No problem for us. We just drove around to Spier Falls Road and accessed the trails we were there to police from Mud Pond. Walking the trails around the pond, we were surprised to find no trees down at all, just limbs and branches we could easily lift from the trails by hand. Or kick away with our feet. The pond lay sweetly calm under that innocent blue sky, stirred only by Whirligig bugs and herons' wingbeats and a pair of snorkeling beavers. All was so serene, it was hard to imagine the driving wind and rain that had whipped it just the day before.
We next cut through the woods to Moreau Lake and walked around the back bay. Here too, we found little wind damage, but only basking turtles and scurrying flocks of ducks that seemed annoyed by our arrival. The park had been closed to all campers and boaters in advance of the hurricane, so all was very quiet. No beer cans or candy wrappers or bait boxes, either. This day turned out to be an easy one for trail stewarding.
On my way home from Moreau yesterday, I took Spier Falls Road along the Hudson. The river was big and brown and full of flotsam and foam, but not over its banks at all, nor even near to being so. Wondering how it looked upstream, I drove up to Lake Luzerne today to observe the Hudson where it falls through a gorge at Rockwell Falls. Well, as this photo taken from the Hadley-Luzerne bridge shows, the river was rowdy and roiling, but still within its banks, even here where the Sacandaga pours its waters into the Hudson.
The stream that carries the overflow from Lake Luzerne to the Hudson was also rowdy and roiling, tumbling wildly over boulders on its steep descent from lake to river. But again, well within its banks, except for a little sloshing around the base of this tree. We were very, very lucky to have survived this hurricane with so little damage.
To read reports and see photos of the devastation caused by Irene not too many miles north of Lake Luzerne, visit the Adirondack Almanack by clicking here.
As I'm sure most of my regular readers know, neither Sue nor I can walk a trail without stopping again and again to marvel at what we see. And take lots of photos. In no particular order, here's a catalog of some of the fascinating things we found yesterday and today, including an incredible variety of colorful fungi stirred to fruiting by inches and inches of drenching rain.
I know that this is an Amanita, called American Caesar. Most Amanitas are poisonous, but this one is supposed to be quite edible. I would rather look at it than eat it.
I don't know the official name of this fungus, so I'll call it Fortune Cookie. Or Brown Baby's Bottom.
The velvety red underside of the Frost's Boletus cap. If you break the cap open, the inside flesh is butter yellow that quickly turns blue when exposed to air.
Sue pointed out to me this iridescent bright-green fly, and we both tried to get photos that displayed its brilliant iridescence. We were surprised that the fly didn't fly away when we poked our camera lenses at it. Then we saw the Crab Spider beneath, perfectly camouflaged by the White Snakeroot blooms, clasping the fly in a death grip. Aha, that's why it didn't move! But I still couldn't capture that brilliant green.