Thursday, August 28, 2008

Headin' Out,...

.... going camping again. This will probably be the last trip out until Columbus Day weekend. See you Tuesday morning. Have a great Labor Day weekend, friends!

Lunch on the fly,....

While in Plattsburgh yesterday I stopped at the local mall for some things. As I returned to my car I heard a chorus of "bird talk!" Just in front of the car was a decorative shrub in the dividing area of the parking lot, and it was hosting a luncheon. The seeds on the shrub were providing a wonderful lunch for several birds. Most of the birds were shy and kept hopping to different branches as I tried to get a shot. This bird sat there and posed for me!

Here are the seeds that were providing the banquet!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Along the Hudson,...

Wikipedia says: "The Hudson River, called Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk in Mohican, a 315-mile river, ... It is named for Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who explored it in 1609"

Just north of the village of North Creek, along route 28, the Hudson's flow is a long way from busy New York City and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. Here in the Adirondacks, the high water of springtime is over, it is peaceful at this time of year.


There are two parking areas between North Creek and North River villages, one of which has excellent signs explaining the river's natural communities that thrive here.

At the second parking area,... downriver,...

The late afternoon sun glimmers on the water as I looked upriver,...

It's no wonder that several cars were parked here and people were out sitting along the river enjoying one of the last really warm afternoons of summer.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Salad to Die For!...

This past weekend at the bluegrass festival the weather was sunny, and during the day absolutely hot! Of course we'd brought food in the camper, but it would involve cooking either inside or out on the bbq grill. Hmmmm.... wouldn't a cold supper taste good? How about a green salad instead of a hot supper? Do you think there is a restaurant in North Creek?

My friend Kathy and I drove to the village,.... and saw this sign....

The sign in the door said "Open"...

I decided to go in and get some salads "to go" ...

The interior was so warm and welcoming! A waitress greeted me and yes, we could get salads to go. I looked around while they were being prepared.

I saw a picture of a lovely lady on the wall, and her marriage certificate, dated 1927.
Skip ahead 24 hours,.... the salads were so wonderful that we went back the next afternoon to enjoy a re-run of the same!
This time I went to the kitchen to compliment the "chef" where I met Joanne, one of the owners. She and her brother Francis Smith are daughter and son of the woman in the picture on the wall. Francis is the Chef deCuisine, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He was very busy in the back of the kitchen.

Here is what I call a "salad to die for!" A mountain of fresh greens topped with tomoato, cucumbers, onions, beets, croutons, broccoli,....with a hearty bread and cole slaw on the side. A small spice cookie slice finished the presentation. Also on the table were Francis's biscuits, with a touch of cinnamon on the top,... unusual, but absolutely delicious.

If you are in North Creek do check out Smith's Restaurant,... you will not be sorry! Joanne suggested that you call as they are only open seasonally. You will find them at 296 Main Street. 518-251-2363. . Poke your head into the kitchen, Francis and Joanne love to chat with their guests. I promised Joanne that we would be back. I am looking forward to keeping that promise!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Sun Shines on North Creek!...

After what has seemed like weeks of rainy weather, this north country event enjoyed blazing sun and high spirits! The Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival, August 22-24, brought people from all over to the small town of North Creek. The northern part of the Hudson River flows nearby, hence the name "Upper Hudson."

The Ski Bowl Park was filled with campers, tents, vans and large motorhomes. When I arrived at noon on Thursday, a day before the opening act came on the stage, there were many people already there and small groups gathering for "field picking." Festivals such as these are a staple in the summer social scene and a wonderful example of Adirondack/North Country culture.

Here is Dave Nichols and "Spare Change" from Malone, NY. Dave is playing mandolin, his wife, Nadine is playing the bass. He always features each band member in various songs, sharing the "spotlight."

By mid-day on Saturday the audience filled the pavillion, by sunset the lawn in front was covered with people on blankets and in lawn chairs. Children danced and played to the music.

"Smokey" Green, a North Country legend entertains,....

In the parking lot people gather at various campers to enjoy informal jam sessions. This lady playing the bass was singing a ballad with a sweet and clear voice.

Beartracks,.... Junior Barber, Julie Venne-Hogan and her brother Tom Venne. Julie's energetic style on the bass is such fun to watch.

Here two young men are working the edge of the crowd selling raffle tickets for a guitar by Blueridge. Dave Nichols donates a guitar for a raffle and all proceeds go to support the festival. Dave does this at each festival he attends. What a generous way to support the continuation of bluegrass in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas. Dave Nichols is an artist who builds mandolins and also does custom pearl inlay work as well as performing. Check him out at .

Other performers were The Atkinson Family,...
and another of my most favorite,... Cabin Fever,

If you want to experience fun and friendship in the "bluegrass family"... attend a festival. Don't forget to bring a lawn chair,... and settle down to spend a few hours or a weekend with some great music!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Going Camping!


I'll be leaving this a.m. for a long weekend at a bluegrass festival.

I'll see you bright and early Monday morning!

Right under my nose!...

Yesterday morning I heard a mysterious "thumpety, thumpety,... thump!" back and forth across the deck on the front of my house. After hearing it two or three times by the time I got to the sliding glass doors to check it out I laughed to see it was my cat, Midnight. She was cavorting around on the deck and then jumped down and ran around on the lawn below it, even into the edge of the woods and back. This was not her usual behavior.

So, playing detective, I followed her back to the side of the house ..... ahah! She was sniffing and rubbing against a plant. I came to the computer and did a search as I thought after rubbing the leaves it might be catnip. It was. Here was a catnip plant less than a dozen feet from my door, and I'd been paying for a little bag of it at Petsmart! So I will scout around here and see if there are more plants and dry my own for her this fall.

Midnight is a very happy cat and I'm still laughing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Turning colder, turning golden,...

At 6:00 p.m. yesterday the thermometer in my carport read exactly 60°. That chillier afternoon temperature tells of things to come. Officially, Fall does not arrive for another four weeks, but at times it is already in the air.

Bearing testimony to the approaching colder season, the tips of the sumac leaves are turning golden.
The bountiful rain all summer long has created an environment where mushrooms are growing in the lawn, ... also golden.

Of course the Goldenrod is blooming all across the fields and woodland edges,...

And one final golden lily blooms in my flowerbox along the side of the house. Farewell to summer!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New kid on the block,...

The past week or two I've noticed a lovely, tall and rosy colored flower in a few places along the road near my home. I had not noticed this in the past. Something new?

I consulted with one of my favorite reference books, "North American Wildlife," edited by Susan J. Wernert, and matched it with a photo of Sweet Joe-pye-weed. According to the listing it's prevelent in the eastern half of the country. However, I am very certain it's not been here in our immediate locality before. An internet search shows it as a native wildflower, whose blooms attract swallowtail butterflies, so I will say "welcome!"
I will be watching next summer to see if it has spread further. What a welcome new neighbor!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Horsing Around,...

Horsepower in the true sense was the way work was accomplished in times past. A few people still keep draft horses and work them today. When the work was finished many years ago farmers and lumberjacks would gather for pulling contests between their teams. Those contests are still held today.

These draft horses are meant to work, they practically dance in anticipation when they are backing up to hitch. Yesterday's contest at the fair was marked by sportsmanship between drivers who all shook hands at the end when the winner was announced. And at no time did a driver mistreat a team. It was a real joy to watch the teams do what their breeding meant for them to do.

These teams are ponies.
Teams rest at the side rails between pulls.

Cement blocks are added in 500# increments. They represent the weight of chores in the past when horses were used in the woods to skid out logs or to pull farm machinery in the fields.

Waiting his turn...

A team of Belgians hitched and ready to do what comes naturally for them.

Other horse events were happening in the show ring. Here a young lady readies her favorite friend for his saddle.

Comepetition in various classes of horsemanship...

Of course the midway was the hub of the fairgrounds as it was Saturday and parents were bringing their children for the fun and games...

But my favorite place was hanging out with the big guys,... this was my goodbye shot as I was leaving to go home!