Last Week in the Adirondacks

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    This thread over at Misfit Squirrels has all the images in-line if my copy-paste doesn’t work:

    Well, this past week was spent in the Adirondacks.

    The first night we were there I shot the sunset. I was playing a bit with f-stops and the like and discovered that a beautiful sunset, with the right conditions and the right camera settings can look remarkably like a distant forest fire:

    The next day we went for a LONG canoe ride. Among the earliest sites we saw were this basking turtle:

    The presence of so much sun should have told us something (more on that later).

    We stopped for lunch and this dragonfly landed on my shirt (the only picture not taken by me… my wife’s careful use of my camera):

    He stayed with me for like 15 minutes before flying off. We couldn’t figure out what that droplet was… any expert ideas?

    Later I got one of his buddies in flight:

    Of course, when one is in the Adirondacks and on the water and looking for photography subjects, one is always on the lookout for the elusive loon.

    Now, normally a shot like this requires stealth and a very long lens. We got very very very lucky. We found a mating pair and their nest. No eggs, and they didn’t seem to care that we were there. They were apparently exhibitionist loons. Shortly after we showed up, they headed for their nest and… umm… mated.

    (I’ve got a better shot of this with the male’s head in view I’m saving for the upcoming Wildlife Farktography contest).

    That night’s sunset was equally majestic:

    The next day we climbed Ampersand Mountain. Early in the walk we encountered this sleeping dog:

    We just let him lie.

    Later on (after my wife and our friend who joined us were already cursing me for calling the climb “easy”) this little guy was scurrying around the forest just doing his little chipmunk business. Didn’t seem to care that we were there:

    Getting to the top redeemed me only slightly in the eyes of my hiking companions. What took me less than 2 hours last year (I ran up and down it, and paid for it with sore thighs for 4+ days) took us nearly 6 hours this year. The view is totally worth it. This is only a few of the 360 degrees available:

    The clouds made it misty, and my polarized filter to make the clouds pop more darkened the scene more than it was in reality. None of these pics are retouched except for file size and occasional cropping. It was brighter, but not by a ton. Brighter and WINDY.

    Wild strawberries are in season:

    Later on we visited the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center and went on a couple short walks with a view to seeing some wildlife. We didn’t see much, but when the sole squirrel we saw seemed to pose for me, I couldn’t help but shoot him:

    We went back to visit the loons again. They were happy to see us:

    They also did the mating thing again, but I think I’ve showed you enough loon porn already.

    Our last full day was spent in Lake Placid. I was seriously hoping for a climb of Whiteface, but having achieved a serious (second degree) sunburn on my legs, and a forecast of bleah, I declined and stayed in town with my wife and friend. Based on this view of the mountian, I think I made the right decision:

    Besides, I climbed the mountain last year. It was fun, but the sunburn still hasn’t healed, and I would NOT have wanted to open one of the blisters on the slope. No, I’m not going to show you them… I’m not El Chode (who I miss ’round these parts).

    These are just a few of the over 800 shots I got and a tiny fraction of the activities of the week, but these are some of the best shots I got. Some I’m saving for Farktography, and some I’m just hanging on to.

    So… what’d you do?


    Later on we visited the Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center and went on a couple short walks with a view to seeing some wildlife. We didn’t see much, but when the sole squirrel we saw seemed to pose for me, I couldn’t help but shoot him:

    How’d he taste? 😛 😆

    But seriously, I love the dragonfly in flight; that’s a hard shot to capture. The sense of movement in the background makes that a lovely shot, in particular.

    The droplet–I’ve never seen that. I wonder if it’s related to mating somehow? Perhaps it’s just a reflection but it seems like there’s ‘something in the water’?

    That 2nd sunset would have made a good entry for the upside down contest. It drives me nuts when I take a picture that would be perfect–for the contest that happened last week, whatever contest that may be.

    I hope you indeed are dutiful and archive these for future contests. Just don’t do what I do and save everything, forcing you to look through 10,000 photos for the one you know you have…somewhere.

    I worked thus far this weekend. Tomorrow in the early pre-dawn a.m., I’m going shooting for a retake of an image I think could<–emphasis here, I give up on predicting the voters' habits do well for this Wed’s contest (post~monsoon–here’s hoping for picturesque morning skies!) In the process of relocating the spot on google maps, I found some other interesting venues along the route that I’d like to see in person, so I’ll probably be out till 9 or 10 am. In the afternoon, it’s off to a family BBQ.


    Makes me homesick… There are many places up there where you can canoe from lake to lake for days. Although it’s nice to know I’m not the only one with sorry hiking weather luck, every time I went up Marcy or Whiteface we wound up inside the cloud deck.

    Oh… the droplet….pretty sure that’s lake water clinging to the dragon fly from depositing eggs in the water. They dip their tails into the lake to drop eggs. You’ll see them repeated tagging the surface of the water after mating. They’ll try doing it to clean cars as well, they think the reflection=water.


    So you mean those streaks on top of my truck are dragonfly spunk?

    /Nice shots, BTW!


    Great shots, many times I wish I still lived in Saranac Lake. I really wish I had a decent camera when I did live there. I took a lot of camera phone shots that don’t do justice to the scenery. I only went up Ampersand once and was really surprised by how windy it is up there, and how spectacular the view is was equally as stunning.

    I hope that you made time for a stop or two at Donnelly’s Ice Cream, I really miss that place but it packs on the pounds when you go there every day.

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