Stay-cation January 2019

Exploring the local trails this week. Sunday was Butler Sanctuary, today we went to Whippoorwill Park, Chappaqua. The temp was 25 degrees, but dry. The snow is suppose to start around 1am, but you can feel it coming in the air! The trail was great, Toulouse was a bit hesitant at first, but then the overwhelming scents must have kicked in and he was enthusiastic.

We had never hiked this trail before, in fact, there are only a few local trails that we have done: Turkey Mountain, Westmoreland, Rockefeller Preserve, Ward Pound Ridge, and Mianus River Gorge. It is so nice to know that these parks / trails are so close and they are so beautifully maintained. If we didn’t know better, we would think that we were in the Adirondacks!

During these hikes I am also attempting to take photographs with a more professional camera. Learning how to hike, and hold a leash and take pictures with a sofisticated piece of equiptment is pretty challenging, and in hindsight, maybe I don’t need to take a backpack on such a local hike…but old habits die hard.

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Local Hiking 2019

Butler Santuary: January 13, 2019

First time out in 2019!  Two and one half hour hike with Toulouse. We didn’t want to go away this vacation because we really want to be with our pup and would rather take some local hikes with him. Today was a great way to break him img_0612into being a mountain dog. He took to it pretty well, seemed happy, tail was wagging when he went on ahead (on leash of coarse) We really need to get him a real dog coat, although the backpack and the sweatshirt seems fine, he happily went on without a shiver.

The hike was great. Crisp and clear, woods were silent (and warmer than the parking lot ) and it felt really good to be out amoung the trees in the winter. I got some nice pics, although it is hard to distinguish one set of trees from another…

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Back on the Trails

November 1, 2018 – Exploring the Lake Champlain Area

Today we thought out of the box, and rather than staying in familiar territory we branched out and went North! I wanted to bring my camera and try to photograph the Flora and Fauna of the area. It was challenging trying to limit what was n my bag because for the past 9 years we have been packing for 5-hour hikes, cold, snow, rain…

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you name it…our thinking was to expect anything, and everything that may come our way while we were on the trail. Today was different. Lighter pack, camera lenses packed, and camera around my neck we set off on the Wildway Overlook Trail.

Easy hike, beautiful view of the Valley and plenty of colors left on the trees.

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November 2, 2018- Lewis Clearing BayDay two of the Champlain area

IMG_0497Another rainy day, so on with the precip pants and raincoats. On days like this, there is no reason to go summit anything because you take a chance of seeing nothing but fog. On occasion, the cloud cover may be high enough to see all you need, but we opted to stay shoreline. Lewis Clearing 1.9 miles in, so roughly a 3-mile day.

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Horsetail grass in habitat

It was quiet, canopy drips and swishing leaves is all that was heard. It was a level trail right up until the end when a 35-degree slope led down to the shore. The rain had picked up by the time we were there but stopped by the time we had our coffee and snack for the trip back.

A great trail overall, there are many more in this area that offshoots off this one, that basically went straight to the bay. Definitely worthwhile going back, we barely scratched the surface of the area

November 3, 2018- Silver Lake Bog Preserve

Last day of hiking this time around. Rain persisted throughout our stay this time without more than a 2-hour break. Today we continued to stay low altitude, no need to IMG_0505summit and so we did the Bog preserve in Ausable Forks. The first portion of the trail is a boardwalk over the bog. A beautiful spongy array of mosses carpet the ground, while Lichen and bearded moss hang from the trees on both sides of the path.

Perhaps the rain added to the atmosphere of the place, but it was a peaceful contemplative walk. At the end of the boardwalk, the trail to the Bluff started. Low incline, very do-able in weather like today. This trip also brought us to other parts of the territory that were not the “high peaks”. IMG_0512

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Filed under ADK, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Nature in the Highpeaks

Happy Fall!

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Fall is officially here!  Time to re-pot plants, seed save, harvest, go to school, prepare for winter, bring some plants in for the winter, hike, enjoy the leaves changing and cooler nights!

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Preparing for Fall

August 25, 2018

The weather has finally been cooperative! Beautiful 77degree day, clear sky, great day to weed the garden and start preparing for the latter half of the summer. I repotted the Lemon tree, and I pulled my Rosemary and Sage and put them in pots to bring inside for the winter. I do hope they survive!

I harvested the carrots and the beets from my indoor greenhouse. Pretty disappointing overall! IMG_8580I have heard of MicroGreens, but I have produced Micro Carrots! Actually, they weren’t all this size, IMG_8578but they were tiny, smaller than “baby carrots”. My beets had NO beets at all! just greens…which were pretty tasty, but, like the carrots a disappointment.

My project for the greenhouse is: 1) to figure out why the root vegetables were such a failure. 2) to figure out why things take so long to mature when I have heat, light, and humidity.  The soil is dense, maybe it should be lighter? more vermiculite?

Bees/waspsIMG_8572/ and other flying things have started to populate the Mason bee house. Happy to see life in it since I moved it from a different part of the garden. Bees have been more prevalent in the garden later in the season, although my roses did not bloom quite the way they did last season, there was a lot of activity.

So there still is much to do, weeding, mulching and marking the locations of plants so next spring there is less mystery is what is coming up.

 

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Filed under bees, beekeeping, pollinators, gardening, gardens, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, indoor greenhouses, insects in the garden, organic gardening, raised beds

Weekend of Gardening

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August 12, 2018

With all the rain we have had this past week, the bad news is the crabgrass took over. The good news is today, with all the rain we have had this past week, weeding was very productive! The ground was soft, the tools worked just right, and buckets of crabgrass was added to my forest floor! We mulched the outline of the newly expanded areas I was able to plant a few more perrenials in between rain drops.IMG_8559

What I added: to the front garden I planted two Minuet Mountain Laurels and to the “crabapple cascade” area in the back I added two sweetfern (Comptonia Peregrina) three cardinal plants, and a “turtlehead” plant. My trusty companion Toulouse is always around when I garden, he is always sniffing his way through the underbrush to check out what has been visiting in the night.

Pumpkins are taking over their alloted patch. Seems like miles of vine and lots of flowers…I think there are a few pumpkins coming in, but they are well hidden, as are the summer squash. The Cherry tomatoes are coming in fast and furiously. Every time I go out to the garden I can easily harvest 50-75 cherry IMG_8548tomatoes.  I have given away many, and I have already dehydrated my first batch! The tomatoes in the raised beds are doing just OK. Most of the leaves have already died back, and the tomatoes are starting to ripen. This particular batch I raised from seed, the others that were Nursery purchased have been splitting due to too much water, so we have been bringing them in sooner before they start splitting, to ripen off the vine.

We also picked our first 4 peaches. They were a bit deformed, and kinda buggy, but there was enough good area left to actually eat! it is puzzling to me why the season was so delayed. Peach season is usually June, maybe in our zone peaches ripen in August. A few more on the tree ripening. I would consider that a successful harvest for the first year in the ground! Apples….meh those are another story all together, but next year we can spray organic stuff on them so we may have a better chance at getting fruit that matures.

We would like to get out in the Kayacks, but the weather is too unpredictable. Unlike hiking where a little bit of rain is not an issue, I do not want to find myself on a lake, in the rain. Water from the top, water underneath doesn’t make me a happy paddler.

 

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Birthday Butterfly

July 27th, 2018

Great shot of a female Tiger Swallowtail that landed on my Butterfly plant

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