Friday, October 31, 2014

Have A Wicked Halloween

Happy All Hallows Eve to you!

Oh, how I've missed creating spooky & scary scenes!  I have a card to share with you this Halloween.  On a piece of glossy paper cut from a Spellbinders Labels Seventeen #6 die, I stamped the graveyard image and phrase in StazOn Black.  Next, I punched a 1 1/4" circle from a Post-it note as a mask for the moon.  The background was sponged in Adirondack Cool Peri, Purple Twilight and Eggplant.  Some Sugar Plum and Angel Wings Shimmerz Paint were randomly applied to give the scene a little texture.  Once the paper was dry I sprayed it with a spray fixative.  The image was adhered to a piece of Basic Black with distressed edges and mounted to a fog card.

The inside sentiment and bats were stamped in StazOn Black on a piece of Lovely Lilac paper.

A very simple Halloween card with some "spookiness".  Are you ready for some tricks or treats tonight?  I'm looking forward to seeing the kids in their costumes.

Happy Haunting!

Stamps:  Serendipity Stamps Graveyard, SU Halloween Backgrounds, PSX Happy Haunting
Paper:  Fog, Basic Black, Lovely Lilac, Kromekote White
Ink:  Images - StazOn Black; Sponging - Adirondack Cool Peri, Purple Twilight and Eggplant
Accessories:  1 1/4" Circle Punch, Post-it note, Sugar Plum & Angel Wings Shimmerz Paint, Spellbinders Labels Seventeen #6 Die, Edge Distresser
Technique:  Sponging
Card Size:  A2 (4.25" x 5.5")  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Barberville Falls

Beautiful weather a few weeks ago brought me to the Barberville Falls Nature Preserve in Poestenkill.  The preserve is a 117 area owned by the Nature Conservancy and consists of several trails.  The outstanding feature is the falls, which are about 3 miles from my home.  A spectacular sight right in my own backyard  :-)

To get to the falls there is a pull off on Route 351 (Plank Road) across from the Brookside Cemetery.  Walking south on Plank Road for about 0.3 mile you will take your first road (Blue Factory Road) on the left and just over the bridge you will find the trailhead.  The west-facing bank of the falls is heavily posted so please do not cross over, but the east banks are part of the Barbersville Falls Nature Preserve.

On the path to the falls.

A glimpse of the falls through some hemlocks.

The trail to the base of the falls descends steeply.

Barbersville Falls is approx. 92 feet high and 50-60 feet wide.  As you can see, there wasn't a lot of water flowing at this time.  The flow is most dramatic in the spring when the snow pack is melting.

Below the falls, the stream flows through a gorge as deep as 100 feet.  The main rock at the falls is Rensselaer greywacke; above the falls are beds of Nassau slate and limestone.

Gold reflections ...

It was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky.

I sat and listened to the falls and gazed at the beautiful foliage.

At one time young lovers made a promise to each other and inscribed their names into the stone. 

Autumn beauty ...

Currently, the preserve is closed to the public from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but I will plan a trip back in the early spring to do some more hiking.

The foliage this year was just stunning.  With all the rain and wind this past week the leaves are now down.  Yesterday was spent doing garden clean up and raking.

I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Climbing Mt. Cascade & Porter

Hi blogging friends,

On Friday, October 3rd Michael and I took the day off from work to climb two of the high peaks in the Adirondacks.  We left the house early and reached Keene, which is near Lake Placid, around 8:30 a.m.  We were the sixth vehicle to park alongside NY 73; it was mostly sunny and 46 degrees.

The main trailhead is at Cascade Pass, overlooking Cascade Lake.  It was a slow start for me as I wasn't feeling very well.  I even thought about not doing the climb, but we had taken the time off and were here so there was no turning back ... LOL!

From the trailhead, we descended a log-framed staircase to the register and off we went.

The route begins climbing a rocky and root strewn path.  About a mile in, the trail swings northeast and continues ascending rock slabs through a gradually thinning forest.  We hiked through a mix of birch, beech and striped maples.  Heading up, we spoke to many other hikers.  Everyone was so friendly, and of course, we had to stop and let them pass.  Then there's the photo op stops.  Good thing we weren't in a hurry.

After climbing steadily for 1.8 miles, the trail breaks out into its first overlook.  I was so excited to see Algonquin, Colden and Marcy appearing in front of me.  We took some photos, caught our breath, and got ready for the push to the summit.

Soon we reached the junction for Cascade and Porter.  After pausing for a minute or two, we decided to head up to Cascade first.  Gee, it was only 0.3 miles away!

Just past this junction, the trail levels into a grassy clearing, then the bald, rocky summit dome of Cascade Mountain appears.  The final part of the climb was on very exposed, bare rock as we scrambled to the top,  The summit is the result of a 1903 forest fire. I could feel my heart racing!

Yes, we had to climb this!

As we emerged into the brisk winds the sky was blue, the sun was shining and the 360 degree views were incredible.  A survey bolt marks the highest point of the mountain.

Looking south you could enjoy views of the Great Range, look north to Whiteface, and east to Hurricane Mountain, Lake Champlain and Vermont's Green Mountains.

If you looked down you saw the speckled grey rock at your feet.

Looking toward the Great Range over Big Slide, the ridge coming in from the left is our next destination, Porter.

We relaxed at the summit for about an hour, having some snacks and "victory chocolate" (for those of you unaware of the concept, a good climb - no matter the length - deserves a delicious reward at the top).  Another couple was nice enough to take our picture.

A panorama view ...

It was time to head back to the junction and climb Porter.

This trail was much wetter and occasionally muddy compared to Cascade.

After descending into the col between the two peaks we started to regain elevation.  About halfway along, we came to a huge boulder seemingly blocking the ascent.

Going down and around, we spotted a lookout which provided a great view of Porter.

I wasn't sure what to expect once we reached the top, as a hiker had said the views weren't nearly as nice as Cascade.  I was thinking to myself, was the side trip to Porter, adding 1.4 miles to the trip, going to be worth it?  Well, I can say it definitely did NOT disappoint!  While it lacks the pseudo-alpine open summit of Cascade, the views were still gorgeous.  You could see the Johns Brook Valley to the east.

It was nice to look at Cascade Mountain, knowing we had already climbed it.

At the top of Porter Mountain.

Colden & MacIntyre Range featuring Algonquin.

Looking at the Great Range with Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong, Gothics, Saddleback and Basin.

A view of Giant Mountain (could this be my next climb?)

We befriended another couple who brought their dog Dixie with them.  She was kind enough to let us take her picture.

By now it was going on 3:00 p.m. and we had to head back.  As soon as we started down the Cascade trail I realized I was out of water.  I have a CamelBak now with a hydration pack, but didn't realize I was drinking so much on the way up.  I felt bad for Michael as I couldn't keep up and he had to keep stopping.  My legs were getting tired and I had blisters on both my feet.  Once I heard the cars on the highway I knew we were very close to the end.  It was a long day, but well worth it in every way.  I can say I have climbed two of the 46ers.  Now, I just have 44 to go!

Thanks for coming along with us.  I'm glad you're not scared of heights.  Happy hiking!

Cascade:  4,098 feet, elevation gain:  1,940 feet

Porter: 4,059 feet, elevation gain:  600+ feet

Round Trip:  6.1 miles    

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