Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa Dog

Ellie love Santa, especially when played by MamaDog at PetSmart. This was taken during the SPCA special sittings, all money taken as donations.

Little Pond

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Frosty Eagle

Looking for a frozen fish dinner, perhaps? He flew away and returned, only to fly away again. We left, so he or she could catch some dinner.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tramping through the leaves

Storm clouds gathering Halloween Day, and we are enjoying near solitude at the boat ramp.
One last stab at fishing. So far, no catches, thank heavens. But, it's inevitable she will catch something at some point. Just like the hunting. I still feel guilty about the squirrel hunting.
And of course, here she is hunting.

We only tramp the river on weekends now. No time at all on weekdays.

But the River always makes it worth it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Very low chemung...

Low river means no fishing. We have to struggle over the stones, just to walk the banks now. Ellie enjoys short dips that enable her to move from one side of the river to the other. She drops out of sight in the tall grass, until I whistle her up again. Then it's back into the shallows to return to me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No fishing.

It's all low river. Every fisherman said there were no fish to be had. We even saw an eagle just swooping over the river. No luck. Even though I finally figured out that Ellie has been fishing when she swims out to "nothing,", there was no fishing Labor Day Weekend.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Late August

Each week I really miss this stuff.
Ellie is such a ham. On Sunday, she was constantly mugging.

And why not? The good weather put me in a wonderful mood, too.

Not like Saturday, when the gray day dampened even the spirits of the local wildlife.

Funny how I never see many kingfishers anymore. Are we the ones scaring them away?

All that swimming and wading. Ellie fished and hunted to her heart's content.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nothing much new

After a very rainy week, we were delighted to have a dry Saturday morning to walk the paths out in West Elmira. Ellie went her own way, coming only when I whistled for her. It's been a week without much exercise for both of us, leaving her eager and pushing the envelope, and me terribly lame and struggling. I felt bad for her and on the way home I stopped at the boat ramp for some pictures (under RiverHag--Ellie wasn't interested; she poked at the shoreline out of sight.)
Occasionally venturing into the water. Now, this is not swimming. If you see any pictures with her tail straight up, well, she's wading.
I won't encourage her swims near the boat ramps. The water is too deep for me to safely retrieve her if she floats away. And the Chemung River in the Elmira city area is treacherous, with currents and undercurrents that claim lives every year.

But she's so happy and active when she wades. At home she will nap the day away, drained of her usually nervous energy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

From lush spring to dry midsummer

The river is low, but this part is still dangerous for a little doggie.

That's Jones Island behind Ellie. This part is very shallow, and we can wade back and forth. The water doesn't even come into my hikers.

The only thing we don't especially like is the hard-scrabble area, where the newly high and dry rocks make for tough walking. Ellie instinctively heads towards the grassy parts.

That's summer and soon we can expect the river to drop even further.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Helloooo, Doggie!

Who's calling me? Do they really know me? Well, no, Sweetheart... The HuggaMutt doesn't like being paged by strangers. She came back to shore, to GrammaDog, for safety and assurance. Fierce on land, vulnerable in the water, and much happier close to me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's tough to visit the ducklings with Ellie.

Mama Duck takes her babies well out of harms way as soon as we exit the car.

We can see her profile, though. She's a proud Merganser Mama.
Her babies look so little compared to even the tiny waves on the waters.
I love the Chemung River in the Spring.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ellie and the River greet spring

This uprooted tree is one of many moved by the flooding river.
Ellie enjoys mucking around in the water front.
The flood plain is finally turning green!
The rushing river has scoured the woodlands clean. We look forward to visiting when it is just a touch warmer.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dogs don't mind the almost-spring chill.

Our river is gearing up for spring. The trees are beginning to show buds.
I don't understand the greenness of the water. Is it reflecting greenery we just don't see?
Must be. A most welcome color, green.
After all, ochre is the dominant neutral right now. This stump got a bit of a makeover this winter. One would almost guess a bear tore it open.
And Ellie finally took her first swim of the season. She didn't linger in the water long enough for me to frame a shot. In. Out, pretty damned quick. A good, satisfying shake.
And that was the official start of spring in Little Pond

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Warm winter mornings

We have the sort of midwinter days that allow us to stay out long enough for plenty of exercise, but everything looks wintry. Foster Island is still snow covered, but the Chemung is flowing. For Ellie it is a time to check out tracks and scent something in the air.
Funny dog! She like the doggies' tracks as much as if they were deer's. These two shot were from the mouth of Hoffman Creek, completely bereft of all animal wildlife.
The river isn't ice-clogged, but many of the "bergs" are still extant. Double click the picture and check out the river in the upper left.
Those yellow things signal intakes for our local drinking water, and I suspect the attached tree isn't doing any good. Something that size could conceivably cost a fortune to remove.
If it were not for Ellie's pink outfit, every picture would be brown and white...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Our Playground was covered in ice--again!

This is the Grove Street Fishing Access Site on the Chemung River, February 21, 2009.

This is a feeder creek, with the huge ice floes positively back up into it. No way are these from the feeder creek itself, I don't think.
These two gulls are visiting right on the river channel itself. I was very tempted to walk out on the river with Ellie, but, because there is so much flowing water, decided against it.
Just downriver from Elmira the water is completely free. The birds are congregating there, these days. We saw ducks, geese, crows, hawks, and even a harrier. Never saw one of those before, so it will be weeks and maybe months before I ever get a shot of those speed demons.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nothing shy of scary

No human or heavy equipment piled all this ice...
Some of it is dirty and in nasty, gritty slabs along the river front, while other chunks glow an ethereal blue. Double click and get a closeup.
Ellie is just tiny next to these stranded floes. She easily walks out on them, coming back to my whistle. I can hardly walk on land right now; Foster Island is slowly flooding over.
Right in downtown are some new pieces of driftwood, making lovely patterns and colors. Too bad this trunk is attacked to a huge, stripped log.
They all are, and are huge just in themselves. Wish I could drive the Tracker down there to haul a few out for the property.
The river is really dangerous right now. Very powerful and full of floes and driftwood.
Add the howling winds of late, and our whole visit was a little eerie.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February Thaw

Oky, so the groundhog saw his shadow and we are going to have a long winter. Big deal. Why, if Ellie could get her teeth into the little bugger, she'd see to it that there would be no more prognostication, fair weather or no.
Anyway, the HuggaMutt and I took advantage of the lovely temperatures and went to West Elmira to see if the Chemung was thawing. And it was. Strange to hear the river on the move once again. Especially unusual for winter was the sound of gurgling. The water is very high and pushing against the shore plants. Makes the river sound very much like a living, breathing entity. A rare view of the buildings at Roricks Glen. Too bad we can't have her back in her old glory. But not only did time move on, but so did the Chemung. The structure rising out of the water used to support the bridge that took merrymakers to the old park.

If you google Roricks Glen there are even some sites that offer diaries and other stories about the old place. I'm not native to Elmira, so I don't miss it.

I arrived just days after the Great Flood of 1972, and the damage was already done.

Let me tell you, I respect the power of the Chemung River.

Little Pond