Winter Wonderland

A sign of things to come

Ahh the winter wonderland has descended furthur down to the 3500ft range. This was taken this morning november 1st from on top of Wakely Mountain. It's located near Indian Lake, up the Cedar River and west of Snowy Mountain. The summit elevation is 3744ft. Even along the Cedar River there were patches of snow. Interestingly, I didn't see any Dark Eyed Juncos up there this time. There the snowbirds and should be moving down some. I know they moved into my backyard recently.

The weather here is obviously winter. It was cold and there was a nice blanket of snow. Even in the Catskills on Balsam Lake Mountain I found Snow. If you climb Wakely now, bring crampons. There are so many rock slabs that are glazed over in ice. I had to crawl up a few on my hands and knees, because I had no traction. Unfortunatley, this time of year has the most cloud cover. Lake Ontario enhanced by the rest of the Great Lakes is producing a lot of clouds for us. I can't see beyond the mountain. I was hoping to use my new telephoto lens on Bald Mountain and the other fire tower Mountains.

As I have seen from Bald, Snowy, and Pillsbury this mountain appears like a giant wall with a tower on it's elongated top. It's part of a second string of mountains west of Snowy, Lewey, and Pillsbury Mountains. They are seperated by the Cedar River. Wakely is between Blue Ridge and Little Moose Mountain on that western string. One other thing I should mention is on the west side of Snowy I noticed another ridge attached to it. That would be Buck, Buell and Panther Mountain. Remeber that many mountain names are reused over and over again. This is not the same Panther by Piseco or the same Buck by Lake George. All these mountains above or near 3500 ft. form a huge block of mountains that is very pronounced in Hamilton County west of Indian Lake.

When I got to the top, on the right, I was surprised to see a construction site or demolition site. I wasn't sure what it was. I saw a log foundation along with wheel barrels and other material laying around. It looked like the former Helipad site. A hundred feet further was the fire tower and the Observer's Cabin. This tower is 70 feet from base to the cab. It even has the former ladder. On one of the landings a board was loose and could give way. This is a very high fire tower, but there is an even higher fire tower perched at the edge of the ADK.

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