immature eagle above the lakeshore
Saturday, September 17 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
After getting up early and making myself a french press of coffee, I took the handtruck down the driveway and managed to find a couple large granite rocks, one of which was flat enough to use as a flagstone in the stone patio project and the other of which was more chonky and might work as a solid stone step in the stairs leading down from the backyard to the beginning of the trail down to the lake.
Meanwhile Gretchen had been exhausted by a dream last night that had her tasked with trying to figure out how to make it so that long haul truckers get sufficient exercise during their workday (this was all coming out of an eye-opening article Gretchen had seen in the Washington Post which claimed that if one doesn't take several exercise breaks during a work day, it's as if no exercise happened at all (that is, it's not enough to just schedule in a separate period for exercise to be done during). When she finally got out of bed it was past 9:30am and Gretchen had pulled something in her right shoulder that no amount of massage was able to fix.
We played Spelling Bee until achieving the status of Queen Bee at around 10:00am. After that, I went outside and continued expanding the stone patio I've been working on for the past several weeks. I'd thought it was big enough at the end of last weekend, but now I had a bunch of nice rocks to add to it. I worked on that for several hours and then made some modifications to the new walkway that branches off the entrance walkway near the parking area and runs just north of the wall to the top of the steps leading down to the lake path. There had been a crude "stepping stone" walkway here in the past, but my goal was to make it smoother and denser. I also I used one of the nice big pieces of bluestone I'd gathered on Thursday to make the entrance walkway wider and flow more gracefully into the beginning of the "lake path."
This summer we'd had great success with a box of wildflower seeds this year, with plenty of flowers (mostly marigolds and poppies) springing up in a dense patch in the southeast corner of our "yard" near the well head and the new stone patio. Unexpectedly, the flowers just keep flowering, making that patch of land a constant delight. Due to that successful experiment, today Gretchen spent some time broadcastin wildlflower seeds on patches of barren earth all over the immediate grounds of the cabin. She'd bought something like six or ten boxes from the Hudson Valley Seed company, with some boxes supposedly producing flowers that birds like and others producing flowers suitable for shady areas. Between all the seeds she spread and all the natural seeds from the many annual weeds that have now gone to seed, the "yard" should be a full scale ANTIFA riot of plants and flowers next summer.
Later, I made numerous improvements to the stone steps leading down from the yard north of the cabin to where the lake path enters the forest before, a thousand or more feet later, it arrives at the dock. The existing steps had been so wobbly unloved that I'd mostly avoided using on them for fear of crushing the salamanders likely sheltering beneath them. But today I not only improved existing steps (making them level and shimming them so they wouldn't wobble), but I also added new steps so that they wouldn't be spaced too far apart. As I did so, I was careful to relocate any salamanders I found to one of the nearby gullies. Earlier today I'd walked all the way to the lake just looking for rocks suitable to shim stone steps, which appear here and there along the path but sub-boulder rocks can only be found in the natural wooded environment in the beds of creeks (temporary or otherwise).
This evening I walked barefoot down to the lake a second time today. On this occasion I brought a beer and my camera, and I happened to arrive at lake just as a large raptor was landing in a nearby hemlock overhanging the shoreline. The bird was generally hawklike in shape but was too big and had too massive of a bill to be any conventional hawk. Then I noticed the bird was patchy, reminding me of the raptors I'd seen along the Willamette, birds I'd later identified as juvenile bald eagles. I snapped a bunch of photos before the eagle noticed me and flew off. Meanwhile, Throckmorton had been making various loon calls from near the other side of the lake.
Back at the cabin, Gretchen had cooked up a bunch of kale and then gone through the refrigerator trying to use things up before they went bad. (Unfortunately, the amount of food that does this has increased substantially since we started living in two separate houses.) Among the food in danger of going bad was some vegan bacon, so Gretchen made me a couple BLTs.
Before going to bed, I ate half of a large bud of cannabis and drank only a modest amount of scotch. This would ensure I would have an entertaining night but not wake up tomorrow with any sort of hangover.
Dogs on the couch in the cabin great room this morning.
Gretchen with the dogs this morning. Ramona usually gets out-snuggled by Neville, but here she's getting some precious snuggle time.
Click to enlarge.
The front door bluestone pathway with the stub of the "lake path" branching off of it near its western end.
Steps leading down to the beginning of the wooded part of the lake path from the yard north of the cabin.
A different viewing angle of those steps.
The north side of the cabin viewed from some distance down the lake path.
Click to enlarge.
An immature bald eagle trying to balance on the wispy top of a hemlock about 200 feet south of the dock.
Pyotr's boathouse viewed from our dock. I've never been at the lake late enough to see it with a light on.
Click to enlarge.
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