Tag Archives: nature

Mayor Who

I love moss.

100_1031I adore my shady Alpine Garden area on the side of the property, and the mosses and lichens (et al) are a big part of why. It’s my favorite part of the property. (And I spend way too much time fussing with it.)

Just as the spruces and pines hold court on high, reaching several stories to the sky; the groundlings majestically anchor the lower reaches. Too grand a description for mere moss? My adored genius Gilbert might call it “airy persiflage.” Nah. I love the side yard kingdom, lichens included.

I imagine that Dr. Seuss must have known a thing or two about these fascinating bottom dwellers. Sometimes I’ll notice a little trumpet-shaped umbrella or a tiny twiggy tree, and I can imagine Cindy Lou playing underneath it. So, today friends, we’re featuring my own little Who-ville.

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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 www.wcs.org/adirondackloons.

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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!

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

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Rainy Daze

There’s such a whirlwind of outdoor tasks at hand on nice days, I hardly know what to do with myself in the rain. I’m finding that in the Adirondacks, even a slow drip like this seems to put one in a sort of bleary, cozy dream.

100_0860Adirondack rain is different than city rain. Settles the spirit. It has color, life, and scent. You can watch it coming down into the valley from towns eastward. I love the rain. Still, I needed to get some indoor activities on the docket. I bought a copy of The House of Seven Gables for fifty cents and I have my May Sarton book to finish. And I was thinking I might like to watch Manor House again. Time being, I’m in the cabin with my propane heater, in my rocking chair, communing with blog friends. You guys, I totally even have a wool plaid throw on my lap and candles lit. Awesome. I guess we need these kind of days, huh?

The rain is nothing like the squall that they had promised (whoever they are), but a steady slow drip. I spent an hour over at the store talking to my neighbor friend, until The Old Crank showed up. (Incident Report below.)

100_0862Mother Nature has been mighty consistent about alternating our wet weather with bright weather, and that’s been awesome for the plants. There’s new growth everywhere, and here at The Pines, that’s especially good news – because many of the plants (and trees) are new, either planted by seed or transplanted. Lettuce is the clear winner in the vegetable garden category, and the yellow squashums came in second – they just came up yesterday. Basil came in third, just peeking out this morning. I’m still waiting on everything else. Lots of new growth on the spruces. Named for the neighbors, I call them The Three Sisters. (If I only had a seagull, I could totally sponsor a repertory season of Russian tragedies in the side yard.)

100_0853With the side yard cleaned up and the “good” trees less choked by weeks, the birds are back en masse! (I’m sure the suet I hung in the trees didn’t hurt either.) I don’t know much about birds, but I have a regular male cardinal, blue jays, the ever present crows, and a bunch of little browny things that I don’t know what they are. Also, this place is lousy with butterflies! Dozens of ’em! My neighbors have had none, so with this junky place, I’m entitled to gloat a little. They fly ’round and ’round the sheddycabin, and congregate in a pile of dirt out back. I know they’re probably laying eggs or mating or something, but I prefer to think of it as a butterfly coffee clatch – little momma butterflies knitting booties and such.

Old Cranky Guy Next Door Report for Today – In residence.
Crank Level – Low. Dour spirits evidently quelled by the rain.

Incident Report – Direct contact as I was exiting the store! Danger!

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