Related: Adirondack Chronicles

Adirondack Chronicles – They’re Back! 2012 Part 1

 
 

Independence Day 2012 seems a fitting moment to resume the Adirondack Chronicles.  2011-2012 was a great year for Trinity academically and fiscally, but it also posed some personal challenges my family.  We have declared July 1 the start of the new years for the McGuire clan, and we look forward to a great new year for Trinity as well.  I could not wait to get to the Adirondacks and am safely ensconced in my little cabin by the lake for a few weeks.

Up here in the north country, the big news seems to be bursting beaver dams and continuing struggles over the balance between development and wilderness preservation.  I’ve been here since Sunday night and have not heard one comment about presidential politics, healthcare reform or whether Chief Justice John Roberts is a hero or turncoat.  Refreshing!  It’s also cool…. sorry about that, DC, I have been watching the news…

It took me a few days to get my wilderness eyes adjusted.  Driving through the woods preoccupied with the power outages back on campus, the new budget cycle, the student concerns that cross my virtual desk even here, it’s easy to see only trees and miss the abundant wildlife that make the forest so delightful.  One of the important lessons I have taken from the wilderness each year is the discipline of detachment, setting worries aside to enjoy nature’s real beauty.

In the wilderness, I have learned to cultivate other habits that are essential to good photography, pleasant boating, overall safety and enjoyment of the wild.  Patience, careful observation, quietness, learning to read the nature of waves and turning of leaves — these are all qualities I try to practice in the Adirondacks, hoping that a few vestiges remain during the regular work year!

Thanks to cultivating patience and quietness, I was able to get my first glimpse of a loon and her chick while paddling around Tupper Lake yesterday:

And this bittern flew over my head and darted into some tall reeds:

Habits of observation helped me to spot this fox in the brush along the road:

And as he padded away back into the forest I waited for a few minutes and reaped the reward of these twins:

Passing a drowned forest along one roadside I looked up and saw this family of great blue herons in a tree nest:

That one stretching its neck seems to be taking care of the one sitting down while the two others look on.  Looking higher up among the tree stumps I saw the object of concern for the adults, a second nest that seemed to include at least three baby herons just sprouting feathers and wings:

Farther along the back road I spotted this hawk perched on a telephone pole:

And in a pond nearby this tiny frog was perched atop a lilypad:

I looked across the road at some flowers, trying to capture a butterfly, and lo and behold this ruby-throated hummingbird flew right into the picture!

Not a bad batch for the first day!

I’ll be back with more Adirondack creatures, vistas and musings as the days go on…

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: president@trinitydc.edu