WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Feb 14th, 2011

Raquette River in Stone Valley – snowed over

Feb 14

The getting was good. The short trip to see the roaring river silenced by the ice and snow was well worth the effort to get off my duff. The trail along the river was well packed and made for easy walking. The only problem with the trail is that it runs through the woods well back from the river. The river views from the trail are great but not quite as breath taking as those from closer vantage points. Stay on the trail and you miss a few scenes entirely. Trouble is, step off the path and you’d be up to your cute little behind in snow. Unless you’re like me don’t even think of straying from the trail without snowshoes.

You’ll find parking at the trail head in Colton on River Street across the way from the Colton Town Clerks Office on Main Street. Follow the road to the dam. Looking back you can see the Mian Street bridge.

Raquette River in Colton, NY

Turn arond and you see the big blue pipe and the bridge over it that leads to the trail.

dam pipe

Colton dam in winter

Colton dam on the Raquette River in winter

I had to break trail to get to this vantage point. I was in way over my behind getting there so didn’t attempt to get any closer.

Raquette River in Stone Valley - winter

I just turned in my tracks to take these photos. Notice the edge of the drop in the lower part of the photos. I stayed firmly planted in the center of the outcrop.

Stone Valley in winter - Raquette River

One last look back from this location.

Raquette River in Stone Valley - winter whitewater

I can’t go far before being drawn back to the river. Again I trudge to the edge. This time a disappearing waterfall lures me to the edge.

frozen waterfalls in Stone Valley

I have to admit. It wasn’t the effort of pushing my way forward in the snow that made me hang back. It was the big yellow streak running down my back from thinking about falling into that hole.

Stone Valley waterfall in winter

The same waterfall from another angle.

Raquette River waterfall in winter

No Exit – Enter at your own risk

waterfalls in winter

I’ve got more to show but this is a good point to split the difference. The best is yet to come.

I hate to overwhelm anyone’s patience by displaying too many photos in a single post. I think 10 is really pushing it.

What do you think?

  1. Would you like posts broken up with fewer photos?
  2. Do you think 10 photos is OK?
  3. Would you like to have 20 or more photos crammed down your throat in a singel post instead of two servings?
  4. Does a slide show without all the blah blah blah sound better?

I’ve prepared a slideshow of all the photos. Now you don’t have to come back tomorrow unless you like to read my gobblygook.

Dec 27

Why hike the Stone Valley trail in winter? How about the awe inspiring scenery? There’s no need to go far, the most impressive section of river is about a mile long at the south, upriver end of the trail. I like to wait till the dead of winter when the cold has really had time to work it’s icy charms.

The slide show photos were taken in February ’09 and ’10. They all have been previously posted but it was nice to create a Picasa gallery (note to self: remember never to make any changes to the slide show gallery or the slide show will break) and have the two seasons all on one post. It’s also a good motivator to get me out there again real soon.

The photos should give you a clue winter doesn’t fool around in the north country. This is a raging section of water falls and rapids one would never expect to ice over. When it does it’s well worth the hike.

Posted by WiseAcre on Jul 4th, 2009

Corpse Flower

Jul 4

Going Green is not something Corpse Flowers do. Translucent white they look like a ghostly apparition on the shady forest floor so you can see why they are also known as Ghost Plants. On the other hand whoever named them Indian Pipes must have looked at them while standing on their head.

Monotropa uniflora

Indian Pipe - Monotropa uniflora

Lacking chlorophyll these plants can’t photosynthesize and have no real use for sunlight so they don’t mind the deep shade of the woods. They are myco-heterotroph – they get their nutrients and energy from mycorrhiza fungi (symbiotic between a fungus and the roots of a plant – in this case the trees) that it is parasitic upon.

Indian Pipe

If your wondering – I took these photos in the rain. I never did learn to get out of it.

Ghost Plant - Monotropa uniflora

If you see Corpse Plants you know you’re in a good place to hunt mushrooms since they prefer rich woods. These were found in Stone Valley, Town of Colton, NY where if you can ignore the attraction of the Raquette River and it’s numerous waterfalls you’ll find a wide range of woodland wildflowers and mushrooms. Here are a couple.

Stone Valley Waterfalls

This section of the river is so powerful you don’t have to worry about drowning if you fall in. You’ll be bashed to death on the rocks long before you breath water.

Stone Valley Waterfalls

To make matter worst there are a number of hydro dams that release water without warning so keeping out of the river bed is always a good idea.

Stone Valley Waterfalls

Indian Pipes starting to turn black   Back to the Corpse Flower.

‘Bloom’ time is June to September so keep your eyes out for ghosts when in the woods this summer.

When they get old they turn black. Same if you pick one and let it dry.

If your sweetheart is a zombie – this is the flower for them.

Ghost Plant - Monotropa uniflora

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