Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Might as well ... jump!

Levitation never looked so easy!

Just kick up your heels!
They were playing a game of tag or blind man's bluff or hide-and-seek.  But the rules didn't really matter.  It was all about the jumping!

Like mexican jumping beans, or popcorn; whatever your metaphor, they were having a blast!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Five-Hour Tour (part 2)

This was only the second time I've ever seen a snake in Hudson Highlands State Park -- and the previous time, it was much, much closer to Beacon.  
My favorite little hill-top pond on the Washburn trail,
gloriously arrayed for summer!
We almost certainly would have missed the snake at the end of the Washburn trail (where it intersects with the Notch and Nelsonville trails), had it not been for the accompanying crowd of shutterbugs.  But we stopped to see what they were looking at, and I think the snake went right in front of Emi's feet as it tried to escape for the underbrush.

One of the shutterbugs circled around to the left to intercept  the snake.  The person
stood right in front of the snake and leaned down toward the snake's head.
That just didn't seem very bright to me.

Here, it's a little more clear - snake was moving R to L, head just visible on the left-hand side.
Cairns and vines and greenleaves
Cairns on the Notch trail
Wide but fuzzy view of the cairns... 
On the Cornish trail, there's a round cement holding tank next to the trail.  It's not huge, but we counted at least 10-15 frogs here - you have to look really closely and carefully to see them all.

Three frogs
I loved the bright green piping on this frog

Larger and more toadlike

Green frog with reflection of green leaves and sky

Snake at Little Stony Point

Five-Hour Tour (part 1)

Sightings: 12 frogs, 2 snakes, 5 butterflies, 2 millipedes, 2 cardinals, 1 hawk, 6 swallows.

Route: Undercliff (y) to Washburn (w) to Notch (b) to Brook (r) to Cornish (b).  Then we crossed the street and checked out one of the beaches at Little Stony Point before heading into town.

We went to the Cold Springs Depot afterward; it was a surprisingly long wait considering the hour, but not so long considering the weekend.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Finally, the Traverse!

Today, my elder niece turned ten - wow!  Double digits.  It's pretty cool.  She's smart, athletic, and fun.  And unusually focused and determined.  With her hair long, she actually reminds me a lot of Buffy the vampire slayer.  (Let's hope she doesn't get that particular call, though!)

I got an early start today, so I decided to go for the gusto and see if I could complete the Cold Spring to Beacon traverse before the rain hit.

I was pushing hard along Washburn, and reached this point
(after the junction with Undercliff [y]) in an hour
One of the fun parts of the Notch trail is a point where a tree has fallen across the path, and many,  many hikers have built cairns all over the trunk and the general area.  

a small glimpse of the left side of the path

The cairns keep proliferating!

A message from Carly Rae Jepsen....

A Pawtuckaway wanna-be?


This is the first snake I've seen in Cold Spring/Beacon area.  It was about 3 feet long, I think, and was slithering along the hiking trail in front of me.  It was a bit of a cold day for snakes, so I'm not sure why it was out and about.

I included this because the scene (in real life) reminded me of the M.C.  Escher painting, Puddle

Hudson River - view from the train

Route was Washburn (white) up and over Mt. Taurus [2.3 miles] to Notch (blue) to Breakneck Ridge (white) to Casino (red) [1 mile].  Plus another 2.6 miles to and from trailhead.  It was 29,700 steps over 6.25 hours.  The first few drops of rain came when I was walking along 9D to the train station, and the shower didn't start until I was actually comfortably sheltered under the station roof.