Category Archives: Hiking
Well, it’s about time we get out! We have been so busy with the Holiday this year that Hiking has taken second place. We have Rosa the grand-dog staying with us this weekend, a perfect opportunity to take both dogs out for a quick hike at our local Nature Preserve! A quick hour and 1/2 walk before the rain set in…just enough to tucker out the poochies!
Perfect breaking-in walk for Toulouse as well…he will be coming with us on our next adventure in the Adirondacks. We will make him a hiker yet!
Sept 2, 2019, First full Day/ the Kayak Trip in Frenchman’s Bay
All geared up in our new wetsuits, off we went to Bar Harbor / Coastal Kayak Tours. We arrived early with enough time to get a brief intro from Annie our tour guide. Annie was in Bar Harbor for the summer in from South Africa where she usually would take tourists on Safari!
The weather was overcast but no rain until our excursion was just about over, so luck was with us! We went out as five tandem kayaks and surprisingly we were all pretty good at staying together. We paddled out to Frenchman’s Cove and headed toward Bar Island, skirted Sheep porcupine island, then Burnt porcupine island, landed on rum key island where we stayed a half hour or so to stretch and snack. Heading back we were all getting a bit beat, so we went back the way we came, rather than explore the choppier windy way.
Sept 3,2019: Champlain Trail, Acadia National Park: Our first National park adventure hike and it did not disappoint. As expected the park was crowded, there were two cruise ships parked in Bar Harbor, one was the size of one of the islands, and I heard it carried 4000 passengers! When those boats empty out onto the shore, a sleepy little town is transformed into Manhattan! The shoreline is rugged and magnificient, dangerous and alluring all at the same time. As we drove through the park, we intended to park and hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain, however we ended up driving to the top only to find bus-loads of tourists (from the boats) Not exactly the summit experience we were looking for!
Sept 4th, 2019: Long Pond Kayak, and Jordan Pond Hike. Two wonderful excursions done on the same day…A First! Kayak AND Hike. Long Pond was beautiful and as always one of the things we love most about Kayaking is that there is never a crowd! The Long Pond hike circled the pond, and there were quite a few hikers on the trail. We actually saw a porcupine taking his nap just off the trail, but within sight of all. Was hoping to see more wildlife, however we found out that although the Moose is the icon for Acadia Park, there are actually no Moose on the Mt. Desert Island. We did see (at a distance and extremely tiny…) A Dog Nose Seal in Frenchman’s Bay. I imagine I should be careful what I wish for, maybe meeting a Bull Moose, or Black Bear is not quite a Disney interaction!
Finally the last day, Bill and I did get to fish and chill right on shore of the Vacation Rental. Something we learned while staying by a river is that it only looks really pretty during high tide, which happens only twice a day. People that live in places that have tides, live by the tides and if you are not willing to kayak against the flow, be sure to check when the water is moving in the direction you want to go when you are the most fatigued.
A great Vacation, a new locatioin that brought us our of our Adirondack comfort Zone and enabled us to experience a new part of the world, expaning our Horizons!
The Garden is filling in nicely! Corn is really looking like corn! Early Girl tomatoes are looking good so far. Now what we really need to do is to net off / fence off the raised beds so we have a chance at harvesting.
One thing I am having difficulty with, and not sure if anyone else has this issue, is that as my squash start to form, they turn yellow and fall off 😦 Is that too much water? not enough water? maybe something is stepping on them at night. There are other young squash forming, but I hope they remain on the vine to maturity.
The “three sisters” concept seemed like it make sense, however I am concerned that the squash is going to shade-out all the green beans and the other smaller crops underneath (like the radishes)
The Marvel peas are finishing up, looks like I need to start another round! Pasta Piselle was tonights dinner, I am happy that I am finally growing enough that I can actually make a meal with the harvest.
So Propagation of my hydrangea has been less than great. Time to start again and see how it goes. Years ago I seemed to have better luck with grafting and starting plants, I guess I am out of practice
I finally have a weekend that I can actually take stock of what was planted last year, as well as see the progress of some things planted this year! The after-shock of planting from the Nursery has settled down, roots are established and plants are now getting into the swing of their second full year.
Happily wildflowers are returning and the area that we reseeded is filling in. Two possible mistakes made: 1) Leaf litter was too heavy and was not allowing many of the perennials from pushing through OR too many annuals were planted (like cosmos) and of coarse, being annuals did not come back.
The 4 raised beds we build are filled with corn, squash and bean (3 sisters) as well as radish, beets, tomatoes and freshly planted zuccini seeds. Lets see how long they can grow before night bandits start taking bites out of the harvest!
March 24, 2019 We have a new family member! Grayson has joined us and I am sure he will be a great help in keeping the mice population from creeping up. My greenhouse was suffering between mice snacking on salad greens and sprouts and the pillbugs tunneling about. I feel now that at least half the problem will be kept at bay naturally. Still working on the pillbugs but they are pretty well under control (check in on Garden Spot to see how all is doing there)
Spring has arrived and the days are lengthening. The sun is noticeably warmer and life is sprouting out around the property. Plants in the Sunporch are starting to bud and sprout new shoots. Longer days here at last!
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.
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 into 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…
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…
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.
November 2, 2018- Lewis Clearing Bay–Day two of the Champlain area
Another 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.
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 summit 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”.
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!