Snowy Owl on Beach

I went to this location after it stopped raining for a short trip. I was lucky. I saw this owl flying over a wetlands being chased by seagulls on my way in. I parked in the parking lot and only walked a very short distance and the same owl it appears flew over my head being chased by gulls. It landed on the beach. There were kite surfers there and it appeared to frighten the owl a few times into short flights. The gulls kept watch on it throughout my time there, flying close to it.

Looking at either a seagull or one of the kite surfers whose kites were behind me.
At the end of a jetty

The conditions were very windy. It made it hard to stay still. It was hard to get sharp in focus images. All of these were taken with a 150-600 mm zoom and are heavily cropped. Get out and enjoy nature! There is so much around you if you stop to notice.

Snowy Owl Return

Many birds leave the northeastern part of the United States and Canada this time of year and head to warmer locals where finding food is easier. Loons migrate to the Long Island Sound and points south. Most Great Blue Herons and Ospreys have headed south. Can you name a bird that treats New York and New England as their Florida in the winter? One bird is the snowy owl.

This snowy owl is sitting on some kind of plastic debris. It was huge.
Behaviour Around Snowy Owls

Some snowy owls from the Arctic in Canada arrived early this year. Some were seen as early as October. If you hear of them on one beach hanging out multiple days and you don’t see them head to a neighbouring beach. Don’t bring a dog. I have seen them fly off at the sight of one. Keep your voice down. Unfortunately I witnessed a man last year yelling near an owl twice and he caused it to fly off both times. Don’t go too close. Move slowly within eyesight of it and don’t make sudden moves.

Although I was able to catch this one with its eyes open several times. Its eyes were closed a lot.
Snowy Owl Habits

These birds spend most of their time sleeping during the day. They tend to fly and start hunting right before sunset. Usually they are here from around December through March.

Stretching the legs.
Always keep at least one eye open!
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This owl was perched on a huge plastic container of some sort. I don’t know if it is something boats use or if it is industrial debris. Kind of sad, but it is one more sign of how prevalent plastic debris is.

I enjoy seeing the many faces of the snowy owl. Get out and enjoy nature. Follow the rule of trips in wild areas: carry in, carry out.

Lake Colby

Want another lake to paddle just outside the village of Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York? Lake Colby may fit the bill. Lake Colby is on Route 86 just north of the village of Saranac Lake and across the street from the Adirondack Medical Center. It has a swimming beach with a large parking lot at the south end of route 86 and a boat ramp with parking on the north end of Route 86.

You can see the restrictions on this sign on Route 86 north of Saranac Lake. Boats with motors no more than 10 HP are allowed on the lake. I actually took this picture on my way out.

This was the second lake I hit in the same day on a short weekend trip in October. The weather did not cooperate most of the time. It was mostly overcast and dark during this day with short periods with brief views of blue skies.

Boat ramp into Lake Colby
Dockside for one house.
Adirondack chairs next to a fire pit lake side. My vision of heaven. In my dreams I wish to have something like this one day.
Wildlife

Although it has been said there are loons and eagles here I did not see any. Eagles seem to travel between bodies of water in the Adirondacks. I did see multiple great blue herons and Canadian Geese.

Canadian geese on the lake
This lake had a multitude of heron when I visited.
A lake side structure that looked to be in the midst of a remodel.

It seemed like there were only a few houses or camps along this lake. I saw no camping signs, however, other websites say there are two on the lake. These campsites are usually first come first served.

This is another lake I highly recommend. It had nice scenery, it is close to the village of Saranac Lake, and has wildlife to see. Viewing wildlife is always a plus for me. I did not take pictures on the opposite side. It had an old railroad tracks that people were fishing from.

Frank Memorial

Below is a speech I wrote for my father’s funeral. He passed in September. When I wrote it I just wanted to say something positive at the funeral and not have it be a totally sad occasion. I thought all this would sound corny, but a lot of people told me they liked it and asked me for copies of it. I think a funeral speech should be personal and not plagiarised from someone else. I feel you should write your own ideas and not copy another’s. I feel it might happen regardless unfortunately, so I might as well put it out there. I don’t claim to be a writer.

Little Clear Pond

You can not always pick your weather. Sometimes I really wish I could. I went up to the Adirondack Mountains on a three day weekend in October. The day I went to this pond it was dreary in the morning. I will kayak even if it is raining.

How to Access

Little Clear Pond can be accessed off State Route 30 on the Adirondack Fishery Road. The sign above is on the Adirondack Fish Hatchery Road.

The road leading to it is dirt/ gravel. It breaks off at one point. If I remember correctly it also crosses a road that is used for a snowmobile route. It was very muddy there with the rain.

Little Clear was the only one marked on the map with a boat ramp. It appears it is a canoe carry to Little Green Pond. I may have to check that out in the future, but canoe carries I found usually mean a dock. As a kayaker I prefer a boat ramp. I could be wrong though.

Boat launch- It is a gentle slope down to the pond from the parking lot.

It is near the fishery. The fishery uses this pond so fishing is not allowed.

A lot of stumps in this pond.
Wildlife

‘This appeared to be a young loon. It was hanging around waiting for its mother to feed it. The parent appeared to be handing fish off to it underwater. Not too long before they fly south. I hope this young loon has learned to fish on its own so it can follow its parent south. I also saw Merganser ducks here, but they kept quite a distance.

This guy caught up with me on another section of the pond. The motehr was probably around somewhere, but I did not see her at this point.
Scenery
That could possibly be the St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower in the background.
Dos and Don’ts

There are several things not allowed because the Adirondack Fish Hatchery uses this pond. Fishing is not allowed. According to an article written by Spencer Morrissey in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise this pond is used as a breeding ground for landlocked salmon. So loons and eagles are known to be seen here. Camping is not allowed along this pond either for the same reason and motor boats are banned. Canoes and kayaks are welcome.

One of the many stumps with fall foliage in the background.

I highly recommend this pond. They do have a larger parking area than most ponds. I saw one other boat that morning and another came before I left. So it is a quiet place, nice to take a small group. Seeing loons is a bonus as well as having a chance of seeing eagles.

Even in less than ideal conditions go out and enjoy nature. Stay safe and stay healthy!

Lake Flower Fall

Saranac Lake has several lakes nearby. One you can see from the town itself is Lake Flower. Gauthier’s Saranac Lake Inn is a vintage hotel right on Lake Flower with updated rooms. They loan out to guests kayaks, canoes, and bikes. You can launch a kayak or canoe right from the hotel grounds. They are close to a marina, ice cream shop, and a short walk to shops. They have lovely views on Lake Flower from some of the rooms and from their grounds..

If you missed going up to the Adirondacks during peak leaf season this year, you should consider going next year. It is one of the prettiest areas of the state in autumn.

Fall in Lake Placid

They say the colours were not brilliant this year. I had a three day weekend and decided to visit the Adirondacks regardless and get some hiking and kayaking in. I was there for a day and a half. The following pictures I took whilst kayaking Mirror Lake in Lake Placid on the morning I left to return home.

Adirondack chairs on a dock.
Early morning paddle on a canoe.
I really did not know this heron was there until I was right next to it. I was looking at pictures in the back of my camera and drifting towards a house under renovations with a lot of noise. This guy never moved. Taken with a 24- 120 lens.
Adirondack boathouse on Mirror Lake.

Get out and enjoy the outdoors even if they say the conditions will not be optimal. You will appreciate it anyways.

Minions Hay Bale Art

Happy Fall! I bring you hay bale art from New York. The minions are standing up for the pumpkins this year. They also want Dunkin Donuts to bring back Butter Pecan. Go out and enjoy the decorations! I think you will be surprised how creative your neighbours are.

Catskill Cats

What is another town with street art for a cause? It is Catskill, NY. What did Catskill choose for artists to decorate? Cats or course. This street art event is called Cat’N Around Catskill. These cats will be up for auction soon to raise money for local charities. If you are traveling north to see foliage in September stop by Catskill.

Angel
Lego My Cat
My Fair Kitty
Steampunk Kitty
Cat Toy
Police A Cat-emy
Meals on Wheels- for those outside the US, Meals on Wheels is a charity that delivers meals to elderly and those with mobility issues.
Spring Break
Celtic Kitty
Aztec
Tag You’re It
Kitty Le Pew

There are many more cats on display other than these and even a visiting owl from Coxsackie. If you are interested in any of these cats, or the others in the auction, place a bid. While in Catskill you can stop in the antique shops and eat at the fine local establishments.

Oaxacan Cat

I think they had many talented entries in this event. I do not show all of them in case you would like to discover them on your own.. Which cat was your favourite?

For more information:

Old Trucks

Old trucks never retire…..they just switch to advertising careers.

sharons-iconic-travel-photography-blog.com
Spud Shack truck in Pine Plains, New York
TRC Auto Repair near Highland, New York
Osprey Farm in Berlin, Maryland
Sinepuxent Brewing in Berlin, Maryland
Brimfield Winery truck in Brimfield, Massachusetts

I found these on my travels the past few months. It appears to be a thing to obtain old trucks no matter the condition and use them to advertise a business. I am glad these trucks are still around. It gives character to the place.

As you are traveling through an area see if you can spot one of these beauties. Stay safe and stay healthy!