Archive for Lake Champlain

And Now ~ For Something Completely Different…

Posted in flora and fauna, Local Roaming, wild creatures with tags , , , on July 23, 2016 by WanderArtist

we were visited this morning by a very unusual guest ~ we found this huge fly buzzing around our front yard and hanging out on the side of our RV. neither of us had ever seen a fly this large! despite it’s size something told me not to be frightened of it so we included my hand in the second photo for a sense of scale – when it flew away however, it sounded like a small Harley and i was duly startled!

my dad thought it might be a horse fly, and, upon further research we think he might be right… glad it didn’t bite us!

Sailing Hard Waters

Posted in Local Roaming, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2014 by WanderArtist

I moved to the North Country about 20 years ago and rediscovered true winter weather. Over the years I have figured out how you dress when it’s 10 degrees out, and what else to put on when it is 20 below zero and windy. I’ve found that keeping active and hiking, running, cross country skiing, or simply walking throughout the winter really helps to stave off cabin fever.

About eleven years ago I saw something out on Lake Champlain that I had never seen before. A new way some people deal with, even embrace harsh winters. There was a DN class ice yacht race held here and, bundled and ready, we walked far out on the frozen lake and watched them fly over the ice around us! DN ice boats are small, single-person vessels with a 12 foot platform on three large runners supporting a sail measuring 60 square feet (about 16 feet long) that can achieve speeds from 40 up to maybe 60 miles an hour if the wind is right! The whole boat weighs only 100-150 pounds (without the human on board). This smaller class of ice boat is the most popular class in both Europe and North America for obvious reasons… They are relatively simple to build, and easy for one person to handle, transport, rig and race!

After that winter a few friends of ours even decided to build their own ice yachts. Although I thought it looked like a fun sport it held little allure for me. I have never learned to sail and have other interests to keep me busy. Once those racers all left, I did not see ice boats on the lake again until just a few days ago. With the bitter cold temperatures we’ve had this winter it is no surprise that the North American Championship Regatta is back in our neighborhood this year. After scouting North America for the best “plate” they get the word out through various networks and sailers converge on the chosen “hard water” for a few days of racing. Apparently the weather has not cooperated this year and the site has been moved a number of times due to changing ice conditions and drifting snow. Happily for us, the racers wound up here on Lake Champlain!

So, we again bundled up (6 degrees with a strong wind all day) and headed out on the frozen lake to watch them run races throughout the day. We met a few other brave souls who ventured out to experience the world of ice boat racing – many of them on ice skates. It was fun to watch, and very cool to be out in the middle of Lake Champlain in winter… Very cool.

To see more of our ice boat photos and buy prints, check out www.wanderartists.zenfolio.com

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Posted in flora and fauna, Local Roaming, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , on January 9, 2014 by WanderArtist

Winter has been physically and mentally challenging this year… So much ice it’s difficult to walk and has turned even young people into slow-moving, cautious elders. Falling on ice can be painful and even deadly, and our home was surrounded. One might think I’ve had enough of it – but our treat to each other on Christmas morning was to bundle up against the formidable cold and go out to photograph an ice-covered world!

Hovering around zero degrees Fahrenheit the day was cold enough that the encrustation was sure to remain for some time – but the sun was finally out and lit up everything in beautiful crystals and rainbow colors!

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!

Electra’s Things

Posted in Art, Decorative Arts, Design, flora and fauna, historic sites, Inspiring People, Local Roaming, Museum, Quilts, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2013 by WanderArtist

Across Lake Champlain from here lies an amazing collection started by Electra Havemeyer Webb (August 16, 1888 – November 19, 1960) and opened as a museum in 1947. Shelburne Museum is located on what once was Electra’s in-laws farm in Vermont. Electra married an heir to the Vanderbilt fortune and spent many happy days at their farm. She was raised in a wealthy family surrounded by priceless Impressionist paintings and traveled the world throughout her life… But her collecting gravitated toward craft work, decorative arts and hand-made objects. Some of the most wonderful pieces we enjoyed at Shelburne Museum were the carousel animals, quilts, miniature scenes, and fanciful over-sized objects created for advertisements.

As you will see from my photographs, I also loved the architecture… The windows, the lovely unpainted wood… And the details, so many wonderful weather vanes, decoys, carved objects. I hope you enjoy your journey with me through Shelburne Museum!

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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Smileflowers

Posted in flora and fauna, Friendship, Living Simply, Local Roaming, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2013 by WanderArtist

This was simply a challenging week for me… the loss of a dear soul… the difficult tasks innate in being someone’s boss… so I went back a few weeks in my photo archives to present to you some wonderful smiling faces!

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Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are native to the Americas and grown for their seeds, oil and leaves (the leaves are used as feed for livestock). Until now I had always thought they were heliotropic – that their flower heads would track the sun across the sky during the day… Apparently this is only partly true. The immature buds do this, but eventually the head stops in one place and continues to grow in a stationary position facing East.

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The sunflower was first domesticated in the Americas and eventually introduced to Europe by the Spanish. This flower has been thought to symbolize many things, by many people over the ages – the sun, the solar deity of the Aztecs and Incas, the Vegan Society, the aesthetic movement in the late 19th century… clearly these faces resonate with humans!

 

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Spend a little time with these flowers and you may think there is nothing wrong with the bee population in the northeastern US. These sunflowers were loaded with bees busy pollinating every flower… And ignoring every photographer!

Some of the lore surrounding sunflowers is interesting… If you want to know the truth about something sleep with a sunflower under your bed and the truth will be revealed… to protect against smallpox wear a bag with sunflower seeds around your neck… Most revealing for me – sunflowers help relieve sadness, attract joy and lift the spirits!

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This lovely Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) growing wild across the road from the sunflowers held it’s own magic for me. This plant made the opposite journey of the sunflower – it was introduced into the Americas from Europe and Asia. Not as showy and loud as the sunflower, this plant has a calming effect on the senses!

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