Dave Waite Nature Photography

This blog has been created to provide photographers, artists and those who enjoy the creative process with the opportunity to express ideas about photography. Along the way I hope to share some of my thoughts, as well as some of my techinques in creating nature and fine art photographs. If you are interested in purchasing matted copies of any of these photographs please go to "view my complete profile" below and send me an e-mail. Dave

Location: New York, United States

I am a amateur nature and fine arts photographer who was trained in black and white photography in the early 1970's, worked professionally a bit and then set aside all artistic pursuits until about 2003. I enjoy the creative aspects of photography and look forward to sharing with others of similar interests.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Siamese Ponds Wilderness Hike

Date - July 15, 2006
Destination - Siamese Pond and surrounding area
Purpose - Exploration and Photography

It was predicted to be another hot and humid summer day when I made my preparations for this hike. Siamese Ponds Wilderness straddles Hamilton & Warren Counties, with the trailhead for the ponds about 15 miles North of the village of Wells on Rte 8.

The trail begins with a steady rise of about 200 feet and then a drop of another 400 feet as you descend into the valley that the East Branch of the Sacandaga River flows through. My first excitement of the day came as I started to descend into the valley. As I passed though a clearing I encountered a black bear foraging along the south side of the trail. I am not sure who was more startled, and even though the closest we were to each other was 200 feet or more, the bear spared no time tearing off through the woods away from me. I waited for a bit and made a lot of noise just in case it was young enough to have a mother bear nearby, but I saw or heard nothing else then, or saw any more bears for the rest of the day.

After the first small ascent, the trail is basically level for the next 4 miles or so, starting again for a small ascent in the trail as you near the Siamese Ponds. There is a lot of beaver activity at numerous spots along the trail, and at times challenging to get around without going through water above the top of my boots. Close to 4 miles in on the 6.3 mile trail to the ponds there is a leanto, at a nice location where a suspension bridge crosses the East Branch of the Sacandaga. It was at the edge of the suspension bridge that I shot the two mushroom photos. I believe that the one above is a Yellow-orange Fly Agaric, once used to make fly poison. It is known to produce states of delirium and raving if ingested.

The blowdowns from recent storms was more noticeable as I got closer to the lake, one in particular had fallen partly across a small stream with the debris causing the water to be higher than normal in that area.

It took about 2 1/2 hours to get to the lower Siamese Pond. There is a supposed to be a "fishermans" trail that goes around the this body of water, but I was not able to find the trailhead this time and I did not want to spend a lot of time searching as I had other plans for the rest of the hike. I did ford the outlet of the pond (getting my boots full of water in the process) and took some photos as I traveled a bit around the West shore.

I was delighted to see two loons very close to the shore and I was able to get a couple of photos. (just before I got to the lower pond I found a loon feather along the trail, a wonderful momento of the day that is now on display in my apartment)

By 10:30 I was ready to head back down the trail, but this time instead of going directly back to the trailhead, I planned on turning North at the leanto, following a short trail that linked the pond trail to a trail that follows the East Branch towards a place called the Old Farm Clearing. Just before I got to the leanto and trail going North I met up with two other hikers, and I found that one of them was someone I had worked with years ago. A small world, even out it the middle of the wilderness!

The clouds that had been hanging over me all morning brought with them some rain, but it was hardly noticeable as the trail was more often than not passing though deep forest. I traveled this trail for about 2 1/2 miles. I turned back after an hour when I got to the bridge that crosses Second Pond Brook where it enters the East Branch of the Sacandaga River.

The rest of the hike was uneventful, I did find a loon feather along the trail as I was coming up to Siamese Ponds, so I have a very meaningful souvenir of the day. I was back at the trailhead at 3 pm, having traveled 17 miles in about 7 hours. It was a very rewarding day, having explored a bit in a part of the Adirondacks I had never visited before.



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