Lake Clear

Another beautiful Adirondack lake to paddle which has an outlet connecting it to other bodies of water is Lake Clear. They do not have an official boat launch. However, I found a public parking lot with a path that leads to the beach. It is easy to launch from the beach. The parking lot is accessible from 30 going north.If you are coming from 186 turn north on 30 (it is a right hand turn).

There Beach

The beach on the left I launched from.

I saw three adult loons on this lake. They were all sticking together. The other one was swimming underwater at this point.
Lake Clear
This is the opening to the outlet. It is on the other side of the lake from the beach I set off from.
It is shallow at the opening, however no beaver dams were there to try to cross. This opening was smooth sailing.
The first bridge was an easy duck to get under. Be forewarned the second one I was chest on my legs to paddle under. It is low.
The widest outlet I have come across. At least this section of it was wide. Other sections are like a stream.
I saw three fishermen on kayaks, but they were leaving before the heavier rains arrived.
I turned around near this location near where the outlet turns into a stream in width. It was starting to rain steady and it sounded like waterfalls were at the entrance to the stream section of the outlet. Some other time I need to explore that section.
This heron was fishing along the outlet. This one flew alongside me as I paddled back towards where I started. It was a cool experience to have a great blue heron flying beside me.
On my way back the opening from the outlet back into Lake Clear.

I wish I had nicer weather for this trip. I was lucky to have one nice day. I don’t think these pictures do this lake justice. On this Memorial Day weekend this lake was a nice paddle even in the rain.

Always be safe. I took along a map – the Adirondack Paddler’s Map North. It is published by Paddlesports Press in Saranac Lake. They can be found at sporting goods stores and book stores in the region. Their website is: www.paddlesportspress.com. I also carry food to munch on and water. In addition, I wore a dry suit as it was snowing in the area up to a couple of weeks prior and the water temps were still quite cold.

Get out and enjoy nature! Be safe!

Kayaking Blue Mountain Lake

Are you looking for a lake in the Adirondacks to kayak or canoe? Do you want one with free campsites? Are you looking for one with access to other bodies of water? Blue Mountain Lake will fit the bill.

The boat launch is located on State Route 28. It is a public beach and boat launch. Route 28 has parking spots on both sides of the street. This May weekend I was the only one launching from the beach. I did not see another kayak or canoe on the lake. This site has a pavilion with changing rooms that were locked. Maybe they open when it is warmer or they are still following a COVID protocol.

No one was on the beach, so I launched from there.
Appears to be docks on the other side of this park.
I believe that is Blue Mountain in the background.

Blue Mountain Lake is accessible to other bodies of water. It connects to Eagle Lake and from there you can paddle to Utowana Lake. For those who want a very long journey you can access Raquette Lake from the Marion River at the end of Utowana Lake.

A little cabin or boathouse near the shore of the lake.
I stuck the the edges. When I decided to go towards the middle I was surprised by how strong the wind was. It gave me a real workout. A local told me it is common to be very windy in the middle of the lake.

This lake has some free campsites. It is first come first served. There are 4 primitive sites on Long Island and 1 on Osprey Island. Bring your gear on your kayak or canoe. As with most Adirondack free sites there is a three day limit unless you get permission from a ranger to stay longer.

The beach I took off from.

This lake gives you some nice views of the neighbouring mountains. It is close to other lakes, so you could even hit Long Lake , Indian Lake etc. by car in the same day after kayaking. I highly recommend this lake if kayaking or canoeing. You may want to stick the the edges to avoid the wind.

Nearby Attraction

The Adirondack Experience is very close-by and worth stopping at. They also have marvellous views of Blue Mountain Lake from their cafe patio. The Adirondack Experience is a museum with several buildings including cabins, cottages, and camps of the past brought to the museum. You get a feel for what life and pleasure was like in the Adirondacks in yesteryear.

Go their their page here: https://www.theadkx.org. Click on exhibits.

New Life- Gosling

I went to a cemetery that has a couple of ponds. Last year the geese and ducks there had many babies. This year I only saw one so far. It had two adults guarding it like secret service protection. It made me wonder if there were other babies, but predators snatched them. Time will tell.

I was hoping to catch this one riding on a parent’s back, but no such luck. It swam across the pond behind one parent and guarded from the rear by the other.
This little one walked an swam well on its own an also was eating grass or other items in the grass.

Many find Canadian geese bothersome. However, you have to admit their young are cute. Go out an enjoy nature!

First Kayak Trip of the Year

The weather cooperated. It was time to take my first run of the year. I went to a body of water that empties into the Hudson River. Lots of men fish along it in various spots.

There is an abundance of wildlife along this body of water. Eagles from various local nests come here for sticks , mud, and grass. They also pop in for some fish. Many nests have eaglets this year and most are not quite ready to fly, so the parents use this location as there go to home supply store and supermarket.

First, I saw Great Blue Herons nesting. There were actually several herons on this creek. Some may have been stopping by or lived here. There was a nest above this nest in the same tree. There is also a pile of sticks near the bottom of this tree on the water that looks like a huge nest.

An eagle flew over me while on my way towards the river. I wish I had seen him approaching. Maybe next time. There is a nest on private land where this body of water meets the river. I had a view from my kayak and saw one eaglet and one adult. Being closer to the river I could not get a steady picture with my kayak moving around so much.

All of these photos were taken at quite a distance away with a zoom and heavily cropped.

At the end of my trip one of the fishermen came over and helped me load my kayak back onto my car. Something that is typical at this small boat launch area from what I have heard. It was a good thing. My arms were tired at the end of this trip.

Get out an enjoy nature and stay safe.

Lake Eagles

I see one of the parents perched by this lake on my way to work. On the way home I stop by sometimes to get a glimpse. It looks like this nest may have the latest born eaglets in the area. I am guessing these are less than 2 weeks old.

Proud parent on babysitting duty.
Sibling conversation
Sticking his tongue out at me or was it pleading for food?
Is that a hawk? This was the day before the other pictures when the sky was more clear.

Get out an enjoy nature! Stay safe!

Barn Quilts of Middleburgh

What are barn quilts? Barn quilts make me think of the Hex signs that the Pennsylvania Dutch painted on the sides of their barns for many years. Barn quilts seem to be a more recent take on it. Barn Quilts are square blocks that are made to represent quilt patterns. Some barn quilts are favourite family patterns. They can be placed on barns or other buildings. They are usually hand painted.

Some rural communities have barn quilt maps that you can follow. It is a draw to bring tourists in to travel the scenic country roads searching for them. I found these when passing through the main street and a few other roads of Middleburgh, NY. There were others I am sure I missed. Middleburgh is in Schoharie County in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

Enjoy nature. Take a drive to a rural area and see something different along the way. It is amazing what is out there. Stay safe!

Growing Older

The owlets are growing up. One can see more colouring like that of an adult great horned owl. It is interesting to have this opportunity to view these youngsters. Get out and enjoy nature. It’s a perfect way to social distance and get exercise at the same time.

The eyes of the owlet on the left appear a little off. Is it just me?
I wonder what they were talking about.
Watching me leave.
Singing a song or pleading for food?
Sleepy mom at one point was in the tree.
A very windy day and the branches were moving about. In this photo you can see the two owlets hunkering down.

Winking Owl, Stealth Owl

I had to stop by after work. The weather has not cooperated, but I can not do anything about that. No drama today. The crows did a fly by , but did not see the parent.

It looks like one owl was winking at me. I am sure it had something in his eye though. The parent tries to be stealth around the nest. It did not work today. It has no problem being photographed away from the nest.

Yes, one seemed to be winking at me. It had one eye closed for a few shots.
The owlets are starting to get feathers it appears and I see what appears to be ears more prominently.
Parent is trying to be stealth. It did not work too well at this moment.

Get out and enjoy nature. It is the perfect socially distant activity.

Great Horned Owlets

Some action around the nest tonight. A hawk was getting too close and was chased a few times by one of the parents. It did not seem to worry the babies. They spent their time snoozing and watching me. They are starting to look more like owls and less like aliens.

Cuddle time
Sibling love

These are taken from quite a distance away and heavily cropped. I am sure there are others with much sharper images out there. This nest is also on private land.

Great Horned Owls

Sometimes you are at the right place at the right time. I have been following this nest on private property for several weeks now. I knew there were babies as one parent was always sitting in the nest. Then today… poof ….I see one adult perched on a neighbouring branch and two babies in the nest that look quite large.

Owlet gazing at its parent.
Looking regal.
One owlet closer to me I had a better view of and one more I could just see the top of its head and eyes.
The parent had flown off at this point leaving them alone. It may have gone off to find dinner.

I kept a distance. This is one owl you need to give a lot of space to. They will attack people who get too close. I took these with a zoom lens and they are heavily cropped. Get out and enjoy nature. You never know what you find in your own backyard or a friend’s backyard.