Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Francis Lake, June 2015 Part I



Well, kayaking season has been quite erratic here in Northern New York... we've had a ton of rain, a lot of wind, some extremely hot and humid days, and like today, some cooler temperatures and nights (like tonight) that will dip below 50 degrees overnight.  BUT, we have been kayaking a few times, so that makes it all good!

I didn't blog much last season, and this season started out the same way.  My husband's health has kept me busy with appointments, etc.  and he is not able to take longer kayaking trips any more, but still enjoys going.

And we can't forget BRODY!!  He is my best kayaking pal ever!  Here he is, actually looking back at me for a change... must be that's because my daughter was trying to capture his photo! 





As you can see, there was a breeze on Francis Lake the morning my daughter and I kayaked here.
Francis Lake is near Beaver Lake and Beaver River, in the Adirondack Park.  You can find directions and a description on my website:  www.quietkayaking.webs.com 




We love kayaking on Francis Lake because it is a pretty lake, we almost always see some type of wildlife, there are only a few camps on it, and it's usually fairly quiet/not many people.




Here is Brody taking up his position as Navigator:





And here is my daughter, taking photos of her own!  She will be joining me on some of our kayaking trips this season.





We are on our way to the shallow lobe in the northeastern corner of Francis Lake.  On the right, the line of trees is the esker which I have blogged about for years...  if you are interested in Francis Lake, just search for it in my blogs.  We paddle here every year, so I have lots of photos and information, as well as what is on my website.
yxp




Brody has his eye on something along the lake's shore, in the woods.  Likely a bird, but he may
have been thinking of chipmunks.  He is VERY interested in "chippies."




I just loved the patterns made by the tree's reflections and the waves on the water in this photo.



This is a shot of the northeastern "lobe" of the lake, looking east-southeast.  If it's windy, as it was on this day, head for this area which is more protected from the wind.




Here is my daughter, paddling along with her hood up because with less wind, the black flies came out in force!




And here is Brody, likely watching my daughter as she paddles.  





Some lily pads, looking like Pac-Man icons!



And another shot of this area, with the water still enough for reflections!

After paddling around in this area for quite a while, we headed back out to the main part of the lake.  Just FYI, if you paddle here when the water is high, you will be able to get back into parts of the lake in this northeast corner that aren't navigable under normal conditions.  That made this trip even more enjoyable than usual.

I am hoping to blog at least once per week now that I am back on track.  I realize I did not finish my last blog about Taylorville Pond from last fall.  I have gorgeous fall reflection photos from that trip.  I will share a few when I blog about a new trip we took there in late June.

Thanks for reading!  And Happy Kayaking!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Taylorville Pond, Part One

Hello,

I am sorry for not posting this summer. Without getting too detailed, suffice it to say that our summer and fall have been very busy and my husband's health has kept us from doing a lot of paddling.

BUT, we managed a few trips, the last of which was on Sunday, September 28th.  It was one of the most gorgeous fall days we've had here in northern New York state in a long time!  (Saturday was just as nice but we happened to be visiting family in the Hudson Valley that day, which was also awesome, but didn't allow for kayaking on that day.)

Taylorville Pond was created when the Beaver River was dammed. There are quite a few dams along its route, and if you want a long but beautiful paddling adventure, you can paddle and carry the entire Beaver River Canoe Route.  Here is a link to a .pdf of the entire route:  http://www.adirondackstughill.com/maps/BeaverRiverCanoeRoute.pdf

This is one of my favorite photos from our paddle that day:



The morning was quiet and still, even at 9:00, and the water for the first hour or two was smooth as glass, allowing me to get some great reflections photographs!


Here is the put in which has a gradual sand/rock area, but it drops off quickly (depending on the water level at the time) so you may have to angle your kayak or canoe when getting in, rather than heading straight out.



This view is from the picnic area, near the put-in.




And this is another taken from the picnic area:






And this one shows one of the two islands on Taylorville Pond.  I just loved how the fog was still hanging on at 9:00 in the morning, giving me plenty of elements to work with!




This pond has maybe 4 houses or camps on it and the rest of the shoreline is pristine and wild! We really enjoyed paddling here.  Brody did too.  Here is a photo of him enjoying the day with my husband in the background:




I will be back soon with more photos and more descriptions of Taylorville Pond on the Beaver River Canoe Route!





yXp 



Monday, June 16, 2014

Francis Lake 2014, Part Two

Welcome back! Francis Lake is one of our favorite places to paddle.  It is usually quiet, and we always see some wildlife.

There is a lobe of Francis Lake with shallow water just east of the esker.  There are times when only about half is paddleable, and other times when the water is high enough to paddle a much larger section.  The water was high on the day we paddled, but the area is more protected by trees, so there is  less of a breeze.  For that reason, we didn't paddle around this area for very long-- the black flies and mosquitoes were thick without the breeze.



More cloud formations.  These captured my attention because the were so cotton-ball-fluffy looking.


Here is Brody, tongue hanging out since the breeze had died while in the lobe of Francis Lake that I mentioned.




This is the end of the esker from the back side, while paddling in the lobe of the lake.



Here is the path along the esker's ridge.  I like the way this photo seems to invite you to take a walk here.  Does it make you want to take a few steps beneath the pines?                      iwtbswy


Or maybe this photo speaks to you more about taking a walk along the path?                    yXp



Here are two views from the esker:

This one is looking northeast at that lobe of the lake I keep mentioning.



And this one is looking southwest, with the open lake in the background.



Pines on the esker:



Brody, taking a rest.  I must have gotten water smeared on the lense, sorry for the fogginess up near Brody's head.


This is the campsite on the esker:



And here is where we pull up to the esker to get out.  It isn't a great spot to get out, but it works.  There are some rocks to wedge your kayak against, and in lower water, there's more of a shallow spot to beach your kayak.



Brody is keeping an eye out for water fowl.  We did see one loon on the water that day.  It always makes us happy to see the loons on lakes where we've seen them in previous years.



Brody decided to try a new way of standing while being the Navigator.  He is leaning on his chest and legs, rather than standing up all the way.  Not sure if he found that more comfortable or not.  In future paddles, we'll have to notice which way he ends up preferring!



Here is my husband with the iconic dead tree I mentioned in a comment with an earlier photo.



And the tree by itself. It's a little forlorn, but I like the green in the background as well as the clouds.


Now we are almost back to the take-out/put-in.  Brody is back to his usual stance, acting as our look-out and navigator.  There were people fishing from the dock, so Brody is watching them intently as we paddled closer.

I hope all of you are enjoying the kayaking season, and hopefully it's not as wet everywhere as it has been here.   Happy Kayaking!                                                                                            tss

Monday, May 26, 2014

Francis Lake 2014, Part One

Hello everyone!

I know it's been a few months since I last blogged.  "Life" has a way of interfering every now and then...  And we did not have a chance to paddle until this weekend.  The spring was brutal-- cold and either snowy or rainy, depending on the day. It is finally starting to feel like kayaking season to us, but just barely.  All of our rivers are high also as we've had lots of hard rain recently.  Luckily, Sunday and today were dry.  We got out on the water for the first time and were really happy to be there!

Here is Brody in his usual spot, anxious to see where we're going.  We got a late start and were on the water around noon.  The wind had picked up by then and made some ripples on the surface as we started out.  The benefit was less bugs.





The clouds were pretty cool looking.  I love cloud formations and capturing them is sometimes a challenge from the kayak.



This is an area southwest of the put-in.  It has some prominent rocks, and is usually quite shallow, but not on this trip!



If you've been following my blog, you know that Brody doesn't like looking at the camera and most of my photos of him in the kayak are of his back and his butt!  He grudgingly turned around for this shot.  I believe he's saying "Hey, I don't have time for photos, I'm NAVIGATING!!"





This dead tree is sort of iconic to Francis Lake.  I have lots of photos (better ones than this one) of this tree, sticking out on a piece of land that cuts into the lake.



The wind picked up steadily as we paddle down the lake.  Here is a far away shot of the esker which I have mentioned in past blogs.  The esker starts about 1/3 of the way from the left of the photo and continues on out of the picture.  If you didn't know, an esker is left by a retreating glacier-- sand and gravel deposits.  It leaves a ridge like the one shown here.



Here is a closer photo of the esker.  In part 2 I will have photos from the esker, looking out at different parts of the lake, and the esker itself, where there is a trail, an outhouse, and a spot to camp.



I hope everyone has been able to get out and paddle!  We're looking forward to some nice weather so that we are able to get out on the water again next weekend.

Happy Kayaking!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lakeview Wildlife Management Area, Part 3

Hi and Happy Spring...

Well, it doesn't actually look or feel much like spring in Northern NY, but the calendar says we're on our second week of it, so hopefully we'll see some signs soon!  My yard still has over 2 feet of snow in the flat places that have not been plowed, snowblown or shoveled!!  I would really like it to start warming up.  I am looking forward to a good kayaking season, if it ever arrives.

Here is a photo of the beach are near the outlet to Lake Ontario from South Sandy Creek and the ponds, looking north.




On this part of the beach, there is a curious little cement box in the ground.




Here is what it looks like up close:



I peeked inside and it's probably 3 feet deep total (about a foot is above ground.)  It looked like a great place for snakes to hang out, so I didn't do a whole lot of investigating, but I'm very interested in what it might be.  Anyone have an idea?  If you do, add a comment after this post.  I'd love to hear what you think or know about it.

This is that same beach area on Lake Ontario, this time looking south/southwest.  I think the drift wood is pretty interesting, and there's always lots of it here.




Another interesting piece of driftwood.  I tried to get the camera to focus through the hole but it didn't work out.  This gives you the idea, at least.



There are lots of water birds on the ponds, in the creek and in the lake or along all of the shores.
 I don't know what type of bird this feather came from, but thought it looked such a pure white against the sand.

This is the tree trunk we used for a seat and to eat our lunch on.  The view is looking east, with South Sandy to the far right, the ponds straight ahead, and the outlet nearer, in the foreground.



Here is another view of the outlet, looking southeast.


I love seeing patterns in nature-- hence this photo of the pattern of the sand in the shallow waters of Lake Ontario.



More bright white feathers against the darker sand.  I would hazard a guess as to this feather-- probably some kind of seagull (?)




And here is Brody, doing the limbo during our walk along the beach!!



He was not cooperating with me so that I could get a photo of his face, so my husband took the camera and Brody did not want to turn around for the photographer.  He can be a little bit stubborn!

    iwtbswy



Although I have trouble getting him to look at the camera, he is at least not afraid of getting his feet wet!  He enjoyed wading through the water, climbing on the rocks.
 


 

Lake Ontario, looking southwest.



Our kayaks, waiting in the late afternoon sun for us to hop back in and paddle back.



More cool looking driftwood with the lake sparkling behind it.



Brody, people watching.  There are usually kayakers and boaters in this area.  Come early for less people, and go in the spring and fall if you'd rather not share the beach with many.



Brody has found something in the sand that smells REALLY good.  It was probably bird poop!



After a stroll on the beach, a picnic lunch and some time relaxing on the sand in the sun, we headed back up South Sandy Creek.  In this photo we're still on the outlet, South Sandy is to the right and some of the ponds are straight ahead.


   




I love the curvy trunks and branches of these alders.  The leaves also look kind of lacy when viewed as a whole with the sky behind them.



Brody, taking up his position as navigator:




Got one more nice reflection shot on the way back to the put-in.



And, for the first time here, we saw a green heron among the driftwood on the side of the bank.




As I've said in previous blogs about Lakeview Wildlife Management Area, it's one of our favorite places to paddle.  There is a huge variety of scenery,  lots of birds to see, and a great place to stop, stretch your legs and eat a picnic lunch.   

This last photo is of South Sandy Creek before reaching the put-in/take out.  It's a pretty spot, don't you think?


Please feel free to leave some feedback, either a comment or just checking off the boxes if you liked the photos or the information, etc.

Thanks!  And although I can't say "Happy Kayaking" yet for those of us in the northeast, I hope those of you further south are able to get out and paddle soon!