Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

On the Water at Glimmerglass

Thursday August 11, 2016                                                                Most Recent Posts:
Glimmerglass State Park                                                                  Time Flies By at the Iroquois Indian Museum
Cooperstown, New York                                                                  Exploring Glimmerglass



Today is one of those split days.  I’m up early and out on the water by 7:00.  I leave Ruby waiting for me as I paddle down the stream, away from the lake and toward the covered bridge I talked about in my post on Exploring Glimmerglass above in purple.


Water here seems to be high.  There is a dam in Cooperstown so I suppose that controls the lake which controls the stream.





Not very far past the bridge I come to a small beaver dam.  There is just enough room on the right hand end for me to squeeze by.




In doing so I upset this Great Blue Heron who flies up into a tree to avoid me.






He doesn’t seem to mind me paddling under him, just not next to him.




I go only a little bit further before coming to a tree going from one bank to another.




Even lying down flat forward I don’t think I can squeeze under this and although the stream looks inviting beyond, I don’t want to take the time to portage the kayak around.



Nope, can’t get under this one.  Even the kayak can’t get under this. 


So back I go after my short excursion into the unknown.  Too bad.  Those are the paddles I like the best.



Nothing much exciting on this paddle until right here.  I’m going around the end of the beaver dam when a beaver pokes his head up and in a flash so fast I can’t even get my camera up he swims to the bank on the left and scurries up.  I hang around for a while hoping someone else will follow him or he’ll come back but after 10 minutes or so they have more patience than I do.  I take this picture of the spot so I will remember.



Going under the bridge from this direction I can get a picture of the hand prints.  Somehow this sort of graffiti doesn’t bother me as much as carving your name or hearts or other junk into the bridge.  Obviously whoever did this was in a boat.





I pass jewel weed on the banks.  Its flower looks like a small orchid.  They say it is the poison ivy “antidote” though I’ve never used it.




I think these are young walnuts though the leaves are young too.  They could be hickories and I didn’t note the bark I just thought the nuts looked so pretty at nearly eye level on the water.   If you are a tree person and know for sure, let me know.




It’s turned into a blue sky day and being on the water is wonderful.



Green Herons and I seem to have an affinity this summer and I stay for a while watching this one.  There is a turtle behind him near the shore.





Their markings are striking.




As I watch he moves down to the water.




I don’t want to disturb his fishing so I move on in the direction of the lake.



Around here they advertise that Ostego Lake is the source of the Susquehanna River but I also have read that the source is tiny Crystal Spring in Springfield, New York which we drove through on Route 20 to get to Glimmerglass. Who has the facts?   I do know that the first of the dams on the river is at Cooperstown which is at the other end of this 10 mile lake from me.




Given the size of the lake I’m thinking as I paddle to the mouth of the stream about how I will recognize it on my return.  Someone else has clearly had that same thought and hung a red flag from a tree.




Even without that it wouldn’t be hard because the state park beach and whatever they call that building are not too far to the right as I come out into the lake.  And I can see Hyde Hall on the hillside beyond it.  I talked about Hyde Hall as well in the previous post in purple above.

I turn left to go around the edge for a ways with no intention of paddling for more than another hour into the morning.

I pass along the undeveloped land belonging to the park which is most of this end of the lake but once I round the corner onto the long sides of the lake there is development all the way.

This is some kind of compound with multiple docks and houses all painted the same barn red.  It’s very attractive from the water.  Perhaps it is a lodge with cabins for rent.  Perhaps it is owned by one extended family.







These guys are hanging out around the boats.  I suppose it’s a log they are standing on.




From that point on I see house after house with boats and other toys all tied up in front of them.

I’m curious about the stand out yellow raft looking thing.




It even has a slide.  Lots of big and little kids could have fun here.



Along the shore I spot what I think is a spotted sandpiper.  He’s the only shore bird I see around the lake.





Just beyond him is my favorite house.  It’s so little, isn’t it cute.  But it’s literally right ON the water.  Does that mean the lake level is so controlled it never floods?





More toys, a platform with a diving board and something I’ve never seen before, a garage in the water.  Why?  To provide the deck on top?  To keep the pontoon out of storms?   It makes me laugh with its garage door part way open.  Wonder if they have an automatic opener.



I can see from here that the water is getting rougher and the entire lake edge is ringed with houses houses and more houses.  It’s time for me to turn back.





I do and find David paddling toward me.  He has bicycled down to Ruby and put his kayak in the water.





He turns around and we head back together.  I think he’s had breakfast but I have not.  You can get a better idea of the size of the water toy with the slide as he passes it by.



Too bad the manatee can’t see this grass.



David is getting away from me on the way back.  He was chasing me out and I’m chasing him in.




The white dots on the hill are Hyde Hall and Tin top. 



A little better view zoomed slightly.



We find the red flag with no trouble and are soon back at the boat launch.  Time for breakfast and to get ready for our afternoon trip to Cooperstown.  But that’s another post.



  1. What a great paddling day! Oh the flower that is good for poison ivy ( Jewel Weed ) makes a good potherb too when picked young (less than 6 inches) and boiled twice.

  2. I don't know about those being tree nuts. That close to the ground/water makes it unlikely I think. I love your green herons - they are so beautiful, and usually hard to see.

    1. The tree branches were leaning down over the water. They were too big to be anything else.

  3. Great shots of the green heron. Don't think I've ever seen one, or if I have didn't know what it was.

  4. It looks like a tranquil and lovely day to have gotten out on the water for a paddle.

  5. You definitely are a magnet for Green Herons! They're such beautiful birds, and often so shy. I think the manatee would love that grass, too. :-) Looks like a fun paddle—and a great place for swimming.

  6. Looks so peaceful and lovely - maybe not playing limbo in the water though :) Sorry you had to turn around. I love all the bird pictures!

  7. Beautiful morning paddle!! We also have so many Green Herons here at Huntington. We were fortunate to watch the young hatch and then fledge...beautiful birds!!!

  8. I love your kayaking adventures. I've only been able to do it once--last spring. I loved it so much that I planned to get one. Then, the trouble with the trailer, delay after delay trying to get it fixed, then the broken wrist and arm. It will never be quite right, but it feels strong. I will rent a kayak before investing in one--especially given my age, but I did get to see what an enjoyable past time it is, and hope I can do more. The motion may limit me--that remains to be seen. Great pictures and narration, as always.

  9. Your deer seem to have handed you off to the green heron for now - pretty sweet :-) I love your morning paddles, they always seem like the perfect way to begin any day.

  10. Lovely bird sightings on that paddle and I love the little water front house :)

  11. What luck to see a beaver, if only briefly! What a gorgeous morning on the water.

  12. Lots of interesting things in this post. Love the Heron, water toys, and houses. Not sure what the nut thing is. I always thought the Susquehanna started in Lake Otswego. Who knows?

  13. That paddle was worth a dead end seeing the beaver however briefly. Love the tiny house but too many big houses nearby. Delightful morning.

  14. Beautiful morning! I love that little cottage right on the water...so cute:) I hope you enjoyed Cooperstown. John went to the Baseball Hall of Fame and I went to the Living History Museum. We both had a great time but that was a long time ago!

  15. Funny, I don't remember all the houses lines the lake...funny that I can block out what I prefer not to see. Loved the Green heron!


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