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.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Nine Corner Lake, July 3rd 2007


(I posted the rough draft and will be editing it and posting photos in the near future)

Camping at Nine Corner Lake, July 3rd, 2007

Backpacking and wilderness camping are one of my favorite activities, there is nothing more rejuvenating or relaxing for me than the peace and serenity of the forest. I hope that you can find the time to get out and enjoy it as well.

This trip was only for one overnight, but it was one of the best times that I have had out in the wilderness.
I left Schenectady about 5:30 pm on Monday, and I was on the trail by about 7 pm. There had been predictions of possible showers in the Southern Adirondacks, and I even saw some rain coming down in the distance as I headed West through Amsterdam, but it was long gone by the time I got to the trailhead.
I hiked in one mile to Nine Corner Lake, a place that I have camped at a number of times before. It is a beautiful trail going in, along a small stream that you have to cross on a simple bridge that is next to an area with a waterfall. It was not a bad hike in because it has been dry, but when it has rained it can be a bit muddy. There are about 10 good campsites around the lake, but the one that I like the best is at a point of land, so you are surrounded on three sides by water. As there were 5 cars at the trailhead I did not expect to get that spot, but I did as two people were hiking out when I was going in, another was just there until dark, as I talked to them a bit when I got to the lake and the others were all together and at a site just below the point. Well, they were far enough away that I could not hear them at all. I was thrilled and was even able to set my tent up right along the edge of the water. I had lots of time to get the tent set up and everything out before it got dark, and I really enjoyed just relaxing and looking out over the lake. It was very quiet, just a bit of a breeze, which dropped away by dark. As you can see from the photo, the sky was clear as the sun went down.

I tried calling owls, but I got no response and as it was so quiet, I hated to break that silence with my owl call, as I knew that it would carry all over the lake and could make the other campers wonder what was wrong with that owl! Anyway, by the middle of the night I had lots of owls calling each other from all around me, so close if I knew where they were I probably could have seen them. I had not put on the rain fly over my tent as I knew that it would not rain, so I had a view all around me as I was in the tent. I could have kept the bug netting rolled back as well as that night and the next morning I only saw one bug! Amazing. I had carried my fall mummy bag with me, just it case it got cooler than expected, and it actually was a bit too warm for the conditions. I also used a self inflating sleeping pad for the first time, and it was very comfortable and well worth the bit of extra space it took up in my pack. Sometime during the night the loons started calling to each other somewhere on the lake, it is a very strange call, some people mistaking it for a woman screaming or crying. It echoes across the lake and then another one will answer. The moon came up and started to shine soon after dusk, illuminating the lake through much of the night, and while I probably slept most of the night, I wanted to stay awake and absorb as much of all of the sights and sounds around me.

I found out the next morning that there were 5 loons (at least I saw that many) on the lake, more than I have ever seen at one time. It was great to see them swimming along and then diving for long periods of time, surfacing well away from where they went down. On Tues morning I was packed up and heading out by about 8 am, getting back to my car about 8:30. Of course, before I left the campsite at the shore I made some coffee and just sat, watching the loons, taking some photos and just simply enjoying the moment.

Next, I headed North as I wanted to find another remote lake, called Sand Lake. It has that name as long ago people from that area used to go there to get sand along the shore as it was the type that they used to blot the ink after writing with their quill ink pens. I traveled up Rte 10 and turned Southward onto the seasonal Powley-Piseco Road. As you cannot see Sand Lake from the road and there is no established trail to it (though it is less than ½ mile in) I drove until I thought that I was in the right area and did find a marked trail, but one that did not say where it led. I hiked in on this trail for a few minutes, but it clearly was not leading towards the lake, so I continued to drive, but never figured out where I could get to the lake. I have some rough directions in a hiking book, but I had not thought to bring it, I will next time for sure.

My next stop was to hike into Clockmill Pond, another of my favorite wilderness destinations. I wanted to find the remains of a mill that is said to be along the shore, and also look for possible campsites. The pond (actually a very good sized lake) is about 1 ½ miles from the trailhead, and part of the trail is not marked, but something those who go there have beaten down over the years. Due to it not being maintained, there are lots of blown down trees and a bit of climbing over and around to get through. At times the trail itself is not visible, but as it is going downhill in a small valley there is little chance of getting lost, not to mention that soon the pond is in sight. I went around the West side of the pond, a direction I had never taken before. It looked like few others had gone that way as there was no trail, just pushing through brush and trees along the side of the water. I soon found the old dam and took a photo of a large metal gear from the mill, over 150 years old, which is all that remains except the rocks from the dam. I have researched the history of this pond in the past and no one seems to know why it is called “Clockmill” or what the mill was used for. Maybe someday I will find some records that will reveal this secret from the past.

Anyway, I crossed the remains of the dam, which also looks like beavers had enlarged it over the years, and continued a ways around the lake. It was difficult at times, yet in some places I found evidence of rough trails, and even some marks on trees that showed that people were though there at times. I did find a couple of good potential campsites, one which had been used before as there was a fire pit. I spent my lunchtime stopping along the shore to take some photos and enjoy the quiet. It would take hours of bushwhacking to get all around the lake, and when I have a full day to devote to exploring I will be going back, as there are some very inviting rock outcroppings on the far side of the lake that look like very pleasant wilderness camping sites. While sitting on the shore I saw another loon, my sixth for the day. In the photo you can also see a large beaver lodge in the background on the right side of the shot.

On the way back I went around the other side of the lake for short distance, a direction that I had gone a number of times before. In the marshy area along the lake I encountered a number of Larger Blue Flag, also known as Wild Iris.
Hiking out I had a strange encounter with two hikers going in to the pond. I saw them up ahead of me with their backs to me leaning down to look at something. It was a man a bit older than me and a woman. They were dressed a bit too nice for hiking, and the man was carrying a very large knife like thing (a machete I think it would be called) and also had a handgun strapped to his waist! Yikes. I called Hello to them before I got close as they did not see me with their backs turned, and when I got closer I said hi again and said something like. “how are you doing today?” the man said “I am safe”……… very odd……. I did not hang around to ask what that meant…..
Anyway, the rest of the day was uneventful, I continued to drive along the East Canada Creek, stopping at a couple of places along the way to enjoy the views, ending up near Stratford on 29A and then heading back towards Johnstown and home.


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