Related: Adirondack Chronicles

Adirondack Chronicles 2012.2

 
 

Adirondack weather is delightful — one minute it’s bright sunshine, the next a storm threatens, then a ray of sunshine bursting through the clouds.  The sheer unpredictability makes life up here interesting, to say the least, and requires careful planning for any days spent outdoors, especially on the water.

The wild creatures up here just paddle along quite used to the weather.  The merganser family above was enjoying bright sunshine on Bear Pond.

This little chipmunk was hiding in some shadows, perched for a second before bounding off into the woods near my cabin in Long Lake.

The Belted Kingfisher is a very nervous bird that flits along the banks of lakes and rivers, perched on branches where it can scan the water for minnows and waterbugs, then quickly darting away with its catch.

Monarch butterflies are everywhere!

Now, for sheer weird fascination, nothing quite compares to the behaviors of the great blue heron.  This big bird is on waterways all over the world.  Elegant, mysterious, imperious and flighty, the bird can strike countless poses as it grooms, fishes and generally casts a jaded yellow eye on human observers.

I caught this great bird perched on a rock at the Raquette Flow near Piercefield Dam:

As I watched from behind some trees he (or she, who knows?) began to put on a feather display, a prelude to grooming…

Next thing I knew, he flew off to another rock to continue grooming, and in all the years I’ve watched herons, I’ve never quite seen this:

The bird then sensed someone coming (not me, but some bikers) and straightened up to look respectable before flying away:

Meanwhile, up near the Bloomingdale Bog close to Saranac Lake…

Identifying birds is an interesting pastime — I think this one is what’s called a Brewer’s Blackbird, notable for the yellow eyes and blue sheen on the head.

The Blackpoll Warbler is abundant in northern forests.

It’s high season for the Ruby-throated Hummingbird!

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Adirondack Chronicles….

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
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