Sunday, April 22, 2007

My little dog loves to poke around these old foundations. And the local kids love to cover them with graffiti! Anyone who walks this area now must wonder that a person could have had enough time to build here. Currently this area floods at least every other year!

When men make plans, the gods giggle. These, I think, are either
fence posts or boundary markers. They delimit nothing now, except perhaps the imagination of someone who didn't think the river could ever come high enough to flood their home. If you come to the river this Spring, be sure to wear something that comes over your ankles. The water is high, the grassy areas are somewhat boggy, and tick season is on the way.

Art is a levee jogger. He is currently on his third career. He was city policeman, then a correction officer, and now retired, he works as a substitute teacher.

We first met this last year. It turns out we remember each other from Elmira College, over thirty years ago. We both took a Continuing Education class at night. He's kind enough to say he remembers me, and I do recall a young police officer in uniform in some of the classes!

Baby Dog
Gate #13.
Never saw
this one
open in 20
to know
there are
controls we
haven't even needed for a while.

Now, please don't tell me there is no place to walk your dog in the City of Elmira. This is just one spot on the north side only, and there are miles to work with. Remember to wear sturdy shoes, galoshes in the winter and wet season, and especially to have your dog regularly dosed for parasites and a protected from the fleas, ticks and mosquitoes you WILL find in this area. Goose poop and guano is everywhere.
Coming down to the River in the Spring has shown me a world of birds I wouldn't otherwise see. The Chemung is a minor waterway for migrants. In just the last two days I've seen a male Kingfisher, families of Hooded Mergansers, an American Coot and a Green Heron. That's on top of the Great Blue Herons, Turkey Vultures and the bold, beautiful blue tree swallows we see every time.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Crisp Spring Morning Finds Ellie on Foster Island

This is one of our favorite spots. We are standing on Foster Island, looking out over the flood plain. The Chemung River is to our left, just barely visible between the trunks in the upper left. We own the place this morning, and Ellie disappears out of sight until I use the whistle.

Ellie sniffing the Spring air. Foster Island in front of the Watergate. We are alone, at 9:00 AM, Saturday, April 14, 2007. There is a severe weather alert for the entire Northeastern US, but we have chosen to enjoy the cool, fresh morning, rather than shop for supplies. I suspect Husband RJ will do that while we are out.

The HuggaMuck!

The first kayak we've seen this year. I know he can't go much further downstream, because the water is low and the dams will stop him. He landed at the Access Site.

It didn't seem like such a difficult winter, but these chews are everywhere on Foster Island. New chews everywhere. The totally frozen river must have created a lot of hardship for the wildlife.

This is a wonderful tangle of a thicket! I love this stuff, because when the greenery comes in, the watergate in the background will be invisible. Also, when we approach we will flush out the ducks and herons and frogs. Every walk will be as if we were miles from the city. But the greenery is well into the future, and snow is on the way this weekend.