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 15th, 2011

the frozen waterfalls in Stone Valley

Feb 15

…Raquette River in Stone Valley – snowed over continued

I’ll start by looking back from where I left off on the last post. You can see the rock island photographed from my first vantage point. As you can see I hadn’t gone far.

stone valley waterfalls in winter

Another view across the river from approximately the same position. It’s amazing that Old Man Winter is able to tame this raging, roaring torrent of death into a silent sleeping beauty. Standing there the other day I was able to relax while taking in the sights. Being firmly anchored waist deep in snow helped calm me. I’ve stood here before with knees shaking after Spring’s warm kiss has once again awakened the class 4 -5 rapids. Believe me, the sound and the fury of the river is enough to make me step back.

Raquette River in Stone Valley covered in ice and snow

Only a few openings in the ice and snow smothering the river can be seen.

hole in the ice and snow covering the river in stone valley

Boil, boil, bubble, and toil

winter whitewater

Time to move on. I stuck to the trail for a while before heading off on another tangent. This section of the river runs slightly higher than the main channel. Durning low water levels the bed is exposed.

river in winter

I call this the Pillow section.
Every winter I find snow pillows strewn along this part of the river that seems immune to the cold.

snow pillows on the river

snow pillows on the raquette river

Scissors cut Paper. Paper covers Rock. Rock breaks scissors.
Water erodes Rock. Snow covers rock. Rocks hurt a lot more than water ballons and snowballs.

snow pillows on rocks in the river

A view from the trail.

winter view of the raquette river from the stone valley trail

Another side trip. Believe it or not I’m standing on the river bed looking down on the main channel. In spring a hell of a water slide rushes over the smooth bedrock here that can send you flying. In summer a rubber duck might have a hard time not getting hung up but there’s always a couple of nice pools in the gouged out stone.

stone valley - raquette river in winter

Climbing up the small island on the other side of the water slide provides this overlook of the main channel far below. See what I mean – it’s hard to imagine the river also flows right behind me at this spot.

stone valley in winter

This is my favorite section of the river. Usually I’ll ‘hang’ from the trees but this time I kept back from the edge. With the deep snow it’s impossible to tell where the drop off really begins. The next step could very well lead to a Wile E. Coyote experience.

looking down on the river

Another view before moving on to the waterfalls.

just before the waterfalls

The object of my desire.
This is my favorite frozen treat. A grimance frozen of the face of the waterfalls.

frozen waterfalls in stone valley

Of course I had to climb down and get in its face.
I did manage to inch a bit closer than I did one summer.

Stone valley waterfalls in summer

see the downed tree on the right? the boulder sitting above the falls on the left?

Seasons make a big difference around here. If I tried to stand here in the spring I’d be swept off my feet, literally.

stone valley waterfalls frozen - Feb 13, 2011

Behind me is a rock island. I call it last stop rock since this is usually the point I turn around and head back. It also holds a secret of mine.

stone valley - a rock island in winter

I love Wintergeen.


Back to the trailhead – time to quack off

mallard ducks

During the winter you can usually count on the Mallards to be seen by the Main Street bridge above the dam in Colton.

Posted by WiseAcre on Feb 13th, 2011

Wild Goose Chase

Feb 13

…goose spotting from bridges over the Grasse River

Starting at Bucks Bridge
The only sign of any geese looking upriver from the bridge is the footprints in the snow.
– lower left of the photo

looking upriver from Bucks Bridge - Grasse River, Feb 12, 2011

The river on the other side of the bridge turned out to be a very fowl place. Canadian Geese and ducks (mallards?) mingled with the domestic white geese from the riverside farm.

waterfowl on the Grasse River

The ducks wanted no part of my presence and flew away but I managed to catch the last of the 5 during take off.

duck takeoff

Sorry, this is a white tux only party.

domestic white geese greet a Canadian Goose

Not enough junk in the trunk I guess.

domestic white geese swimming

Next stop – Madrid
No sign of any geese but the ice continues to build up at the dam.

Madrid dam- Feb 12, 2011

The ice and snow has continued to reach out over the top of the waterfalls since my last photos on Feb 1st. With +40 F. temps predicted by Wed. (16th) I’m afraid the ice won’t be able to hold on. It also means I better get off my duff and go to Stone Valley while the getting is good.

ice on the Madrid dam - grasse river - feb 12

Next stop – a drive by photo shoot at Chamberlain Corners. I didn’t bother getting out of the truck. I posted better photos of the river at this location on Feb 1st. There were no waterfowl then and the ones today were too far away even at max zoom (18x) to make a guess at what they were. Ducks maybe?

Grasse River - Chamberlain Corners - Feb 12, 2011

Continuing downriver brings us to Chase Mills.
The RR bridge can be seen while looking downriver from the southern bridge abutment.

winter scene at Chase Mills

These are more drive by photographs. This one from the middle of the bridge provided the first glimpse of something fowl on the water. You can’t see them in this photo but there were birds there.

Grasse River at Chase Mills - Feb 12. 2011

See? Too bad they were so far away, this was another 18x full zoom pic

waterfowl on the Grasse River in winter

I’ve already overburdened this post with too many photos. I’ll have to continue with the last stop at Louisville on the next post.

Posted by WiseAcre on Feb 1st, 2011

the Madrid dam in winter

Feb 1

This dam place is freezing in Feburary.

Madrid Dam - Feb 1, 2011

After seeing the waterfalls completely frozen over in Canton the other day I expected to find more ice at the dam in Madrid. A few fingers of ice have nearly spanned the gap between the top and bottom of the dam. They are fragile looking slivers hard to see in the rushing water. Ice is building up at the base but it has a good way to go before being as impressive as I’ve seen in the past.

ice build up at the base of the Madrid dam

Water flows freely from under the ice that’s trying to reach out past the top of the dam.

ice at the top of the Madrid dam

Looking down river at the Madrid bridge.

Madrid bridge - Feb 1, 2011

Sub-zero temps are still due so the ice will continue to build up. It will be tempting to go back but I really don’t need to. I took my annual NO SWIMMING photo before I left.

no swimming

The rule is strictly enforced by Old Man Winter

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