Wednesday, April 30, 2014

White Hill Road - Part 2

I'd been prevented from hiking in White Hill Wild Forest by the snow which persisted on the access road. So instead, I decided to take a driving tour of White Hill Road, which had an abundance of camps, cottages and cabins, as well as lots of woodsy scenery. This cabin was still rather buried in snow despite the springlike temperatures and late April date:

And I was amazed to discover the Cedar Lodge Bar & Grill. Like almost all the camps, it appeared to be closed for the winter, but it was evidence that this might be a rather lively place in the summertime. I'll have to take another drive on this road to find out:

I passed by a logging operation:

And a nice red cottage which had gotten lucky during a recent winter storm. A big tree had come down, narrowly missing the building:

Kelly's Old Homestead Bar & Lounge. I don't think this was a bar, but someone's summer cottage and they nailed up the sign as a bit of whimsey. Perhaps the owners were named Kelly:

A small trailer turned into a camp:

Adirondack siding, metal roof and lots of windows:

I think this place was a year round residence. Clearly, there are folks who like rural living and solitude even more than I do, folks who aren't afraid of wild, rugged winters atop a mountain:

A cute little place with a front porch:

And this place, covered with board and batten siding:

This place, though small, may also have been a year round residence, at least judging by the extra large propane tank and satellite dish. White Hill Road was certainly proving to be interesting, so I kept driving and snapping photos. I'll post Part 3 tomorrow:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

White Hill Road - Part 1

As I posted yesterday, we were on our way to the White Hill Wild Forest in Parishville, New York for a springtime hike. But alas, the seasonal road was still covered with too much snow and ice for me to get my car through. As I turned around, though, I noticed that White Hill Road had a lot of small cottages, or "camps," which were picturesque and a perfect subject for a driving tour:

I hadn't realized that White Hill Road was a long as it turned out to be, but I discovered many miles of scenic forest and cute summer cottages. This one, clearly, had begun as a travel trailer and been added to over the years:

This place was fancier and had a garage. It may indeed have been a permanent residence. Power lines brought modern life the entire length of that extremely rural, woodsy road:

Another cute little camp, built around a travel trailer and nestled beneath the trees:

A more traditional structure with a steel roof:

And a rather fancy looking log home. Perhaps this also was a year round residence. I couldn't tell. Either way, they sure had a scenic location:

This was the most common sort of camp - a small, rectangular building on blocks and surrounded by trees:

A cute little place with tree trunk pillars and Christmas lights:

And a real, honest to goodness, chinked log cabin beneath giant White Pines:

Another possible year 'round residence with coiled water hose and porthole style windows:

This attractive green cottage was boarded up for the winter. But there was still a lot more to see on White Hill Road, so I kept driving. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Springtime Romp In Whiskey Flats State Forest

It was a lovely spring day, so I took the dogs hiking. Whiskey Flats State Forest wasn't our intended destination, but when we passed it on our way, I decided to stop and give it a try. I pulled the car off the road and entered the forest on one of these dirt lanes:

The dogs, of course, were ecstatic:

The forest lanes were sandy and the whole area was filled with the aroma of pines heating in the sun:

We left the dirt lanes and entered the woods, just to see what we could see:

And then - Oh no, not snow still clinging to the ground!:

But indeed it was snow, and quite a lot of it. The dogs did not share my negative feelings about the snow, however. To them, it was a fun place to romp:

But I turned back away from the snow and returned to the dryer woods, where Reindeer Lichens covered the ground:

And the scenery was lovely:

We returned to the dirt lane and began making our way back to the car:

And the dogs had a grand time:

This forest, I figured, was not large enough for me to worry about getting lost. But it was a fun diversion on our way to the "real hike:"

We found our car parked in the sun and I decided to drive out on a different lane, almost sinking us in the mud as I did so. But we got out of the forest and back on the road, where our next destination was the White Hill Wild Forest. But I'll post about that tomorrow:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Red Poll Girls In April

We had a very long and difficult winter here, with even the old timers complaining. My five Red Polls, having spent their whole lives in relatively balmy Virginia, had a lot of adjusting to do. But now that spring is here, they are happy and content, spending lots of time lounging in the sun and chewing their cuds:

And they've begun exploring the rest of their field, places where the snow and ice prevented them from going during the winter. I hope some day to let them out this gate, across the road and into the north field. That, of course, might be difficult, at least until they come to know the routine:

See that black water pipe arching over near the barn? That was installed when the fence was built, and leads beneath the road to the north field. I need to install a few pipe fittings, but eventually I can have a stock tank full of water in the north field when the cows are there:

And the cows continue to get friendlier as time goes on, though they're still wary of everyone but me. That's Gracie on the right. You can see her hernia hanging below her belly. I worried about it but am told it's not likely to hurt her and there isn't anything I can do about it anyway. Also, Gracie's tail is permanently askew, indelicately presenting her lady parts to all the world at all times. She's got quite a unique personality as well:

And Violet is my biggest, prettiest cow with the best confirmation. She's still quite skittish though - except when she's eating grain. When she's got a bowl of sweet feed in front of her, I can do most anything, and I put my hands all over her head, neck and shoulders to get her used to being handled:

They've eaten almost 35 big, round bales of hay this winter. That's about 35,000 pounds of hay and, I figure, at least 35,000 pounds of cow manure:

Though they don't need it, I still feed them grain once or twice a day to keep them tame:

And I also keep trying to teach them to use the squeeze chute. I'm making progress, but we're not there yet:

Their water consumption dropped precipitously and I worried about what might be wrong. Then I discovered that they preferred to drink from puddles. I don't know if it tastes better, it seems more instinctively natural, or it's just easier than plodding back through the mud and manure to the barn in order to drink from the stock tank:

Surprisingly, they've done less romping this spring than in the winter. They seem quite happy to lounge in the grass and sun themselves:

Sadly, I just about ruined their hay bale feeder when I tried to pull it up out of the frozen hay. Then they made it worse by leaning on it. I had to get another bale feeder, which I placed farther out in the pasture so they could get out of the mud:

And their muddy brown coats took on a kind of cherry red summer look as they shed their winter hair. They glisten in the sunshine and look quite striking. Yes, it was a long, hard winter, but things are now looking up:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Chickens And Pigeons

I guess, since this post is all about chickens and pigeons, you could call it a fowl post. But I hope you won't call it a foul post. Every morning now, I open the chickens' door and let them out to peck happily all day long:

And they are all excited about being let outdoors:

They run/waddle full speed toward the house:

And directly to the bird feeders, where the wild birds have always dropped lots of seed:

On nice days, they take dust baths, leaving holes in my gardens. They also sun themselves, spreading out their wings (as they are doing here) to collect as much warm sunshine as possible:

After that ritual is taken care of, they spread out all over the yard, the road, the pasture, wherever they can find food or mischief to get into:

The fantail pigeons, however, are locked in a room and never get out - at least not yet. But it's a comfy and spacious room, with high shelves where they can feel safe:

I've not yet seen any signs of pairing off or nest building, but they clearly do enjoy each other's company:

They had been in a confined space all winter and their tails were rather poopy, with ruffled and missing feathers. They're beginning to look more fancy now that they have more room:

But boy, do they poop a lot! If I can ever arrange to let them outdoors safely, I'll be happy to have the poop outside instead of inside:

They roost on the highest shelf they can find:

And come down to the lowest shelf, formerly a work bench, to eat and drink. They seem to be happy birds: