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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Location and price

This unique retreat sits in the heart of upstate New York's "North Country", at the northern edge of the Adirondacks.   It is a short trip to the water sports of Lake Champlain and Vermont on the other side of the lake. Great ski resorts can be had in an hour and a half's travel.   Plenty of nearby streams and rivers for convenient kayaking, canoe tripping and fishing.  It is also an hour hour away from Montreal with its amazing nightlife and entertainment and it takes less than 5 minutes to drive to the Canadian border.   

On 38 extremely private, heavily wooded acres. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Untamed Plants

Those of you with a passion for native medicinal plants or wild plants in general, take a stroll with me now.  I doubt I ever ranged far enough to discover even half of the wild plants on this acreage.

 Trillium plants of all colors! 

The tall milkweed of my childhood memories!

The vetch delicately weaving through the wild grape vines

Young Equis (Horsetail)

A feathery grove of mature Equis

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Untamed Plants - Part 2

New wild grapes - wild grape juice and grape-seed extract!

Umbrelliferae of all sorts including Queen Anne's Lace and Angelica 

Possibly New York Asters

Black raspberries!

Sumac berries - citrus-like Mormon tea

Fragrant violets

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Bird housing everywhere

I am not sure if the builders had a passion for birds or just building whimsical birdhouses on rustic fence posts but I am thrilled that they did it. 

And despite this glut of housing, the birds expressed their DIY skills as well. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The unexpected homely visitor

As I walked past a kitchen window this morning, my peripheral sense caught a color change.  A straight on focused gaze determined that a delinquent minion of nature had given us a genuine lawn job but it was hard to imagine a skunk or raccoon digging up a large mossy rock and walking away.

It initially looked like a spent meteorite at the end of its bite-the-dust furrow or a sketch by a UFO crash observer but it turned out to be alive and well. 

That is not one of nature's warm and fuzzy faces, even in my books.   I learned from a Missouri float trip that even their tiny offspring have a most surly disposition.   It is their ticket to surviving in a hard shell many sizes too small to protect them fully   Nonetheless, she was quite patient with us curious onlookers. 

Offspring was exactly what this unexpected visit was all about.  This snapping turtle had crawled up to sandy high ground to deposit her eggs into a quickly devised nest hole.

Her feet have dug out the trench but it is her bullwhip handle tail that is windshield-wipering the soil over the eggs as she inches forward.  

She is in her most vulnerable state right here so I kept the nosy predators at a distance. 

An hour or two later, this mossy-backed old gal had accomplished her mission and headed back to her wetland home.  In a couple of months or maybe even after an overwinter, her offspring will hatch out and instinctively follow her trail home.