The public is invited on all trips unless otherwise indicated.
Questions about outings? Contact Marianne Hebert, Vice-Chair - Outings
April - June, 2008
April 19 Lampson to Harper Falls. TLs Armond & Ann Spencer. Participants: Bill Mueller, Debra White, Susan & John Omohundro, Ed Moczydlowski, David Katz. We had an excellent day. The falls were spectacular, and the wild flowers were starting to appear. The bushwhack was fairly easy, but imagine our surprise when we came upon a newly-flagged trail down to Harper Falls.
Everton Falls Cleanup, April 26, 2008
TL (& photographer): Duncan Cutter. Participants: Lois Cutter (pictured), Armond Spencer, Doug Munro.
Roadside and trail clean-ups can produce surprises. Last year it was a white goat. This year a TV with a bullet hole square in the middle of the screen. We wonder who aimed at whom, and why. High water enhanced the falls. Doug pointed across the falls to a mink humping his way along the far shore. No black flies! A few hard snow banks, but it would be difficult to recall a nicer day to be with friends sprucing up one of our favorite landscapes.
Birding in the Clarkson Woods, April 30, 2008
Participants: Eleanor Rosenthal (l) and Nina Katz (r).
Lots of great blue herons and Canada geese gave us a lively background for viewing the pair of wood ducks, the iridescent common grackles, an American kestrel, a black-throated green warbler, some crows, and a couple of Clarkson whatzits (where are the good birders when you need them?).
Photo: TL Dick Mooers.
Catamount Mountain Hike, May 10, 2008
Catamount offers variety and views, and shad bloom. First we hiked on the level through balsam then through birch and scrub pine before embarking on sometimes steep rises, through mixed hardwoods to mostly bare rock and the open summit, from which there are excellent views of Whiteface, Union, Taylor, and Spring Ponds, and across Lake Champlain to Mt. Mansfield. The most fun on the trip is squeezing through the “chimney.” Couple that with hiking stories that Armond shared with us and you have a perfect ADK outing.
Pictured (l-r): TL Lois & Paul Cutter, Pat DeJoy, & Armond Spencer.
Not pictured: John & Susan Omohundro.
Photo: TL Duncan Cutter.
Heuvelton Bicycling, May 10, 2008
It was a great day for a relaxing 23-mile trip over mostly quiet roads. We went south from Rensselaer Falls to Kendrew Corners, then down Stevenson Road where there were flocks of white trillium. We then angled west and north to Heuvelton through the Amish country, where we saw both a barn-raising and a five-horse plow hitch. We had lunch and a short shopping break in Heuvelton, and then took the River Road back to Rensselaer Falls, with a short stop on the banks of the Oswegatchie.
l-r: John Barron, Deb Bullock, Bill Mueller, Carolyn Kaczka, TL Tom Ortmeyer.
Photo: Ann Ortmeyer.
May 21 Azure Mountain. TL Joan Collins. Participants: Ann Spencer, Joan Howlett. The temperature was 50 degrees, 40 degrees on the summit (~2500') with strong winds. We had light rain while on the summit, but most of the hike was dry. Thirty-six species were tallied including 14 warbler species. We stopped at three different wetlands along Blue Mountain Road before reaching the trailhead. The SW winds were very strong so conditions did not allow us to hear blackpoll warblers on the summit. Other than the common ravens, we did not observe any other species soaring off the cliffs in the rain/wind. Joan Howlett was the only one to brave the firetower in the wind!
The participants included two people who grew up in the Benson Mines area and a county legislator. We were ably instructed by Dr. Mike Bridgen of the Ranger School on the history and functioning of the iron mine and the reforestation project. Atop the man-made “Sahara” formed by the tailings, we marveled at the views of nearby hills and ponds. Most impressive were the lovely dark-green red pines, among other species, growing in a properly littered Adirondack forest on what in 1995 was a sandy wasteland.
Dr. Bridgen explained how sludge from the Newton Falls paper mill was used to neutralize the acidity of the site, provide organic nutrients, improve moisture retention, and regrow a forest including red pines like the one shown with Dr. Bridgen. Further rehabilitation will depend on obtaining approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Photo on left: Dr. Michael Bridgen, SUNY ESF
Middle photo, l-r: Carolyn Kaczka, Glen Harris, Richard LaDue, Ann Ortmeyer, Carol LaDue, Tom Ortmeyer, Ann Spencer, Andy Refici, Pat Mueller, Lyle Refici, Mark Lowell, Gene Kaczka, Neal Burdick, TL Bill Mueller, & Armond Spencer.
Photo on right: St. Lawrence County legislator Fred Morrill, near abandoned mine buildings
Not pictured: Peter Smith.
Photos: John Barron.
May 28 Picnic and Paddle. TL Dick Mooers. Participants: Doug Ackley, Alison Charles, Chris Murphy and Jim Plumley. The trip was switched to Blake Falls Reservoir because of the west wind, because Carry Falls Reservoir is a rough body of water in a blow. The leader’s bad instructions for the put-in disappointed Mary Jane Watson and Marilyn Fayette, who tried to find the group. We paddled on a circuit from the McNeil campground beach to the southern end of the lake, visiting the old Raquette River inlet and also the tailrace channel from Stark Reservoir’s generating station. We all paddled up the tailrace to the dam against the considerable current and enjoyed the free ride back to the lake. We were accompanied on our down-channel trip by an annoyed beaver, which swam mid-stream all the way, repeatedly surfacing, tail-slapping when he saw us again, and diving. We also saw a pair of common loons.
June 7 Debar Mountain TL Nancy Skiff. Participants: Ron Dumoulin, Caroline Durant, Carol LaDue, Richard LaDue, Peter Smith, Justin Bland, Phil Carusso, and dog Zena. The day was very hot, muggy, sunny, and buggy. The sky was blue all day and wonderful views and refreshing breezes on the summit caused us to stay up for nearly an hour.
June 8 Massawepie Paddle. TLs Gene & Carolyn Kaczka. Participants: Mary Jane Watson, Marilyn Fayette, Christine Murphy, Debra Mitchell, Mary MacKinnon, Ken Coskran. Despite a weather forecast that threatened thunderstorms and showers, we decided to explore Massawepie Lake. Though dark clouds regularly threatened, we were treated to bright sunny skies and modest breezes rippling the waters. A duck family and a heron were the only wildlife sighted.
June 19 Lampson Falls Cleanup TLs Cliff and Gloria Daly. Participants: Marlene and Alex Marcon, Jim McCulloch, Donna Fay Mailhot, Jan Jancar, Shannon, Darcy and Marlene Holt, Armond and Ann Spencer, Sam Conzone. Flocks of squawking cedar waxwings at the top of the falls swooped in celebration as we efficiently removed the usual mess of broken bottles and cans. The cleanup was easy compared to the usually easy hike north along the river to the rapids, much of which is now a nettle-infested bushwhack caused by blowdown blocking the former path over much of its length. Afterward, on the sunny porch of the Kepes's, our scrapes and scratches were easily forgotten courtesy of oodles of Dick and Joan’s humour and hospitality.
Jun. 25 Birding at Clarkson Woods. TL Dick Mooers. Participants: Ann Spencer, Kathie Batson, Sheila Cerwonka. Chicks the size of chickens were on the great blue herons’ nests, colorful green herons were in the air, and swallows were busy catching insects over the lush wetland vegetation of early summer. We also saw or heard grey catbird, brown creeper, Canada goose, eastern phoebe, wood peewee, yellow-bellied sapsucker, downy woodpecker, black-throated green warbler, great crested flycatcher, wood thrush, red-eyed vireo, and Baltimore oriole from the wetland observation tower and along the two-mile woodland trail.
Stark Falls Reservoir Paddle, June 25, 2008
The group paddled about five miles in a light breeze, exploring the lake's southern and eastern areas. This was a first paddle for Karen and Adeline. The wildlife sighting highlight was a solitary adult common loon. The relaxed pace and sociable group made for a nice evening on the lake.
L-R: Nancy Ackley, Karen Murray, Ron Morrow.
Not pictured: Michel & Adeline Clayton, TL Dick Mooers, Tom Ortmeyer, Clark Warner.
Photo: Doug Ackley.