Playing with Food

This green heron I was lucky enough to see kayaking a lake after work. At times you can see multiple green herons. I took these pictures before sunset. It almost looks like the heron is playing with its food, but it takes time to manoeuvre the fish from spearing it to getting it in its mouth.

Right after this picture another green heron swooped in and appeared to grab the fish.

Don’t discount the time before sunset. These pictures were taken at 12800 ISO. I expected these to end up grainier than they were. Get out and enjoy the sunny days. Colder days are on the way.

Duck, Duck, Goose

Remember the old game you played in Kindergarten, Duck, Duck, Goose? While paddling a kayak around sunset on Lake Flower this summer, this is what I thought of.

Immature Mallard?

Lake Flower can be accessed from the boat launch in the village of Saranac Lake, New York. I made this trip during the summer.

Female Mallard?

The ducks hung out with the geese. I am guessing they felt protected from the eagles by doing so. Maybe in their minds an eagle would go after a goose instead.

The geese seemed okay with me, although I know they have a reputation of being cantankerous.

All of these were taken with a zoom lens and heavily cropped. Enjoy what’s left of summer.

Animals at the Dutchess County Fair

What can you do besides eat and go on the carnival rides at the Dutchess County Fair? If you love animals you will find there are many events involving animals. Here are just a few .

4H Judging and Viewing

A cow awaiting judging

There are two arenas to watch the judging of animals. You can also walk around the areas where the farm animals are kept. In some cases you may be able to pet the animals.

The 4H children are eager to answer questions about their animals. They will demonstrate how they groom them.

4H Costume Contest with Cows

Saturday the children and their cows were called to the ring grouped by age. The winner of each age group will face the winners of the costume contests with other animals like chickens.

Scarecrow and hale bale.
Cows the milk truck.
Top Gun theme
Willy Wonka

Dock Dogs

Dock dogs has been an event at the fair for years. Dogs compete in different categories. In this event they were judged by how far they jumped chasing an object of the handlers choosing thrown into the pool. This event goes on multiple times during each day.

Some dogs are highly motivated experts.
This one is really focused on the toy.
Some are new to the event and had to be encouraged to jump into the pool after the object.

If you like animals, the fair just might interest you. These are just a few of the animal related attractions at the fair. The Dutchess County Fair is one of the largest county fairs in New York State, so there are plenty of things to see. Sunday, August 27, 2022 is the last day for the year. Otherwise consider it a destination next year.

Green Heron Catching Dinner

Late afternoon into the early evening can be great light if things work out for photographing wildlife. A fellow photographer joined me on this trip. She joined me in kayaking this body of water.

First, I saw this green heron catch a dragonfly to eat. There are lots of dragonflies at this location. One even landed on my zoom lens and parked for a little while.

These may not be all the same fish. I actually watched him catch a few fish in not a long time period.

First, he spears it.
Then, he manoeuvres it around to swallow it.

I can’t believe such a small bird was eating all these fish in a small time frame.

Thanks you green heron for showing me your catch!

It is amazing what you can see if you get outside and go slow. My friend heard him before we saw him. If you go fast, or have on earphones etc. you may miss a lot. Slow down and enjoy nature!

Upper Saranac Lake via Indian Carry

How can you access Upper Saranac Lake from the southern end? One way is through Indian Carry access site off of Route 3 southwest of the village of Saranac Lake. Another way is carrying your canoe carry via the Bartlett Carry from Middle Saranac.

Boat Launch

This launch seems to be possible because of an easement the state obtained to make the boat launch. Therefore, you need to stick to the road on the way in and stay within the boundaries of the easement that makes up the road and the boat launch. On the west side of the launch is private property and there are houses along the lake going west and then north of this corner of the lake.

There is parking off of route 3. But if you follow Old Dock Road you will come to a parking area right near the launch. It is a very long road and if you want to launch your boat you would probably need to drive your car down there. This launch is for kayaks and canoes.

Evidently you can catch a boat that will ferry you to the Island Chapel if you wish to attend.
When you arrive at the lower parking lot there is a day use camping area if you cross this bridge. It also has a privy/outhouse. Bring your own toilet paper.
Dock for people canoeing.

There is a dock for those canoeing and an area next to it that is good for kayakers to launch from. It is a gradual entry into the water.

This is the view of the dock from the water. To the left next to the dock is where you can launch your kayak from.

Upper Saranac Lake

The weather was threatening on this trip. I think it sprinkled a few times, but thunderstorms did not arrive until later. I mostly kept to the edges, but at one point paddled across.

Going west then north along the shore there were private homes spread apart.

Going into the bay on the east side there were a few homes spread apart.

A couple passed me twice on hoverboards.

I saw a few people on my travels. I saw a couple hoverboarding. I also saw a father and two sons canoeing /kayaking separate boats loaded with gear to camp. In addition there were a few motor boaters and a man fishing from his kayak.

A dock and gazebo on the lake.

One of the elaborate boat houses along the lake. Boats can park inside these in a garage like area inside that you drive your boat into. The top level usually can not have bathrooms or kitchens as it is too close to the water. There would be a main house not far from this boathouse.

Bridge that is part of a walking trail you can access from the parking lot near the boat launch.
Bartlett Carry

Bartlett Carry is a canoe carry route that takes you from Upper Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake. It is on the southeast side of Upper Saranac Lake.

There is a sign pointing to the direction of the boat launch when you get closer. It is hard to see from a distance.

I showed the boat entry/exit from Middle Saranac end of the Bartlett Carry on a previous post. On both ends the canoe carry is shallow leading to the entry/exit which is perfect for kayakers. There was no sign at the actual launch site. As you can see there is a sign in/out box for those camping on the islands and other campsites on the left side of the picture. There are houses close to the boat launch.

Bartlett Carry Road is shown on the map as a private road. It is open to people carrying boats from one end of the canoe carry on Middle Saranac to the canoe carry on Upper Saranac Lake. On the road a sign marks the direction of the other end of the carry.

The canoe carry is along this road. Since it is a private road you can not drive your car on it and there are signs saying you can not park along the road near the launch.

This is the view from the Upper Saranac side of the Bartlett Canoe Carry looking west.

This is the view from the Upper Saranac Bartlett Canoe Carry looking northwest. The carry is in kind of a bay/cove area on the southeast area of the lake.

Wildlife

Seeing wildlife makes the trip even better for me. I was lucky enough to see three adult loons hanging out together. They were talking a lot that morning and I was hoping to get an audio file of the conversation, but there were kids close by screaming and playing in the water.

Common Loon- There were three adults the morning I was there on the southern end of the lake.
Great Blue Heron hanging out on the shore next to a birch tree.

The great blue heron was just north of the loons a short paddle away. It was hanging out on the property of a house being renovated. A lot of construction noise was going on and it did not seem to phase the heron. The heron was not phased by me either. It was not actively looking for food just chilling by the water.

I highly recommend this lake and boat launch. There were not many motor boats when I went. I saw maybe one or two. As with any large body of water in the Adirondacks, if weather is threatening stick to the edges of the lake or pond.

More Green Herons

What times a great for getting wildlife pictures? Early evening and early morning are great times to get wildlife pictures in open areas. If you have the sun behind you and facing the animal it work well lighting wise.

Again, I find these green herons easier to get pictures of on a kayak. Sometimes I move past them without realising there are there if they are in the plants.

These pictures were taken in early evening. I personally like the lighting best this time of day.

Looks like a mohawk!

Enjoy the rest of the warmer weather. Get out an enjoy all nature has to offer.

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Here is another bird I saw one a local body of water that they are working to clear of invasive plants. It is bigger than the green heron, but much smaller than the egret. This is a juvenile little blue heron.

There were no signs of any adults around. So this heron must be on his own now. Juveniles are all white with a two toned bill. An adult little blue heron is blue-grey with a purple-maroon head and neck.

Focusing on what is under him in the water.
I did not see him catch anything at this location.
He is at another location to try to catch something.
Sticking to the edge of where the water has been cleared to fish.

This bird is either in a bad mood or intensely focused.

He did not seem to spot any fish.
No fish. He had to settle for a dragonfly.

Again I want to thank the local municipality for attempting to remove the invasive plants. I understand this bird is a short visitor in our area. It may only show up for a week before it moves on. Removing the plants ensures it had a spot locally to make a layover.

Green Heron

What is one sign of a healthy body of water? If there is an abundance of wildlife it is more likely to be healthy.

A local body of water had many invasive plants cover the surface. There was a lack of wildlife on this body of water due to little clear view of it. The town is having someone pull up the weeds with a machine on a boat. He is making pathways and the wildlife is returning.

The green heron is just one of the birds you can now see on this lake/ pond along a creek.

This heron caught a little fish.
He paraded around with it before he ate it. I think he may have been showing off for me, which I have no problem with.

These herons were along the pathway cleared by the machine, but in the weeded areas right off it. I have other birds outside these areas. Towns and cities try to keep invasive species down in your bodies of water. The wildlife will appreciate it.

Oyster Catcher

There is a lot more to Assateague Island in Maryland than the wild horses. There are many different kinds of birds you can see from the ocean side and the bay side of the island. One such bird is the American Oyster Catcher.

I like the way it walked at times lifting his leg up high like he was marching.

I did see an oyster catcher briefly early in the morning around sunrise on the ocean side at the state park beach. I only saw one. However, when I went kayaking from the bay side launch later in the morning at the Assateague Island National Park I saw some walking around the edge of an island in the bay. This one went in and out of the water.

This oyster catcher appears to be holding a razor clam.

I was lucky enough to catch it bring up a shell with an animal protruding out. It appears to be a razor clam. This oyster catcher seemed quite proud of his catch as he walked around with it for a while. Their diet consists of shell fish such as clams and oysters.

He is back to looking for food.

I did not know I was able to get this bird with its prey until I started looking at the photos on my computer after my trip. If you hang out long enough, are patient and take lots of snaps hoping for the best, you may get lucky.

Accessing Middle Saranac Lake Through South Creek

How do you access Middle Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York? One way is by the boat launch at South Creek. This boat launch is on Route 3 about halfway in between the towns of Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake. There are multiple options on where to paddle from this launch so it is a launch that may interest you.

This sign kind of confused me. There are camping spots accessible by boat along the shore and islands of the lake. I am guessing one would have to park in the parking lot northeast from this one that does not have a boat launch according to the map. Usually these campsites are open to first come first serve for three days. Websites say you have to reserve the campsites. I did not see anyone at the campsites I passed.
Boat launch

It was kind of a rough carry from my car in the parking lot to the launch. The gates were locked and to squeeze the kayak through the rocks along the side was no easy task. I use a kayak wheeled device to move my kayak to launch sites. Where you walk to carry when I went was rough with gulleys. The boat launch itself as you can see has a gradual descent that is great for kayakers while also providing a dock that individuals who canoe may like.

View in the opposite direction from the lake.

The view above is going in the opposite direction from the lake. The view on the bottom is going towards the lake. It looks like a long paddle to reach Middle Saranac Lake on the map, but it is really not that long.

Campsites

They provide a picnic table and fire pit, campfire area at these campsites.

This was the campsite on Shaw Island. As you can see these are primitive sites that are carry-in and carry-out. They are accessible by canoe or kayak.

This campsite had two outhouses.

Going towards the Bartlett Canoe Carry

Entering a narrow body of water on the western part of the lake.

On the southwestern side of the lake you enter a narrow body of water that goes in the direction of Upper Saranac Lake. This is one option for accessing other bodies of water. Another option is to paddle north from South Creeek and go through Hungry Bay and into Weller Pond. Another option is to go east to the Saranac River through the upper locks into the southern end of Lower Saranac Lake.

This sign marks the start of the Bartlett Canoe Carry.

The canoe carry was a gradual descent into the water, ideal for kayakers. You follow the path over land to Upper Saranac Lake. It looks far on the map for one person, so I did not attempt it even with a kayak carry device. I encountered a women’s kayak tour on another lake and the guide said the Canoe Carry on the Upper Saranac side is a good launch for kayakers. I will take her word for it.

Wildlife

Black duck and her young on a rock. They were in the same area as the eagle.

I always enjoy lakes where you can view wildlife. This one was no exception. I saw two groups of black ducks, although I was nervous for them. An eagle was on a tree very close by eyeing them. Eagles in the Adirondack Mountains travel from lake to lake. They do not always stay on one body of water all day long. I arrived in the morning on this lake and a saw some fishermen on kayak and motorboat. One man I talked to said he arrived at 5 a.m. He was pleased with the bass he caught.

I did see one adult eagle along the trip.

Heading East to the Boat Launch

Heading east on Middle Saranac
Some people heading out on the lake.
Heading into South Creek back towards the boat launch.
The Route 3 Bridge over South Creek.

The boat launch is on the other side of Route 3. You kayak under the bridge and the launch is on the left when you are coming back in.

Despite it being a little rough to get into the parking lot from the launch and into the water from the parking lot I would like to come to this access point again. I do hope they make improvements on it though as it could be a hazard. I recommend they remove a rock or two on the side to make is easier to bring your kayak to the water and fill in the gulleys made by erosion. Middle Saranac Lake is another beautiful Adirondack lake.

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