Clamming Near Assateague

Another activity you can do while visiting Assateague is to go clamming. You have a lot more available to you if you search for a spot via kayak. That is exactly what we did.

I followed this group to search for clams. We went to a boat ramp area to launch from. It is ten dollars per car to put in your boats at Assateague Island State Boat Ramp. It is actually on the mainland before you cross over the Bridge to Assateague Island. This is one spot to put your kayaks in the water. There is ample parking in the lot. We went before sunset.

A location. with a sandy sea floor seemed best. Some felt around with their feet. Others swam under the water to feel with their hands. Adults mainly used rakes or clamming baskets.

I feel something down in the sand.
The clam retriever goes all in.
Success!
One of the adults who used a rake or clamming basket.
Clamming basket
They had buckets and nets to collect the clams in.
He had a bagful.
No tools required!
Packing up and ready for the return trip.
Nice view of the Verrazano Bridge. Not the one in NYC. This one is in Maryland.

I think the final total for this clamming trip was 130 clams or so. They soaked them in salt water then fresh from what I understand. Then they had a feast a few days later. Get out and enjoy nature and work for your food. It makes you enjoy it all the more.

Assateague Horses

Where can you go to see wild horses and enjoy a beach at the same time? One place is Assateague Island in Maryland. The following pictures were taken early morning at Assateague State Park. This park is next to the Assateague Island National Seashore where there are also wild horses.

Being friendly or true love?
Watching over the new one
The friendly one

Two out of the three mornings I was there I saw horses at sunrise on the beach. They will wander through the campgrounds at the state park and national park. They say to keep a distance away from them as they are wild and can charge. I tried to keep a distance, but the one above kept getting close to me. He was good at posing for pictures.

Go some place different and experience something you have not experienced previously. It will enrich your life.

Ghost Crabbing

What is a ghost crab? A ghost crab is a sand coloured crab that comes out at night. The Atlantic ghost crab lives on beaches that are not crowded along most of the Atlantic coast. A fun activity while visiting Assateague Island is Ghost crabbing.

I followed this group on Assateague Island at the State Park. The beaches at the state park for campers are great places to find the Ghost Crab as they are not crowded during the day. If you are in Assateague head to the beach at night and see if you can catch these quick crustaceans.

When to Find Them

Since ghost crabs burrow in the sand during the day and emerge at night, the best time to try to catch them is after it gets dark. They say the younger ones burrow closer to the ocean while the older ones burrow farther away.

What To Bring

Bring a net as these crabs can scurry quickly. Also bring a flashlight, but a headlamp as this girl is wearing makes it easier to catch them because you then have two hands free.

How to Catch Them

When you shine a flashlight on the ghost crab if freezes momentarily. Then it scurries away. The best time to try to catch them is when they freeze.

Catch and Release

When you are finished, release the crabs. I understand people do not eat these. No ghost crabs were harmed in this activity.

The next morning I saw many remains of ghost crabs next to the water. There are birds that like to catch them and eat them when the sun starts to rise.

Get out and enjoy nature! Expand your knowledge and have fun while you do.

Kayaking in Saratoga

This trip was killing two birds with one stone. I needed to go to this location to get a part for a roof rack. It has been hard to get every part I needed since the start of COVID. I have been hearing there is a worldwide metal shortage and of course many companies do not have all their workers back so production is slow. I went to Mountainman’s Saratoga kayaking location to get the last part and have it installed. I wanted to find a place in the area to kayak after I made that long trek and low and behold there was a kayak launch on the same grounds as Mountainman.

Location

This kayak launch is owned by Kayak Shak. My understanding is they own the property the other neighbouring businesses on the water are on. The address is 251 County Route 67 (or Stafford Bridge Road) Saratoga Springs, NY. You can get there without going the town of Saratoga. The way my GPS sent me was through a rural area. The cost for someone with their own kayak was $10. If you are renting a single kayak or paddle board (SUP) the coast is $25 dollars for three hours. They have another deal for renting for a longer period of time. They do not allow dogs, so leave them at home. This business advertises they have paddle board (SUP) yoga on Saturday mornings.

It is two miles I was told to Saratoga Lake from this boat launch. I believe they said you could paddle up the creek in the opposite direction 5 miles. I decided to go to Saratoga Lake.

On Saratoga Lake despite houses along it the water seems to be very clean. You can see a good distance to the bottom.

I did not take many pictures on my trip out to the lake. The sky got dark and my goal was to get to the next bridge, close to the lake before the storm came through. I made it under the bridge justo in time and hung out there until it was over with some fishermen.

Heading back towards where I started- about 2 miles away.
dHeading back from the lake into Fish Creek. That is the bridge I hid under on my trip out.
A tour boat that must have originated on Saratoga Lake. It came up Fish Creek a little ways then turned back.

There are some marinas in different spots. One marina has a campground with RVs/campers viewable from the water.

Wildlife

Since a lot of the land on one side is marshy and not developed you can observe gulls, geese and Great Blue Herons along the way. As always do not get too close. I have a long lens and crop the photos quite a bit.

There were several Great Blue Herons in the area.
Seagull observing the heron’s fishing technique.
Wearing an ankle bracelet? Was this Canadian Goose being monitored for offences? During COVID he is here illegally. The border is still closed.
Almost back.
Those who rent their boat get to take off from this beach.
If you bring your own you have to paddle to the end of the boats and go around them. Basically you are going under the bridge.
Heading back behind the boats.
Where those who own their boat can take their kayak out of the water.
I have seen Adirondack chairs painted many different solid colours. I like this multi-coloured one. It goes well with the kayak and SUP colours.
Where those who own their own boat pay $10 to launch or those who want to rent go to get their gear for a few hours.
You may need to reserve in advance. They do get a lot of people renting kayaks at this location.
Harvest and Hearth Wood Fired Artisan Pizza.
Gluten free pizza made with cauliflower crust from Harvest and Hearth Wood Fired Artisan Pizza.

After my trip it was dinner time. I decided to look at the menu of the pizza place on the same grounds as the boat launch, Harvest and Hearth Wood Fired Artisian Pizza, and they indeed had gluten free options. Any pizza on their menu can be ordered with a gluten-free (cauliflower) crust. I ordered the Epiphany. This pizza had kalamata olives, fire roasted peppers, red onions, organic rosemary, mozzarella and goat cheese. If you are lactose intolerant you may need to ask if it can be made with just the goat cheese. It was very delicious! Their hours are Tuesday- Saturday 4:30-9. To learn more about this pizza place go to the link for it down at the bottom.

During the week in the afternoon there were not many boats or jets skis out until you got close to the lake. Most of my trip I saw fellow kayakers and those on paddleboards.

I like this location for several reasons. Firstly, what is available on the grounds is convenient. You have a shop that sells paddling supplies, a pizza place, the boat launch, restrooms, and a park. If you have friends who want to go but don’t have their own kayak, they can rent. Also you can go two directions. So it makes for two different trip choices. In addition, the chance to view wildlife is always a plus to me. During the week it is fairly quiet with few motorboats. The short of it is I would return to this location.

Get out and experience nature. Get some exercise along the way. It will help you maintain your health.

Mountainman Outdoor Supply is the largest dealer in paddlesports in New York State from what I understand. https://www.mountainmanoutdoors.com/store-locations.html

To learn more about the wood fired pizza: https://www.harvestandhearth.com

To reserve a kayak or SUP at Kayak Shak: https://www.kayakshak.com/?utm_source=Saratoga.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=microsite&utm_campaign=Saratoga.com

Lake Wononscopomuc

What is the deepest lake in the state of Connecticut? It’s Lake Wononscopomuc (also known as Lakeville Lake). It reaches a depth of 102 feet. In a Native American Language it is said to mean something approximating “a marshy area at the bend of a lake”. This is one lake I kayaked recently. It is one I highly recommend.

As the sign says no alcohol or dogs. This is the town park.
Location

This 348 acre lake is located in the Lakeville section of Salisbury, Connecticut. It is in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. You can get there by taking Route 44 east from Millerton N.Y. or west from Norfolk, Ct. From Route 44 you take route 41 south for .1 mile and turn right onto Ethan Allen Street. Follow it to the town park and boat launch.

Fees

Residents get free access. All I did was kayak, so the charge was $10. It was a really nice town park. Since this is the only public access the fee was worth it to me.

Park Amenities

This park covers a lot of land with a beach, wooded area with picnic tables and outdoor grills, a children’s playground, dressing rooms, toilets, boat rentals, and a concession stand, besides the boat launch.

This park rents sailboats, kayaks, etc.

This lake is surrounded mostly by private residences with large lots. Most of the houses are set far back from the shore.

A very hazy day. I had some nice sailboat pictures, but it turns out all of them appeared to be occupied by kids. I don’t want to show images of kids up close unless it is a more public event like a parade. You can see the some of the town park behind this sailboat.

It was very hazy the day I went. It was supposed to be sunny all day, but the air smelled of smoke and I heard it was from the wildfires out west.

Wildlife

I heard an eagle could be seen along this lake. I looked for a nest, but did not see one. Instead I saw multiple great blue herons, ducks, and even what appeared to be a green heron.

I believe this is a green heron. It is much smaller than a great blue heron.
Lake Traffic

I did not see a motorboat or jet ski. I saw conflicting information online on wether they were allowed. I did see multiple sailboats and kayakers. The sailboats were operated by children who appeared to be teen or pre-teen in age. I traveled around the lake close to the shore, so I got the full distance.

I enjoyed this lake for many reasons. For one it was a quiet trip. In addition, I was able to view wildlife. It was the first time I saw a green heron. The parking lot and boat launch were nice as well. I would not mind returning to this lake in the future as it has other nice amenities I did not taken advantage of. Also there are some restaurants in Lakeville very close to the town park.

Get out and enjoy nature. You may experience something new.

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!

Wildlife near the Hudson River

I went kayaking again starting on a creek that empties into the Hudson River. The river is thriving more than in the past and there are a lot of different kinds of birds and other critters to see along its banks.

This creek has a lot of heron.
Off towards the river
I have no idea what this eagle brought up from the creek.
They were holding onto something.
A juvenile eagle came looking to snatch away whatever the adult caught.
Another adult came to chase the younger one away.
There are a lot of herons in or near the river.
I did not see whom this osprey was trying to impress, but he kept flying around me with the fish. I’m sure it was not me, but he still gave me the opportunity to get some shots off.
Heron flying over the river.

Get out and enjoy nature! It is amazing what is just outside your door.

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.