to the car so we could finish our dash back to Albany. In the end, Hurricane Sandy left both the Albany area and the north country pretty much unscathed. But we'd had a good trip up to the farm and back, I'd seen the new fencing and all was well:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Walking The New Fence Line

Early on Monday morning, the fence installer (Nick) arrived to walk the new fence line with me, to show me his handiwork and to explain how to operate it:

The fence line stayed out of the woods to avoid fallen, short-producing branches and he kept a 5 to 10 foot path around the fence for me to keep mowed:

We took Seamus and Fergus with us as we walked both the south and north hay fields. He installed a gate at the far end of the north field so that I can access the rest of my land which is mostly wooded. I may some day have the local Amish install barbed wire back there to provide another place for cattle to roam:

From the north field we had a nice view of the house and barn:

We walked the full fence line in both fields and he showed me the preparations he'd made for installing frost-free hydrants in the barn and fields for watering the cattle. He also installed the fence controller, a box which electrifies the fence wires and monitors the voltage. This is all more sophisticated than anything I've ever experienced before, but I'm sure it'll be a blessing. But this was the day Hurricane Sandy was arriving and I had to decide whether to ride it out where I was or try to get home to Albany first. I'll post about that tomorrow: