I fished the Wynantskill in West Sand Lake before work and again after work. The day was overcast and a bit rainy. It was a chilly morning. Small trout, maybe 6-7 inches were actively biting in the morning. I lost 7 fish that threw the hook before I could get them to shore. Catching 1 out of 8 is a poor success rate. 1 in 2 (or better) is more typical. I haven't been fishing for trout in a while and I underestimated the little guys. I managed to land one in the morning, and one in the evening.
In the evening the trout were extremely skittish. The only place I was able to get them to bite was under a very low bridge. As long as I could cast the lure in the 8 inches or so between the water and the bridge, a fish would usually chase the bait. At sunset some amazing colors reflected off the creek.
I cooked up one of the small trout, and it was a tasty treat. I forgot how much of a pleasure it is to cook a trout, because there is really no work in cleaning it. Mmmm. The cheeks were the best part.
Today was a great way to get a feel for the effect of barometric pressure on the fish. In the morning, the pressure was reasonably flat, and the trout were actively feeding. In the evening, the pressure was on the rise and the trout were very noticeably hesitant to come out of their deep hiding places.
A fishing dock was built just for the purpose of fishing below the dam. There are also handicapped accessible fishing docks above the falls.
The Waterford flight of docks looks interesting with so many locks in a short distance. The sign claims that it's the largest vertical lift in the shortest distance on any canal in the world. It could be fun to try kayaking through them.
And Cohoes has a shopping district! Who knew? I love Cohoes!
Here is a picture of the falls two days earlier. The water level has come down quite a bit in just two days.
I tried kayaking the Dwaas kill starting at the intersection of Plank and Kinns Road. I hopped in, and after about 100 feet of climbing over logs and crashing through branches, I gave up and pulled the kayak through thick cover back to a trail and got the heck out of there.
OMG I'm outta here.
* Dwaas Kill Managment Plan - A huge document for a small creek
Woody Woodpecker paid a visit to our front yard today.
I should have been nice and let him be, but instead I chased him out of the yard with a camera.
I have seen them in the neighborhood before. I believe they are Pileated Woodpeckers. They probe from tree to tree quietly tapping each one a few times looking for ants and beetles. After a long and slow search they find something they like and hatchet away at it very loudly. The beak will get 40 chops in the span of a few seconds. Around here you can regularly hear the sound like the firing of a wooden machine gun far off in the distance. It is no wonder that these birds are the mascot for the Clifton Park Open Space program. You'll see signs like the below picture posted all around Clifton Park identifying special wooded areas. There is one a few doors down from my house, identifying a nice little trail that makes a great addition to a local walk or jog.
* Wikipedia's Pileated Woodpecker page
* Clifton Park Open Space Program
-- More reading about plans for the Open Space program
* John K Stuff/Woody - The creater of Ren & Stimpy deconstructs Woody Woodpecker animations
Glossary of Terms
* Pileated - having a crest covering the pileum
* Crest - a showy tuft or process on the head of an animal and especially a bird
* Pileum - the top of the head of a bird from the bill to the nape
* Nape - the back of the neck
* Birder - a person who birds
Please tell me I'm not birding right now.
The Green Island Bridge in Troy, NY was closed today. I took a short detour and stopped to take a look at the Hudson River near Brown's Brewing Company and Dinosaur Barbecue. The river has spread out far enough to flood the area.
24 Hours Later
24 hours later the water level on the Hudson River has subsided by 10 feet or more, so everything looks almost back to normal in Troy from what I could see. People are working hard to clean up Dinosaur BBQ and Brown's.
I took these pictures the day after Hurricane Irene payed us a visit. I was checking out the water levels for various streams in the area. You can click on the pictures to view a high-resolution version of each image.
Ordinarily the Anthony Kill stays safely nestled in its small creek bed, but now that it has nearly outgrown the Coons Crossing Bridge that stands over it, nothing can stop it from going wherever it pleases.
The following picture shows the bank on Ballston Creek near the outlet into Round Lake from which I have started a previous kayaking trip back when the water was not so high. Ballston Creek has swelled quite a bit.
The next picture shows the water level at Eastline Road.
For most of the year, the Mourning Kill trickles quietly along its rocky creekbed. Even after a heavy rainfall it rarely reaches the levels that it did today.
The Kayaderosseras Creek near Milton was higher than I have ever seen it. Creekside trees were holding fast to the ground as the water swept through. The water poured over the edges, forcing its way along the trackless wayside.
Sometimes the water gets so deep that it completely submerges large features like waterfalls. The waterfall above Saratoga Road in East Glenville actually looks smaller than usual because of the heavy flow filling up the bottom portion of the falls on the Alplaus Kill.
A hurricane swept through the northeast today. I took a quick ride around Clifton Park in search of trouble. In the end it was relieving to see that there was not much damage in my neck of the woods. I visited a few spots where tiny creeks flow through the neighborhood. Here is what is ordinarily a small trickle through the intersection of Kinns road and Plank road:
I stopped by a spot where I had previously tried kayaking, where the water level was very low even after a long period of rain. The water level was much higher and faster today. Because the water level is high, and there is a lot of additional debris in the water, the water still did not look very kayak-friendly.
I saw the road-kill version of the biggest frog I have ever seen. Be warned! It is a picture of a dead frog, although mostly it's just an upside-down frog so it's not too bad. Click here if you want to see it. Poor guy.
A portion of plank road was flooded. This was the only place where I saw the road buried under a significant amount of water. It was maybe 6 inches at it's deepest. The lawns nearby were riverbeds.
Along the way I saw a plot of land for sale. The land was completely submerged in water. If you are looking to buy land, do not buy it here unless you want to build a house on stilts!
The hurricane arrives tomorrow!
I just hope my tomatoes can find it within themselves to make it through this very serious event.
For a very long time, my haphazardly-planted tomato plants looked very pathetic. Then, suddenly tomatoes appeared! And they got really big! They stayed green for the longest time. I started to think that they were never going to ripen. In the last few days, they started showing some redness. Now they are my precious tomatoes. And now Irene threatens to destroy them.
And my petunias as well.
And the mums!
And whatever these things are! So small. So fragile.
And Cobra Command's Stinger!
I just hope the damages to my garden are kept to a minimum.