Archive for the Adirondacks Category

Spring & Summer Prints – Part 1

Posted in Adirondacks, Art, Artist Residency, flora and fauna, historic sites, Local Roaming, National Parks, Relief Printing, Southwestern US, Wanderings, wild creatures, Woodblock Printing with tags , , , on July 22, 2017 by WanderArtist

Bouquet River Dip

Posted in Adirondacks, flora and fauna, Living Simply, Local Roaming, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by WanderArtist

These hot Adirondack days my favorite road trip is south to the mountains and a swim in the Bouquet River along Route 73… We have a new favorite spot where, even on the hottest weekend day, we’ve not had to share the river with another soul! These photos were taken for fun with a GoPro camera.

Fledgling Bird Photographer?

Posted in Adirondacks, flora and fauna, Local Roaming, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2013 by WanderArtist

We wandered to Ausable Point on Lake Champlain today and found more wildlife than I expected on this chilly and dark December day! We were very surprised to find great blue herons in the area, I thought they would have migrated south by this time… But there was still open water – apparently allowing them a means of catching food. The first one we saw was so puffed up it looked as though it had donned a second feathery coat over it’s usual plumage.

Ausable Point is not far from Valcour Island Bird Conservation Area, which is home to the largest great blue heron rookery in New York State. Once there is no longer open water from which to fish they will eventually migrate further south, or perhaps east toward the ocean. Since todays birds are still so close to the rookery they are likely to be some of the first to return to it in the spring.

We also had the good fortune of watching a pileated woodpecker, mergansers and a rabbit. All were difficult for this newbie photographer to capture, but I hope you will get a flavor for the day!

How Good To Be Safe…

Posted in Adirondacks, flora and fauna, Inspiring People, Local Roaming, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by WanderArtist

There is a gem in the Adirondacks… an awesome group of people caring for vulnerable, mending or broken wild creatures. I made a visit to the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge last week and will here post some photos of a few of their residents. It was a difficult place to get the photographs I wanted since every creature is caged, but I hope it will motivate some of you to visit and to donate funds to this wonderful organization.

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From the facebook page, “Adirondack Wildlife is a rehabilitation and education organization, whose mission is to take in, rehabilitate and, whenever possible, to return to the wild, injured or otherwise disabled wildlife, working with local veterinarians and volunteers.

In addition, we run educational programs and presentations, primarily working with non-releasable birds of prey and wolves, to foster compassion, tolerance and understanding of wildlife, particularly with respect to safely interacting with wildlife, and understanding the valuable role predators play in the over-all health of our eco-system. The three aspects of the educational role are: maintaining a mile–long, guided, interpretive trail at the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehab Center, and conducting interactive presentations at the Center, and at public venues, such as schools, colleges, fairs and churches.

We have no Federal, State or Local Funding, and are completely funded by donations, which are gratefully accepted.”

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When you visit the refuge you are likely to meet Wendy and Steve Hall, or their son Alex. They are knowledgeable, dedicated guides and educators. Above Wendy holds a hawk that she was preparing to take to a school for an educational presentation.

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Sylvia the Bald Eagle

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a very relaxed Red Fox

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American Kestrel

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Dakota, a Western Coyote at the Wildlife Refuge… although I would love to think he was interested in me, I know he was looking behind me and drooling over chickens and guinea hens wandering in the yard.

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A beautiful, restless creature

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Shaun photographed this lovely, hissing Great Horned Owl! Steve told us that the owl is perhaps the most perfect hunting machine ever designed… And, according to wikipedia, “owls were already present as a distinct lineage some 60–57 million years ago, and, hence, possibly also some 5 million years earlier, at the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs.”

Also at the refuge are Zeebie, a wolf, and Cree, a wolf hybrid. You can go on a one mile walk around the refuge with Steve, Alex and the two wolves every day but Tuesday and Wednesday (when they are closed to the public) starting around 10 or 10:30am. There are many more birds, foxes and wild creatures to see on your visit. Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehabilitation Center is located in Wilmington, New York http://adirondackwildlife.org/, visit their facebook page, or click here to make a donation.

The clouds their backs together laid,
The north begun to push,
The forests galloped till they fell,
The lightning skipped like mice;
The thunder crumbled like a stuff —
How good to be safe in tombs,
Where nature’s temper cannot reach,
Nor vengeance ever comes!

~ Emily Dickinson ‘Refuge’

A Quick Autumn Romp

Posted in Adirondacks, flora and fauna, Local Roaming, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2013 by WanderArtist

The fall color is fast fading here in the North Country… we’ve had a wonderful stretch of weather to go out and enjoy it, however! Thought I’d share a quick tour of autumn 2013 through my camera lens…

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Whiteface Mountain on the left

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on the Saranac River

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Blueberry Summer

Posted in Adirondacks, flora and fauna, Living Simply, Local Roaming, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , on August 13, 2013 by WanderArtist

This summer we discovered a very fun activity in our own backyard. One lovely day we decided to go berry picking at a local farm and store. Friends had been raving about how many pounds of blueberries they picked, and we were looking for something to do outside… We gathered our plastic containers and straw hats and headed to one of our favorite stops in summer and fall – Rulfs Orchard.

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a very cool truck at the orchard

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the rows of high bush blueberries

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Just a few of the lovelies we brought home with us. On a few of the days we picked you could just place your hand under the branches and tickle them to get dozens of large blueberries to fall into your waiting palm!

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we rinsed them all and then laid them out to dry in preparation for freezing

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The above photo shows about five pounds worth of berries drying or waiting to be laid out to dry. We froze the majority of the berries we picked… They will be so wonderful in the dead of winter! In order to keep them from becoming one big mass of blueberry in the freezer, however – we dried them carefully, then spread them on cookie sheets and froze them singly. Once frozen we poured them into bags like little blue marbles waiting for our winter baking projects.

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The berries on trays in the freezer. Of course we left a few pounds out in the fridge for immediate use! It’s amazing how much longer they keep than the blueberries bought at the store. I feel like a bear every time I grab a handful for a snack!

If you decide to go pick your own: http://www.rulfsorchard.com/

And here is some musical inspiration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek1P7GM33so

John Brown’s Farm

Posted in Adirondacks, flora and fauna, historic sites, Inspiring People, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Local Roaming, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2013 by WanderArtist

On a beautiful summer day I recently visited a favorite spot in the Adirondack Mountains in North Elba (near Lake Placid) for a walk back in time. Abolitionist John Brown once farmed here and his old homestead is now a New York State Historic site. John Brown and two of his sons bought the property in 1849 in order to establish a farm for freed slaves. He is best known for seizing the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in 1859 in hopes of using the weapons to lead an armed slave revolt. It was not a successful raid and he and four others were tried and hanged for the crime. He is buried at the farm along with an estimated eleven of the 21 men who participated in the raid at Harpers Ferry. Ten men in Brown’s group were killed and they killed four in the raid.

Incidentally, the fort was recaptured by a company of Marines under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee of the United States Army. Owen Brown, John’s third son, escaped capture and eventually served as an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War. He died at the age of 64 in Pasadena, CA – where it is said that 2,000 mourners marched at his funeral.

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Photograph of John Brown from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

John Brown was raised by his father to believe that slavery was a sin against God. Through his struggle in opposing armed pro-slavery advocates in Kansas he came to believe that pacifism was not going to lead to the freedom of slaves in the United States, only armed rebellion. He hoped for a relatively bloodless rebellion and would have been appalled at the toll the Civil War took in human lives.

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Engraving of the Harpers Ferry Insurrection from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

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The ornate iron fence surrounding the graveyard at John Brown’s Farm

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IMG_1206_2“His soul goes marching on”

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Erected in May 1935 this eight foot tall sculpture depicts Brown walking with a young former slave. The New York Herald Tribune stated at the time that over “1,500 people, many of them Negro pilgrims to the last resting place of John Brown, crowded about the statue.” for the unveiling.

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Above is a Seneca Ray Stoddard photograph of the graveyard taken in 1896. It was not until a few years after this photo was taken that John Brown’s son, Oliver and the remains of eight or nine other men from his group (killed in the raid) were moved to this site from a shallow grave at Harpers Ferry.

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The two plaques give (on left) a brief life history of John Brown and a listing of those buried here with him, erected in 1916… The tablet on the right pays tribute to the women of the Brown family who made their own sacrifices in the name of freedom, erected in 1946.

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The above headstone has five names inscribed and was originally carved for the grandfather of the abolitionist – Captain John Brown who died in1776 while serving in the Continental Army (buried in Connecticut) – his headstone was replaced and his grandson had this old one sent to his farm in North Elba in 1858. It now serves as the headstone for John Brown and three of his sons – Frederick (who died and was buried in Kansas in 1856), Oliver and Watson. Brown requested that his name and those of Oliver and Watson be carved on the stone on the morning of his execution… OLIVER BROWN Born Mar. 9, 1839, was Killed at Harpers Ferry Oct. 17, 1859  WATSON BROWN Born Oct. 7, 1835, was wounded at Harpers Ferry Oct. 17 & Died Oct. 19, 1859

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The handsome iron fence, beyond it you can see the headstones and a large boulder with the two bronze plaques.

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The Brown home was open for tours on this summer day. On the left and right you can see scaffolding… The cedar shingle roof was being replaced, the property is very well-kept. It’s a great place for a walk or cross country ski on the two mile loop trail wandering through the woods beyond the pond and out buildings.

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The photo above was taken looking back toward the house (at left) and the gravesite and iron fence. In the far right are the ski jumps built for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

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A handsome out-building at the farm

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These berries were plentiful at the start of the walking trail

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The leaf canopy looked to me like gorgeous stained glass

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A feather found along the way

For much more detailed information about the headstones and memorials at John Brown’s Farm check out this genealogy website  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~frgen/essex/north_elba/john_brown.htm

John Brown was ahead of his time, and was not afraid to take action to defend the freedom of all men. He felt that armed insurrection was the only way to end slavery in the United States. Historians agree that his raid on Harpers Ferry led to tensions that precipitated the secession of southern states and eventually to the US Civil War.

“Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case), had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right; and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.

This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to “remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them.” I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done as I have always freely admitted I have done in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!”

— Excerpt from a speech given by John Brown in court after his conviction, November 2, 1859

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