When we first made our way up the gravel road to the cabin, we were surprised to find that a fairly large tree had fallen across the road - directly before the driveway to our property. So we had to cart all the heavy boxes up the side of the hill to reach the cabin instead of parking directly next to it! It wasn't until we'd gotten everything up there that we realized the obvious solution: We should have driven the Jeep up the hill. Sure enough, it went right up with no problem, even though it was a steep hill and had no gravel or anything to make it easier. We are still not thinking like Jeep owners, I guess!
Giggles over at Wits and Wiggles was talking about getting back in touch with her inner "nature girl" and I must say that I am feeling the same way whenever we go up to the Adirondacks. When I was young I was very into birdwatching and my mother was always showing me wildflowers in the woods. Living in semi-urban New Jersey for my whole adult life, it was harder and harder to find anything worth looking at. Now that I'm able to go to a location that is rich with wildlife, I'm getting back into what I enjoyed so much when I was younger.
This was another good visit in terms of seeing and hearing interesting wildlife. On our way up the main road, we saw an actual porcupine waddling along the side of the road! He looked up at us and started to head into the woods before I could get out my camera. He must have been somewhat alarmed by our presence because his quills started to rise on his back. Neither of us had ever seen a real porcupine before!
Then while we were sitting out on our deck having lunch we heard a strange call in the woods. It went on for quite awhile. We couldn't tell if it was an animal or a bird. After Googling "coyote calls" and "wolf howls" on the Blackberry I decided it was neither of those. When we got home I was able to do a more thorough search and found that the spooky sound was a Barred Owl. Go here to listen to what we heard. (Go to the Barred Owl and click on the link called "typical"). I was surprised because it was still daylight and I didn't realize owls were out during the day.
I also came across some great wildflowers - I saw a Jack in the Pulpit and also a whole bunch of Trillium. I even managed to take some pictures of it without them turning out all blurry. Here is one of them:
Here is another attempt at nature photography - the new ferns popping up among the leaves around the pond:
While I was walking along the roadway, I saw an Ovenbird, but didn't get a picture of that. I am amazed that anyone can manage to get great pictures of birds. It is a real skill. Of course, they probably have better cameras with very close-up lenses, unlike my point and shoot variety.
Speaking of Nature, we discovered that Something has been destroying trees around our cabin. Check this out:
This was a perfectly good tree. Now it has three huge holes in it. There are also several farther up in the tree on the other side. After seeing this, we noticed a bunch of other trees in the woods with similar damage, some done recently and some that was obviously from previous years. We can only conclude that it is caused by our friends, the impressive, beautiful, Pileated Woodpeckers, which I decided after Googling "Pileated Woodpecker Damage." (See below - note pile of wood chips like ours).
So much for Nature! Now I'll move on to our other adventures.
During this visit we also put the Jeep to another test. First we took it around to the other end of the Jeep trail that runs past our cabin again. Since we'd done it last time, I was feeling very brave. I even got out and took a picture of one of the somewhat challenging parts of the road. Here is the stretch of road, followed by the Jeep making its way up:
We then decided to do something even more daring. We turned down a side trail off of that road, and headed toward Lake George. We didn't even know whether it went all the way through. As we went along, it got less and less like a road and more and more like a bunch of rocks strewn along a narrow ledge; the hill sloped steeply away from the edge of the trail. At any moment I expected the trail to end abruptly with a bunch of trees and couldn't even imagine trying to back up! I also envisioned tumbling over the side of the cliff to my right if the Jeep tipped too much going over a rock.
I didn't get any pictures of this road. I was too busy holding on for dear life, closing my eyes and calling on the Diety to protect us. Even Diva was nervous - she was panting the whole time!
We did finally make it through to the road that goes along Lake George - and lived to tell the tale. And, the Jeep made it through with no problem! I guess that's what they're made for! I even made up a new motto for Jeep, based on the fact that the GPS map was showing no road where we were driving. "Just because the road ends doesn't mean you have to stop!"
I'll end with a few more pictures of the cabin and the surroundings. It was wonderful to be away from it all. We didn't even watch television while we were up there this time. However, we still got our newspapers and learned that Souter plans to retire from the Supreme Court. In the next post, it is Baxter's turn to do a news roundup so we'll get back into current events then.
Here is the cabin with its new green metal roof:
The new slate underneath the woodstove, and the new pine flooring that was installed. Now it just needs to be stained.
Birches reflecting in the pond.Scenery along the Jeep trail.Views of Lake George.The little public beach on Lake George that is nearest to our cabin.