Swimming in the Adirondacks

A Public Service Announcement

Swimming in the Adirondacks

Jump in, the water is fine!

It is time for the annual ‘hurry up and swim’ sermon.

Swimming in the Adirondacks has been especially delightful this summer. Sometimes, the sun fights an uphill battle against cloudy days and clear, chilly nights as it tries to warm crisp Adirondack mountain lakes and ponds. Not this year. An unusually consistent warm weather pattern heated the water nicely by mid-June and swimming has been great since then. With more than 3,000 pristine lakes and ponds to choose from, the Adirondack Region is a swimmer’s destination resort.

However, cool nights end Adirondack swim season and we’ve enjoyed a few chilly ones already. It is after all, late August, and as fall approaches swimmers are lucky to be swimming without wet suits. This means the end is near.

Clean, clear, and crisp water is inviting, but if you want to jump in an Adirondack lake, you’d better hurry because it will soon be cold.

Adirondack Eagle Flyby

It has been a busy summer here at Adirondack Lifestyle. To make amends for the recent spartan offerings, I present a video of my first eagle sighting, on the wing no less!

Although I’ve lived in the Adirondacks for 27 years, I had not seen a live eagle until earlier this month while paddling to the Saranac Lake locks. I was delighted to see not only one eagle, but two. Stunned, I watched as they flew past me and settled in to fish, each on their own limb of a tall dead tree. I was even more surprised to find this video of one eagle’s departing flight mixed in with the day’s collection of photographs.

Turn the sound up as high as you can to hear the sound of the eagle’s wings pushing through the air.

Carpe Adirondack Diem

Grab Today’s Perfect Adirondack Day – Rain is Coming

Mount Marcy from Mountain Pose.

Mount Marcy this morning from Mountain Pose.

The weather forecast tells us today is the last gorgeous Adirondack summer day we’ll see for nearly a week.  As you can see in this morning’s view from the mat, there is not a cloud in the sky here in Lake Placid. You may also notice a faint yellow glow to the hardwood leaves, already less perky and turgid. These are all clues late summer has arrived in the Adirondacks and fall is not far behind.

For these reasons and a few others I’m calling Carpe Adirondack Diem and suggest you do the same. (Regular readers will appreciate just how special today must be since I usually reserve Carpe Adirondack Diem for powder days.)

For me, a bike ride and then a swim is in order. If you need some ideas for other ways to take advantage of this perfect Adirondack day consider hiking, paddling, or strolling or running through the north woods. If this is a work day have a walking-around-town meeting.  Just remember the Adirondack lifestyle motto: it would be a shame to let a day like this go to waste.

Lake Placid Rainbow

Lake Placid Rainbow

Lake Placid Rainbow

A quickly passing cloudburst left behind a perfect moment of rainbow and moon in the Adirondacks this evening. Click on the image for a larger version of the photograph.

Happy Summer Solstice from Adirondack Lifestyle

Mirror Lake in Lake Placid Summer Solstice 2014

Aptly named Mirror Lake awaits summer swimmers in Lake Placid, New York.

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James

For some of us who live in the mountains the first day of summer is bittersweet. The arrival of the day of the year we in the Northern Hemisphere see and feel the most hours of sunshine means a few things. More hours of sunshine warm the clear Adirondack lakes and a short, but sweet, swim season begins. Now is the time for outdoor living, for bonfires and dining al fresco. Sometimes, it gets hot enough in Lake Placid to feel like real summer to a Jersey Girl like me, and we get to complain about the heat.

But summer goes quickly in the Adirondack mountains and we know the warm moments of sunshine will now slowly diminish until we reach the Winter Solstice on December 21st.  So, outside we go, grabbing every warm ray of sunshine we can. Yes, the cold and dark of winter will come. But right now, it is sunny and warm. Seasons change in the mountains, and for this we should be grateful.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” 
― John Steinbeck

Happy Telemark Tuesday!

Adirondack  Backcountry skiing

For when the no-see-ums bite.

Just a few days before the summer solstice in Lake Placid and I’m already tired of it. I will mark the holiday with a bonfire and a smile, and dream of long ski days.

I am just kidding, but only a little bit. Who doesn’t enjoy the warm sun on their shoulders on a bike ride, especially in the Adirondacks? And certainly, swimming in a crisp mountain lake after one of these bike rides is downright delectable.  But the bugs, oh the bugs.  Persistent biting black flies make gardening a challenge and the deer flies are large enough to lift a toddler.

The no-see-ums however, are my nemesis; they ruin nighttime reading. What kind of horrible creature bothers people when they are trying to read? An Adirondack no-see-um.

Attracted to light, this little speck of a bug is so small it is barely visible (hence the name) and can fly through regular screening. One could install no-see-um netting, as fine and dense as its name implies, but you may just as well build a wall. I wouldn’t mind if they just liked to come in and fly around, but no, they have to be nasty and bite. These flying torture devices go by several aliases: punkies, midges, or my favorite, all-jaws. So you have something barely visible biting you so hard that it feels like this fiend’s entire being is one big, razor sharp, tooth-filled jaw, while trying to relax with a little reading.

Yes, I turned a nice Telemark Tuesday post into an anti-insect rant. I know they are important so spare me the bat food discussion and enjoy the photo. I just want to go skiing.

 

Cascade Mountain: a Classic Adirondack Hike

June 7 is National Trails Day – Celebrate with a Hike and 30% Off Gear at EMS!

From the summit of Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks

From the summit of Cascade Mountain, 36th tallest of the original 46 peaks over 4,000 feet found in the Adirondacks.

Although considered one of the easiest hikes of the 46 Adirondack high peaks, a hike up Cascade Mountain is no walk in the park. At 4,098 feet, the bald summit of Cascade Mountain is a popular destination for intermediate hikers.

Rock stairs on the way up Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks

Rock stairs come in handy on the way up Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks.

The 2.35 mile moderate climb includes a few steep pitches and number of muddy spots when the weather is damp, so rock hopping skills and good balance prove valuable. Hikers with less than half a day’s time are treated to magnificent views of the surrounding high peaks and the entire Champlain Valley.

Muddy Trail on Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks

Located minutes from the Village of Lake Placid, the trailhead for this peak is found just off of New York State Route 73, east of Lake Placid about 4.5 miles past the Adirondack Loj Road and 6.8 miles from Keene.

Rocky approach to the summit of Cascade Mountain

The rocky approach to the summit of Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks.

Adirondack Moose Alert

We Have Good Moose News and Bad Moose News

Adirondack Moose - Bull, Spring 2013

This young bull moose got a new home in Adirondacks last fall.

It is true, moose are making a comeback in the Adirondacks. You can read all about it here or click on the word “Moose” in the tag cloud in the right column here on Adirondack Lifestyle.

Adirondack relocated bull moose in transit 05-13

He was surprised to learn the transponder collar is the de rigueur accessory for moose in the Adirondacks.

The good moose news leads us to the alert: moose have been spotted running around the Adirondacks lately and that includes running across roads. The results can be fatal when moose and cars meet on a road. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation notes:

Vehicle Collisions are a significant mortality factor for moose, especially where road densities are high. Moose are so tall that an automobile usually passes under the body, causing the moose to come over the hood into the windshield and onto the roof. Moose are most active from dusk to dawn, when their coloration makes them difficult to see in the roadway and their eyes are usually above the reach of car headlights. About one to two percent of moose/car collisions result in a human fatality. Research in other states has shown that vehicle speed is the most common factor leading to moose collisions, so the best way to avoid hitting a moose is to slow down, especially from dusk to dawn.

Adirondack Moose trailer

Moose transportation from the Albany area to his new Adirondack Great Camp courtesy of NY State.

Moose have been seen recently on the Fox Farm Road in Wilmington, crossing Route 73 near North Country School outside of Lake Placid, on River Road in Lake Placid, and someplace near Vermontville.  Additional sightings are certain, so please be cautious.

The moose featured in this story is a young bull who got himself into trouble wandering around in Halfmoon, New York, last fall 2013. Halfmoon is a residential community close to Albany, New York, and residential rush hour traffic can be difficult to navigate for a youngster, even one with those long legs. The DEC Moose Busters from the Adirondacks where called in and gave the lucky bull a ride to his new home in the Adirondacks. Here’s some local television coverage of the Halfmoon Moose story.

Relocated Adirondack Moose

If you look closely you can see the moose checking out his new Adirondack Great Camp.

The resident biologist tells me this bull moose is alive and likes to take long walks around the Adirondacks. His transponder beep has been heard across hundreds of miles in the Adirondack High Peak Region as recently as last month. Yay!

Adirondack Moose Track Comparative 07-28-12

This is the track to find if you are looking for moose.

Now for the bad moose news. Ed was called to the scene of a deceased bull moose in Long Lake earlier this week. He said the moose was in very bad shape; malnourished and so skinny he was all bones. The moose team gathered organ and tissue samples to be sent for pathology studies in Albany.  The fear is the moose was killed by brain worm, a parasitic nematode (round worm), Parelaphostrongylus tenuis (P. tenuis), which is found frequently in white-tail deer in the Adirondacks. White-tail deer are unaffected by the nematode but it is often fatal to moose.

We may never know for sure what killed this moose, but it is always sad when we lose one from an already small population of these magnificent creatures. Please be careful on the roads. . . you might see and save a moose, or yourself!

 

Adirondack Green

Outdoor Recreation Starts Early in the Adirondacks

Mt. Marcy from Adirondack Lifestyle in Lake Placid

Why does the human eye see more shades of green than any other color?

As you can see in this morning’s outdoor yoga view, there more shades of green on display in the Adirondacks than I can describe. This is noteworthy since I am not usually at a loss for words.

If you compare the photograph in my last post to today’s photo, you will note the leaves have made huge strides and it finally looks like late spring in Lake Placid. Despite the chilly (39 degrees) overnight temperatures, the warm morning sun reminds us it is the first day of June and summer is less than three weeks away.

A day of outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks ahead of me, I take advantage of the still cold slowness of the black flies and complete my morning practice before they catch on. I’ll be on my bike before they can say, “I’m an annoying biting insect.”

As usual, click on the photograph for a larger vision of Adirondack Green.

Adirondack Alpine Biome to Rain Forest in Days

Lake Placid Rainbow

The reward for last evening’s rain in Lake Placid.

In typical Adirondack weather fashion, the climate went from cold, to hot and dry, to rainy and warm in one week. As you can see, hardwood leaves are sprouting green and opening before our eyes. Like a rain forest, it is a colorful, sensory extravaganza in the Adirondacks these days.  Last evening’s rainbow was accompanied by raucous spring peepers. Wildflowers are in full bloom, instantly verdant moss and ferns prove they love the rain, and defying human logic but perhaps teaching us a lesson, birds sing through the spring showers.