Sunday, March 27, 2022

The 'Icks' of March

"April is the cruellest month" 

                T.S. Eliot

     Around here, March seems to be the new April. It can be a month that's tough to love. Mud replaces snow and for me mud is not as much fun to play in as snow. And there's not much green yet either. The lushness of spring is still weeks away. Without its white winter coat or its sprightly new growth, the world can look rather forlornly naked and, as with most of us, naked isn't necessarily pretty.

     In this age of Instagram there's pressure for photos to be beautiful, to show shiny happy people in shiny happy landscapes. But that's not real. At least not all of what's really out there. That's why I'm posting the following images. Washington County in all its dreary, bedraggled, late winter disarray. And I didn't even take some of the ugliest shots because I was afraid they would crack the lens of my camera! But don't let it get you down. Soon enough streams will be sparkling, birds singing, flowers blooming and all will be 'Instagram worthy', at least as long as no one takes a picture of me naked.

     *Washington County is currently experiencing a real estate boom so let's start with some fine properties for your consideration:

This Fort Miller estate comes tastefully landscaped with weeds and brush.
Lawn furniture included at no extra charge.

Another charming waterfront parcel.
With two campers you'll always feel like you're on vacation

OK, this one is something of a fixer upper but it does come with free tires

Ready to act on your 'back to the land' dreams?
Better move quickly because this barn won't last long.

     *Washington County is known for its scenic country roads. Here's a sampling of some of that scenery.

Bags of discarded garbage along Lick Springs Road

A pile of tires beside Harper Road.
They've been there for years.
Since no one is moving to clean them up Mother Nature 
is doing her best to camouflage them with weedy growth.

Enjoy the view of the Mettawee River from Upper Turnpike Road
It's just beyond the tossed furniture, appliances and tires 

A little further along is this drive-thru museum of farming history.
Hundreds of pieces of broken down, rusted equipment line both sides of the road.
With the high price of scrap metal this guy could fatten his wallet and do some serious beautification
in one fell swoop.

There's a rest area along Rt. 22 in Dresden with enticing views of Lake Champlain.
If you can look past the litter it's quite lovely. 

Beyond this sign on Larmon Road is a gully.
It's been dumped in, of course.

Thoughtful of someone to put this easy chair beside the old canal on Towpath Road.
Since the Empire State Trail goes by here tired cyclists can sit and rest for a spell.

How bad do you need to go?
POSTED signs are ubiquitous in Washington County.
Outhouses in the middle of open fields are less common.
Along Cary Road in the Town of Fort Edward.

Dead Creek and the Moses Kill are muddy messes as they shrug off their winter burdens of ice.

Wondering what else is in the water?
This is a field of bare, frozen ground plastered with manure.
Thankfully, it's a practice that's gradually being abandoned.
When snow melts or it rains the nutrients are washed into the nearest stream.
That would be Slocum Creek for this field.

Gullying and erosion are serious challenges for farmers.
Scenes from Easton and Shushan.

     *Mud Moo's...

     You hardly ever see a milk cow in Washington County, even though there are many thousands. That's because they spend their time lounging in free stall barns. Beef cows, on the other hand, are rugged outdoor types. A little copse of trees for shade and shelter and they're happy. At least until mud season when the combination of saturated soils and many hooves leads to the gooey mess seen in  these photos from Easton.

     Logging is a tough business anytime of year but it can be impossible when the frost is going out. This job in Easton seems to be shut down until conditions improve. Most guys are responsible and take a break until the ground firms up. Skidding when it's wet and soft can leave deep ruts that last nearly forever.

More power to you. These transmission towers have an other worldly,
alien look, a strange crop growing in this somber late winter landscape.

Bales with a view. Hay that has gone past its expiration date looks out on an umber 
Fort Edward Grasslands.

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