One Very Cold January Day

Sunset Over the Adirondack Mountains
Sunset Over the Adirondack Mountains

January 20 was a cold windy day in an upstate winter. I was on my way for a visit and photo shoot in Burlington Vermont. It was a day long journey that included travel by train, taxi, ferry, automobile.  The Vietnamese Roman Catholic community in Burlington would soon celebrated Tet, the lunar New Year with a Mass and a party. I was, on my way to visit with friends in that community and to photograph both Mass and Tet Party for them.

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The journey starts with a long train trip from City Rochester to much smaller Plattsburgh – both in upstate New York, US. A train switch in Schenectady sees me on the Amtrak “Adirondack”. Older cars on older tracks made for a slow and rocky ride. That said, we arrive at historic Plattsburgh Station spot on. A taxi is located – this took some doing, with the ride shared with a State University of New York student returning to campus (however, no reduction in fee). The Ferry Depot sat a couple of miles outside of town.

Once on the Ferry it is but a short ride across the still open waters from the shore to Grande Island – the Vermont terminus. A relatively short but necessary walk uphill in bitter cold and stiff breeze seems very long indeed. Thankfully my friend/ host provided a car and driver to meet me – his car and he drove.

The car ride went from Grande Island to Burlington. The trip: an immediate drive over a causeway to the mainland and then a drop down to my friend’s place in Essex Junction and my destination for the day.

The hot air blasts from the car’s heater and I thaw as we traveled the Causeway.

Then it happened.

I glanced back and before my eyes, far left to far right,  stretched the most lovely sunset. The sun, as commanded by earth’s movement, dips below the Adirondack Mountains and shadows them. A rainbow of fiery colors beams across sky and reflects off the frozen waters of Lake Champlain. I’m speechless as the beauty engulfed me.

Well almost speechless. “Stop,” I manage to yell.

My friend does stop but in an proper way. I snapped off several as I shudder in the biting and very cold winds crossing the frozen Lake.

Back in the car I smile and bask in the glow of this perfect ending to a long strenuous day of travel.

Perhaps there is even a moral to this story. Be aware of where you are both ahead and behind. Sometimes, it pays dividends.
Adventure George
an old man reporting on another adventure

 ++ Across The Lake – a short series of images of sunset over the Adirondack Mountains – shot across frozen Lake Champlain. Whiteface Mountain at 4867 feet, an Adirondack High Peak, is highest seen in this picture. This is a series that almost didn’t happen. You can see a few images CLICK HERE ++

Scars of the Past

Remains of 1897 Shipwreck still visible low tide – Higgins Beach, Maine

Remains of the 1897 Shipwreck of the coastal schooner the Howard V. Middleton, are still visible a hundred and fifteen years after. August 11, 1897, in dense fog and at full speed, the Middleton ran aground in the Atlantic Ocean on a ledge off  Higgins Beach, Scarborough, Maine.

The collision forced a fatal breach in the hull.

Its cargo of coal salvaged as were other ship board items along with personal the effects of the crew. But the ship itself was past saving. A September storm forced the wreck further onto the beach. It is still visible today along Higgins Beach at low tide.

The scars of the past stay long after the causal event.
see more pictures of Higgins Beach at my Flickr site – click here

New Orleans: Hurricane Isaac in the light of Hurricane Katrina.
As I write this, Hurricane Isaac has come ashore at New Orleans one of my very favorite Cities.

Folks in New Orleans, like many of us, bear scars of the past.

For New Orleans and much of the rest of the Country, the arrival of Hurricane Isaac is lived in the light of Katrina. Ironically Isaac made land fall seven years to the arrival of Katrina.
The scars of Katrina are many and run deep.

Our scars are many and run deep.

Like the folks in New Orleans, the scars of the past affect how we see ourselves and the world. Decisions are made in the light of memories and consequences of past situations.

Sometimes these are positive and helpful in the big picture. And sometimes not. Regardless, they are there.

For some of us, the trauma that produced our scars are due to the caprice of nature or happenings beyond our personal control.
• an accident
• illness
• birth condition
• behaviors of others
• result of work related/ life style related stress

For some of us, the trauma is directly related to our own past decisions and behaviors.

The question is not do we have scars?
It doesn’t take much living to develop wounds and experience traumas.

The question is how do we live with them?
The problem is not how to get rid of these marks of wear.
The challenge is what does it take to go forward in life with them.

In my older years, I’ve discovered that there is no magic way – no one answer.
I’ve learned through experience, however, we do it one day at a time in the light of the grace of our God and our friends.

Personally, I’ve adapted the three A’s of one of the recovery groups, as a working model for doing it one day at a time.

Aware – I realize that there are remains of the past happenings that at some of life’s low times shows themselves. Some times this is a quick realization – a sudden jolt. Some times it is dawns slowly.

Accept – this is the way it is. I’ve done what I can to “make amends.” I am responsible. In many ways, it is over and done. But in the course of life, we may be reminded of it. The “record” if you will is still there, perhaps officially and perhaps only in your memory. Perhaps we look at ourselves and are reminded regularly.

The truth is we can’t get rid of them not matter how much we want them gone. Acceptance then is the answer.

Adapt – scars are one of those givens in life. The key for me is to move beyond awareness and acceptance and adapt.

Wow – this gets long. I’ll save my thoughts on “adapting life’s givens” for another post.
I’ll end here.

“Preacher Fish” Discovered

Dispatch – Scarborough Maine
“Preacher Fish” Discovered Along the Atlantic Seaboard

Adventure George of Rochester New York on his recent expedition to the Maine coast discovered “this most unusual and distinctive fish.” Found near the Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-op dock (Scarborough, Maine), George dubbed it the Preacher Fish. This was due to the large open mouth and large observant eyes. A.G. said, “Any of you who know preachers will recognize the resemblance. They are ready to talk and always looking for that next volunteer.”

When sought for information, the Maine Fisheries Department said, “It sounds like a fish tale to me.” When asked for his response, George said, “It sure looks like a head to me. Government often gets things backwards and all turned around.”

Before it could be sent for further study, the fish head was carried off by a large black-backed sea-gull.

End Dispatch

Hike to the Past – Mason Lake

3 of our several Hikes in Jessup River Wild Forest – The Adirondack Forest Preserve – MARKED

set of images on my Flickr account are available
click here to view them

Sunday afternoon brother-in-law Rich led me into the Jessup River Wild Forest around Mason Lake.  Rich was a man on a mission. He sought the campsite of a previous bushwhack. On the trail and when questioned, he was last there in 1985. Let me figure this out. That was twenty-seven years ago, right?

“I’ll remember it when I see it.”

“I think this is the trail.”
(Well it is a deer trail but do they travel to the campsite?)

“That tree looks familiar.”

It seemed like forever. But we did reach the site – verified by the debris covered remains of the fire-pit. And Rich’s vision verified by exact placement: “this is where we washed dishes;” tents erected “here, and there.” I did draw the line at locating the latrine pits.

It was fun for me to share in Rich’s excitement. I enjoyed his stories of previous trips to the Mason Lake area. And yes, I took pictures of the forest and “things” in the forest as we walked to and fro the campsite.

Plus, the walk helped me greatly in my quest to regain my core body strength.

Jessup River Wild Forest is a defined part of the New York State’s Adirondack Forest Preserve.

What follows is from the Internet – website place and text below:
http://www.cnyhiking.com/JessupRiverWildForest.htm

The Jessup River Wild Forest area consists of 47,350 acres of State Forest Preserve lands in the towns of Arietta, Indian Lake, Lake Pleasant, and Wells in Hamilton County. This Wild Forest is bounded by NY 28 to the north and NY 30 in the southeast, as well as three wilderness areas: West Canada Lakes Wilderness to the west; Siamese Ponds Wilderness to the east, and Silver Lake Wilderness to the south.

The state lands in Jessup River Wild Forest border, or are in close proximity to, the communities of Indian Lake, Piseco, Speculator and Wells. NY 30 bisects Jessup River Wild Forest and serves as the main access corridor.

Many people enjoy hiking to the fire towers on Pillsbury and Snowy Mountains, snowmobiling between Piseco Lake and Indian Lake, canoeing on Fall Stream, or camping on Mason Lake. Hunting, fishing, and trapping are also popular activities throughout Jessup River Wild Forest particularly in and around Perkins Clearing, the Jessup River and the Miami River.

Sunset Color

Glory of Sunset seen over Lake Pleasant

Day is Done – Gone the Sun
On some days the setting of the sun is a glorious experience both in color and form.

The Passing of Days – The End of Life
A life passed is often marked by the colors of the life lived.

The beauty stays with us in our memory.

These thoughts wandered through my mind as I sat in the still beauty of this sunset over Lake Pleasant in the ancient Adirondack Mountains of New York State. The beach along the shore at Camp of the Woods in Speculator is one of my very favorite places. And on some days, witnesses spectacular sunsets.

George of Rochester
now in the mountains

see other images from this sunset on my Flickr account
click here

First Day Spring – Highland Park

I could not help but get out. It was the first day of Spring, and one of a string of days with unseasonable warm temperatures combined with clear skies and bright sunshine. What else to do? I had to check out the early bulb plants at Rochester, New York’s, Highland Park. Not far from my flat, it is a place of great variety of flowers plants and trees. Nature starts her displays with the early growth bulb plants followed by the magnolias and other flowering bushes and trees.

I make it a rule to never go to the Park without camera in hand. This time I was again glad that I did.

Check out the some of the other images on my Flickr site. Click here to see them.

images by Photo George
images and text copyrighted
©2012 GCheatle
all rights reserved

Clouds Thicken and Darken

Taken from the series of images on Fairyland Point Blues. These images are from Bryce Canyon National Park, Fairyland Point Overlook. The time of day, the darkening skies in the distance but sun in the forefront added to the evanescent of the scene and softened the pinks and blues.

image By George
copyright ©2008 GCheatle

Mom & Babies

Check out Mom and her ducklings. They appear to me to be Blue-winged Teals. I was taking landscape images along the shore of Lake Pleasant in the Adirondack Mountains when I spotted a mother and her babies swimming along the shore.

Quickly changing lenses, I grabbed some unexpected and fun images. I shot these using my Sigma 150 – 500 MM telephoto zoom – hand held.

“Chance favors the prepared mind,” as the old saying goes.

Be ready for the unexpected but fun image appearing unexpectedly.

Cabela’s – Cathedral for the Outdoor Person

What a store! Yesterday my sister and her husband, Linda and Rich, drove to Cabela’s in Hamburg Pennsylvania. It is an impressive store outside. It is a remarkable store inside.

Nuts and bolts for most all outdoor sport – hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking are some. Clothing, footwear, equipment, supplies, gear, incidentals, how-to books, and so much more and shelved in each distinct department. Noticeable on entering the store are the many and large displays of mounted wildlife from North America and beyond.

A large display of a high rocky mountainside dominates the rear of the main floor. You get somewhat of an idea of this in the picture above. Other parts of the store host other displays.

It struck me that this store is almost Cathedral-like. Perhaps it is a Cathedral of the Great American Outdoor Sports of fishing, hunting and hiking.  It is peopled by folk who come to share and perhaps partake of its goods.

Below see me in front of Cabela’s, Monday June 7, 2010.