Monday, June 1, 2015

Last Hike of the Summer

Even though I was really busy this weekend, getting ready to go down to Vassar College on Sunday to attend our granddaughter's graduation, I'm glad I made the time Saturday to go walking at Moreau Lake State Park with my friend Sue.  Turns out, this will be the last hike I take for quite some time, since I fell on slippery pavement at Vassar and broke my kneecap.  I'm scheduled for surgery to repair my knee next week, followed by a long recovery time that will certainly curtail my hiking and paddling for most of the rest of the summer.  Yep.  A real bummer!  But at least the rain that made that pavement slick has started to fill some of our ponds, like Mud Pond pictured above.  Sue and I had never seen the water fallen so low.

Low water meant broad beaches around Moreau Lake, where we found evidence of many turtle nests. Unfortunately, many turtle predators also had found those nests and had made a meal of the eggs.  As Sue explained to me (Sue knows quite a bit about turtles), only about one out of every hundred baby turtles survives into adulthood.  As we well know, all critters gotta eat!





Because of sustained drought conditions through most of May, there were very few wildflowers along the shore.  We did find some Indian Hemp starting to bloom, but not much else.




I take that back.  There were LOTS of Small Forget-me-nots, our native species of this pretty blue flower, scattered across the damp sand.  But you had to look close to see them, they are so very tiny.




It was a fine day for finding critters, though, including this gorgeously colored Garter Snake stretched out across the top of a beaver lodge.




Usually, a walk around the lake starts hundreds of frogs to leaping away from our footfalls, but we saw nary a one on Saturday.  We did see one little American Toad, though, and a really cute one, at that.





Dragonflies were zooming everywhere, and occasionally coming to rest.  This fallen log provided a very attractive spot for masses of Chalk-fronted Corporals to take a break.





Ah, but the prize of our lakeside walk was this gorgeous butterfly that landed right beneath our feet to sip on something it craved within the damp sand.  Although it is called a White Admiral, this is really one of two color phases of the Red-spotted Purple Butterfly (Limenitis arthemis).





The underside of this butterfly's wings reveal the red spots that are typical of both color phases of Limenitis arthemis.  I was not able to take a clear photo of the underwings, but my friend Sue sure did.  You can see her fine photos of this butterfly (and more!) on her wonderful nature blog called Water-lily (watrlily.blogspot.com).




Not so pretty as that butterfly, but here's my red-spotted purple knee.  One of these days it will be back to normal, and I will return to the woods and waterways again.  For the next couple of months, however, I doubt I will be able to do much but hobble about stiff-legged while the kneecap knits back together.   No hiking or paddling in my near future, which means I will have to think of some other ways to post my blog.  In the meantime, though, I encourage my loyal readers to revisit old posts, where they can discover what's in bloom where and approximately on what dates.  There's more than six years' worth of archives here, so happy hunting, dear friends!


18 comments:

The Furry Gnome said...

Oh that looks painful! So sorry your seasons of exploring has ended so early. Why couldn't it have been in September?

threecollie said...

I am so sorry to read that you were injured. Knees are no fun at all either. I will hold good thoughts for your swift and uneventful recovery. How sad that your summer has been brought to such a crashing halt. Take care....

Bill and dogs said...

I'm so sorry that you had such a painful fall and will miss your posts. But I'll watch for them in the future as you get back to your active lifestyle.

Laura Lee Johnston said...

Oh, Aaarrrg! What a blow! There is never a good time to be injured and out of commission, but perhaps you'll be able to pursue some of the quiet, indoor activities you've been wanting to get to. Keep us posted on the outcome of your surgery and your healing progress. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

catharus said...

OUCH!!! I'm so sorry! I know you'll miss (so much!) getting outdoors into the wonderful natural world that you love so much! And we will too, miss all the discoveries and joy you share with your loyal followers! I will miss your posts, but mostly wish you a speedy recovery! I'll be thinking of you, praying for you, and looking forward to hearing from you whenever you can next time! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Jackie, your blog is my favorite place to visit on the internet. I look forward to your posts. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a new plant and wondered about it, and there, within days, you have admired the same one. Get well soon.

Maggie said...

So sorry about your injury, Jackie! I enjoy your blog so much. With your energy and active mind I am sure that you will find outlets for your naturalist interests.

Walking Man said...

Sorry to hear the news! Hope all goes well and you're back out in the woods soon!! Best of luck

Carolyn H said...

Oh my goodness, that's such a shame. My own bad knee is tingling just looking at that photo of yours. When you get to the point when you can get out of the house again, there's virtue in just sitting and enjoying the nature around you. And when you can drive again, you can always drive someplace and sit for a while, too. I've often thought I should do that more often.

suep said...

I'd be happy to do the driving so that you can keep in touch with the Great Outdoors !
If you can stand how pokey I drive ...

Andrew L. Gibson said...

My heart breaks for you, Jackie. I know you'll be back and better than ever in time and will stay positive though! I'll miss you dearly next week up on the Bruce and you'll be in my thoughts the whole time. We should make plans for me to come back and visit sometime next year! I'd love nothing more if you'd have me back for a third go around :)

Woody Meristem said...

OUCH! That's a pretty colorful knee you had/have there. A friend who had an apparently similar injury had to walk railroad tracks (ties actually) as part of his rehab to get his stride even again. If you have to do the same it may open new windows into interesting places.

Ron Gamble said...

OMG - Sorry you got hurt! I hope they get you repaired and that you heal up well; you're strong though and will do your PT like you're supposed to!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

My dear friends and readers, your good wishes mean the world to me. Thanks for stopping by to wish me well. I am still reeling too much from the shock and the pain (and the pain pills!) to have put much thought into how I will conduct myself during the long recovery, following knee surgery on June 11, but I know I will have to find some way to get back outdoors and report on all the wonders that await out there. Thanks so much for spurring me on!

Wayne said...

Oh no! I am sincerely so sorry about your accident. However, I am glad that you are meeting this temporary setback with humor, just as I would expect of you. You continue to be an inspiration, even in the face of adversity. I see Sue has already volunteered to drive, so I know that you WILL get outside during your rehabilitation. With the guidance of medical professionals, you can use some mobility aids and take advantage of the many trails adapted for use by people with disabilities. When you start cautious use of crutches or canes, wheelchair-accessible trails should be negotiable with a partner. I am looking forward to your reports about that!

P.S. When you get the urge for some research, a very basic starting point is this Web page: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/34038.html (Practically nothing listed for Saratoga County, but some interesting prospects in Warren and Washington.)

julie said...

Sending positive thoughts your way, I'm sure you'll be back in the woods faster than you think! Get well soon.

threecollie said...

I hope you will feel well enough to keep us posted as you recover. Your wonderful posts will be much missed. Take care.

Maggie said...

I am so sorry about your knee injury. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. Take care of yourself and don't worry about your readers--you have given us so many posts we will have plenty to entertain us.