Monthly Archives: June 2009

Growing, Growing, Dawn

Hey, friends!

Got up just after sunrise today – which is when I should have been taking photos. However, the thought did occur to me by about eight o’clock. I still got a few shots while the light was still good. June is Bustin’ Out all Over here in the North, but what we’re really waiting for is July. 50F this morning. Still, things are growing beautifully around The Pines. Enjoy the flora pics – in a week or two we’re moving on to house demo posts!






Lettuce & Zukes


Annuals & Perennials


Wild Roses



Filed under adirondacks

The Loon Census

Know what’s cool? I’m participating in the annual Adirondack Loon Census on July 18th, from 8am-9am!

Loon-adult-with-2-youngIt works like this – You sign up and stake out a pond (if it hasn’t already been claimed), you check out the loons for an hour on the prescribed day, enjoy nature, spend some time listening to that gorgeous loon tremulous call, take down your results on the provided form, and send it in. Can’t have Black Pond at Paul Smith’s though – that baby’s mine! Awesome. Here’s a few neat loon facts from the WCS Website

  • Loons require a long “runway” of open water to pick up speed before taking off and getting airborne.
  • Loons incubate their eggs for almost a month. Males and females take turns tending the nest.
  • Loons are known for their distinctive, wailing call, but they also hoot, tremolo, and yodel under specific circumstances.

If you’d like to claim a pond of your own, you’ll find additional information about signing up at


Filed under Uncategorized

Come Into My Garden …

Said the spider to the fly.

100_0875I wish. Plenty of flies around here. It’s getting better though. While waiting for the electric to be put in, I’ve been spending my time clearing brush, dragging branches, cutting weeds, and creating more space. Isn’t that a neat concept? Actually creating more space. Our property had not (if ever) been properly taken care of for years, and weed-trees abounded. So, I’ve been clearing out the invasive stuff from the side yard and opening up more space, for myself and for the good trees. Nowdays, Spruce and Cedar abound, and an apple tree too. And they’re growing much better now that they can get some decent sun.

Looking mighty Alpine over there in the side yard! Awesome.



Filed under adirondacks


Well, friends – it’s my birthday.

Not ashamed to mention that it’s number forty-two, and the silver hair has been well on its way in for a few years now. I am forgetting how old I am too – I just had to subtract 1967 from 2009 to be sure. I’m taking today as a day of thanksgiving. Let’s call it Thanksbirthday. We’re not going to have turkey or anything, but we will be heading to The ‘Burgh to go to my favorite moderately-priced-restaurant.

We don’t do a whole lot with birthdays around our place. This year, that fact is especially perfect – I’d say I’ve received just about the best birthday present ever … we moved to the Adirondacks. I have my garden. I am comfortable in the RV. I actually like living in the RV. We planned well, and our end-of-the-month balance is still going up instead of down. When we had a potential financial disaster with the new electric service, we were able to handle it and will soon be hooked up. I have my new canoe. I have this blog, and like-minded online friends. However small, I love that I am a minor player in the Adirondack online community. I have some new friends in the side yard in the form of my favorite Spruce trees. And I have the little shed/cabin. That’s a big one. It’s totally my retreat, and I adore it.

In a year with this many birthday gifts, I’m hard pressed to even come up with anything I could say I want.

Isn’t it funny how the little comment from someone can make your day? Yesterday, I was at the neighbor’s house, sitting out with friends for The Evening Beer. We were talking about gardening and the fact that I might like to open a vegetable stand next year. Talked a bit about my paddle last weekend too, and which ponds we like best. A friend said, “I don’t know how you survived in the city. You seem like you were born here.” Best birthday ever.


Filed under adirondacks

Wordless Wednesday: Lawn Tractor Cart






Old Cranky Guy Next Door Report for Today – In residence.
Crank Level – Moderate.

Note – Summer house cranks beginning to show up as joiners.


Filed under adirondacks

My Ship

You know that old Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin song, “My Ship?” It’s a stunner. Written for the musical, “Lady in the Dark,” which starred one of my favorite old-time ladies, Gertrude Lawrence.

My ship has sails that are made of silk,
The decks are trimmed with gold,
And of jam and spice there’s a paradise in the hold.

My ship’s aglow with a million pearls
And rubies fill each bin,
The sun sits high in a sapphire sky when my ship comes in.

canoeMy particular ship is an 11′ inflatable canoe with an aluminum frame, and it is awesome. Tough as nails too. I had forgetten about these new-fangled inflatables. After two previous depressing trips to The ‘Burgh to find the canoe of my dreams – light, fits in the van, moderately priced – I ran into this beauty. 45 pounds, and I could really handle it alone if I needed to. The neighbor looked at me like I was nuts when I told him I bought an inflatable canoe. I think he imagines some class of cheesy rubber dingy that comes to a point in the front. Not so – she’s a beast, and she’s a beaut! I call her “The Iron Butterfly.”

Me being impatient and all, I lasted about five minutes once we got back home and blew her up. (Actually very complicated!) A friend across the street drove us down to Jones Pond (we weren’t sure we knew where it was), and I had a grand ol’ afternoon of paddling. That’s me out there!


Old Cranky Guy Next Door Report for Today – Too early for Cranky.
Crank Level – Not applicable.


Filed under adirondacks

High Speed Thrills and Chills

Our totally awesome neighbor (who is a friend) has allowed us an easement to run our electric underground, across her property. Is that not awesome?! I staked out the supposed route of the line for her approval this afternoon.

100_0864Thing is, there’s an electric pole across the street from us. Knowing that the first pole you need should be free-of-charge, my electrician called the planner. Not so fast. The pole across the street is less than 100′ away from our property line. They say, “Put the service right on the house.” We say, “There is no house. It’s being torn down.” They say, “No pole for you.” Of course, they would be happy to install one for a $2700 charge, but that’s so far out of the questions it’s not even funny. (And for $2700, I still wouldn’t own the pole.) So. There’s a pole on the neighbor’s property, and turns out … it’s surprisingly inexpensive to have service run underground. There should be service here in two weeks or so. New Service? $1400. Upgraded service pedestal? $200. No wires hanging over our property at all? Priceless. That’s our neighbor friend pole in the photo.

Meanwhile, I starting thinking about internet and cable. I call the non-local office of our local provider, Time Warner. All the neighbors have Time Warner. I give him my address. “I can’t find anything.” I give him the neighbor’s address, who I know has Time Warner cable, internet, and telephone. “Nope. I don’t see it.” There is a long silence, and then the agent quips, “Well, good luck with that.” And I am totally not kidding.

100_0863So I call Frontier, the local phone provider, who also deals in high-speed internet. I explain myself and the whole no-pole thing. She still says, “Oh yes, we service that area. They would just bring it in from the pole next door.” I explain that we do not have a pole to put it on, and I don’t want one either. She suggests, “Maybe you could have a private pole put in.” I explain that I am not going to pay to have a two-thousand dollar pole put in for internet service, and besides, I don’t want one. She continues, “Maybe they could attach it to a tree,” as if a wire going to a tree is different than a wire going to a pole. Amused, I asked her if I got to pick which tree, “Because I have one that is pretty useless otherwise.” She said, “No, probably not.”

DirectTV, here I come.

Old Cranky Guy Next Door Report for Today – In residence, big time.
Crank Level – Moderate, but not personally aggressive.

Incident Report – Direct contact! Beat a hasty retreat.


Filed under adirondacks