Pharaoh Lake Wilderness - Brilliant Fall Foliage, Pond and Lake Reflections- Adirondacks, North Eastern US

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It is raining now. It’s been very cloudy and it's been raining a lot this fall…. but we just had 2 sunny days with 80F! The Monarch butterflies of the Super Generation drank nectar in our yard and migrated further south towards Mexico. We also ventured out and hiked almost 10 miles yesterday in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness in the Adirondacks. We live fairly close by, but we rarely go to the Adirondacks. The loss is ours, at least so it seemed yesterday. Imagine our surprise, when we didn’t encounter masses of neither voracious flies nor disease carrying ticks. We encountered the Adirondacks in it’s full Fall glory.

The maples trees were showing off their brilliant red, orange and yellow fall foliage in beautiful reflections on still ponds :
P38-panorama- Crossing the Boardwalk copy.jpg

( @Vegan.Hiker has previously reported similar photos from a hike in Vermont. All classic North Eastern Fall pictures. A brief but spectacular period).

Stunning tree trunk and colorful leaf reflections at Pharaoh Lake:
P28-Aase at lake shore-PA100468.jpg


Lots of physical and chemical defenses are usually needed in the Adirondacks. It is a true skill to protect yourself against hordes of the vampiric Adirondack Black flies and Deer flies (see here ). It’s a skill I rarely attempt to master. Rick encountered masses of deer flies surrounding the car last summer and I stayed home exactly for that reason. Deer flies will hunt and relentlessly track you down till they get you. They don’t ever give up. I once in our yard let a deer fly land on my hand (we have none of those in Viking territory, so I didn’t know better) and my hand got badly swollen after a bite…. In Spring and early Summer Black flies spin in masses around your head and neck and each of them is armed with a little axe. Mosquitoes in masses are truly masses of sweet hearts as compared to the masses of voracious flies. Oh… and I forgot the most important bug issue… every day we try very hard in the Northeast to master the crucial skill of protecting ourselves from bites of ticks (sometimes the size of a spec), because ticks can and will transmit Lyme and many other tick born diseases. The best scenario after getting infected is a full recovery after 3 weeks on Doxycycline. That’s if you tolerate this antibiotic. If Lyme goes undiagnosed (and it often does), then your life is rarely the same, as friends of ours have experienced. Serious stuff.

Having said all that…. yesterday we experienced a rain free, bug free and stunning fall day in the Adirondacks. So again, imagine our surprise! It was warm, humid and we were sweating in long pants tucked into our socks, all sprayed with permethrin. Shorts, skirts and kilts @scatman - we don’t dare do that in the Adirondacks, that’s only a Western or SouthWestern pleasure! I scrambled a bit yesterday morning to figure out where to hike, because it’s difficult to time the peak of the foliage spectacle perfectly, because it changes greatly with altitude, how far North or South you go and what week in October you go, but we were not disappointed.

Views from the boat launch area at Brant Lake, before we even reached the TH (iPhone shot):
P1-Brant Lake-boath launch area-iphone IMG_2095.JPG



And on the other side of Brant Lake, much closer to the trailhead, pretty peaceful looking. What do you think?
P2-Brant Lake Pano.jpg



It became apparent already before we arrived at the trailhead, that we hit the peak time for fall foliage.
Look at the blowing leaves in the wind, the colorful Maple Tree foliage and shadows on the road:

P3-road to Pharaoh lake TH-PA100073.jpg



We arrived at the trailhead and tucked the pants inside our socks and sprayed socks and pants with Permethrin. It was warm and muggy....
My iPhone managed to capture Rick - the photographer- and he was reflected well in one of the many water pools on the trail:
P6- Rick at pool pool of water with leaves-IMG_2104.jpg



Rick captured more leaves reflected in pools of water, very cool picture with fabulous leaf reflections:
P5-Leaves reflected on water-PA100130.jpg



Plenty of fall foliage when we crossed the boardwalk- but first later on the return trip did we capture the stunning reflections in the pond.
P7-Aase on board walk-PA100176.jpg



Further on the trail out to Pharaoh Lake Rick captured lots of cool fall stuff:
P8-orange leaves towards sky-PA100181.jpg


P10-red maples leaves-PA100192.jpg


P11-Birth tree with red leaves-PA100205.jpg


P12-starburst-into trees-PA100215.jpg


P13-river with bridge-PA100225.jpg


A Panorama of a pond with (I believe) Pharaoh Peak in the middle. We never made it to the peak- too much stuff to photograph:
P15-pond panorama-peak background-Adironack Marsh Pano.jpg


And a closer look, lots of need reflections:
P14-pond reflections with Pharaoh peak?-PA100237.jpg


And finally....! Pharaoh Lake, plenty of reflections here. And again NO BUGS, not one !
P16-Pharaoh Lake reflections-PA100293.jpg


Lots of fall tree foliage, brilliant colors and tree trunks reflected in Pharaoh Lake:
P18-Pharaoh Lake-PA100324.jpg


A cute little salamander:
P19-salamander-PA100337.jpg


And a little further on the trail, actually a little off trail at the lake shore:
P21-Aase at Pharaoh Lake-PA100354.jpg


P21-close up grass at lake-PA100369.jpg


P22-mushrooms-close up at lake-PA100373.jpg


The pictures above were taken right below this Lean-Tos shelter for camping (first come first served basis often). Not a bad place for camping:
P21-lean to-PA100352.jpg



We headed back and it only got better. It reminded us a lot of hiking in the redwoods on the West coast. Trees were not big, but the fragrance was amazing:
P23-Aase on mossy path-PA100381.jpg



P24-mushroom in moss-PA100394.jpg


And soon we were back on the bridge enjoying even better reflections. It looked like a postcard and yes.... we are in upstate New York here:
P26-reflections blue sky Pharaoh lake-PA100450.jpg


I enjoyed the fabulous view. Stellar reflections of many tree trunks in the water:
P28-Aase at lake shore-PA100468.jpg



P27-leaves and tree trunks reflections-PA100451.jpg


We headed further back:
P31-Aase in forest on way back-PA100484.jpg


P29-mossy rocks-PA100474.jpg


P30-yellow mushroom-PA100482.jpg


Probably some Beaver dam stuff:
P32-Beaver dam-PA100487.jpg


I scared this poor snake, first with my loud steps and then with a very loud scream. I didn't see it at first, but luckily it noticed me. Hm.... not my thing!
P33-Snake-PA100490.jpg


And a bit further I captured some iPhone pictures of Rick- the photographer taking photos of leaves:
P34-Rick taking photos of red leaves-IMG_2212.jpg


P35-Rick on path-IMG_2216.jpg


And back at the pond, but now it had some stunning reflections (here is an i-Phone shot of Rick):
P40-Rick at pond-taking photos-IMG_2226.jpg



Rick's panorama reduced in size. Full of reflections of clouds, colorful fall foliage, mountains.... Classic North Eastern Fall glory. Adirondacks, NY.
P38-panorama- Crossing the Boardwalk copy.jpg



P39-closer reflection-pond-PA100559.jpg



And even the iPhone didn't do too bad in capturing the stunning reflections:
P42-iphone at pond-IMG_2245.jpg


P41-Iphone vertical-IMG_2244.jpg



What a day yesterday! We were lucky and surprised with 2 sunny warm days in the middle of all this unusual cloudy and rainy fall weather. We drove back and spent the evening having dinner with close friends. Wonderful. Now it's raining again (!), we lost power earlier and it's back to reality!

@Artemus - I know you liked the Sedona reflections, but I think these reflections are just as stunning! Is everything ok with you in Italy? :cool:
 

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#2
Nice! The colors are absolutely fantastic. You definitely hit them right!

Re ticks, they are no joke. Most people catch the bullseye right away and with antibiotics, they're fine. But not always. And that's a disease that will quite literally ruin your life. Yeesh.
 
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Nice! The colors are absolutely fantastic. You definitely hit them right!

Re ticks, they are no joke. Most people catch the bullseye right away and with antibiotics, they're fine. But not always. And that's a disease that will quite literally ruin your life. Yeesh.
Yes, it has ruined the life of 2 of our friends, it's devastating, @LarryBoy . Last summer my neighbor down the street found a tick attached and within 5 days she got so sick she could barely drive herself to ER. She went downhill so fast, her husband had to force the antibiotic in her. She send the tick for testing, it tested positive for anaplasmosis. After that Rick and I kicked 'tick protection' up a notch or 10. The problem is often not the ticks you find quickly, it's the ticks you don't find. The worst ones are as small as a poppy seed, they are very difficult to detect. Rick had the bulls eye in Holland, but he was treated and he recovered. Many don't even get a bulls eye. And animals like both cats and dogs bring ticks inside homes. It happens every day... we all have to be very alert.
 
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What a wonderful plethora of colorful photos - the first with Rick in the leaves is like something out of a dream. Beautiful country.

Your TR brought back some not-so-fond memories of riding horses full speed ahead to outrun clouds of deer flies in NW Colorado as a kid. Also reminded me of the Canadian classic, "The Blackfly Song."
 
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What a wonderful plethora of colorful photos - the first with Rick in the leaves is like something out of a dream. Beautiful country.

Your TR brought back some not-so-fond memories of riding horses full speed ahead to outrun clouds of deer flies in NW Colorado as a kid. Also reminded me of the Canadian classic, "The Blackfly Song."
Just looked up the lyrics... he... it's just like that! Clouds of deer flies- you need a very fast horse ;)
 

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Ahh I needed this! Beautiful! Those Northern Water Snakes are non venemous but aquatic so I’m guessing you were pretty close to the water when you ran into him. I never really have issues with black flies in the ADK’s. I just avoid the black fly season in late May and June. In early July when they might be lingering still, I avoid hikes down low to be safe and try to hike mostly up near treeline. Haven’t run into any flies with that strategy. Wish I was up there now. Unfortunately I have to travel south to VA and will be missing the color show. Hoping to get out next weekend. Thanks for the great report @Titans !
 
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Very nice, T!

Everything is fine here in Italy, I have been adding photos to the Northern Italy thread here. Have you guys seen them?
@Artemus - The Northern Italy pictures look amazing- beautiful area. Yes, we saw the mountains and it's what I was hinting to in the Sedona TR. Just gorgeous.

Enjoy @Artemus - it's a beautiful area. What a trip you are on! Keep sharing pictures....:)
 
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Ahh I needed this! Beautiful! Those Northern Water Snakes are non venemous but aquatic so I’m guessing you were pretty close to the water when you ran into him. I never really have issues with black flies in the ADK’s. I just avoid the black fly season in late May and June. In early July when they might be lingering still, I avoid hikes down low to be safe and try to hike mostly up near treeline. Haven’t run into any flies with that strategy. Wish I was up there now. Unfortunately I have to travel south to VA and will be missing the color show. Hoping to get out next weekend. Thanks for the great report @Titans !
Thanks @Vegan.Hiker - A Northern Water Snake, thanks for confirming. Yes, we were right along a pond and a swampy area and he slipped right away in front of my boots. Sorry you have to travel this week and miss out the Fall foliage, but you can enjoy it later in NJ. We were in Edgewater for 6 years.
We will have to go to the Adirondacks more. Rick doesn't feel the black fly or mosquito bites, but I'm always covered in very itchy bites.
 

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Great photos @Titans!! We love that area but we just haven't explored it all that much (so many places to explore in the Adirondacks!). You were very fortunate to snag two beautiful days in a row ... we were in the High Peaks region over the holiday weekend and we didn't see much sun but the colors were spectacular nonetheless.
 

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What a wonderful plethora of colorful photos - the first with Rick in the leaves is like something out of a dream. Beautiful country.

Your TR brought back some not-so-fond memories of riding horses full speed ahead to outrun clouds of deer flies in NW Colorado as a kid. Also reminded me of the Canadian classic, "The Blackfly Song."
Oh yes... good song! and so true of the end of May and early June. In Quebec those flies were nasty. I never got ticks in Quebec though, maybe I am as unattractive to ticks... haha
Only ever had ticks in the Grand Canyon and another time in the mountains and sage of central UT.
 
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I was a young lad in Indiana so it is so comforting when I can get a dose of the woods back east!!!! (But seriously what do I know, from that time frame, I was a city boy.....had a decent urban maple forest I suppose in the neighborhood.) I did make it to New England and the Blue Ridge Parkway during leaf season in my 2nd or was it my 3rd life. It just dawned on me.......when I was young it was always the "woods". Never "forest". I wouldn't even think of calling it the "woods" out here in the West. Hum...
 
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I'm from a long line of Westerners, and we always call it the woods unless referring to a specific area, like the Uncompahgre National Forest. But you could cover all the bases and call it the wood forest. There's a bank in Texas called Woodforest Bank and it has many branches. :)
 
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I'm from a long line of Westerners, and we always call it the woods unless referring to a specific area, like the Uncompahgre National Forest. But you could cover all the bases and call it the wood forest. There's a bank in Texas called Woodforest Bank and it has many branches. :)
Very funny @Rockskipper !!! I'm smiling again.... and it's been raining all morning.
 
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I was a young lad in Indiana so it is so comforting when I can get a dose of the woods back east!!!! (But seriously what do I know, from that time frame, I was a city boy.....had a decent urban maple forest I suppose in the neighborhood.) I did make it to New England and the Blue Ridge Parkway during leaf season in my 2nd or was it my 3rd life. It just dawned on me.......when I was young it was always the "woods". Never "forest". I wouldn't even think of calling it the "woods" out here in the West. Hum...
(@chandlerwest and @Rockskipper )- I had to look up the difference between "woods" and "forest"... see here. Long explanation in that article and after reading that, I think @Rockskipper 's explanation is spot on in just one sentence!
 
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Having said all that…. yesterday we experienced a rain free, bug free and stunning fall day in the Adirondacks. So again, imagine our surprise! It was warm, humid and we were sweating in long pants tucked into our socks, all sprayed with permethrin. Shorts, skirts and kilts @scatman - we don’t dare do that in the Adirondacks, that’s only a Western or SouthWestern pleasure! I scrambled a bit yesterday morning to figure out where to hike, because it’s difficult to time the peak of the foliage spectacle perfectly, because it changes greatly with altitude, how far North or South you go and what week in October you go, but we were not disappointed.


@Artemus - I know you liked the Sedona reflections, but I think these reflections are just as stunning! Is everything ok with you in Italy? :cool:
I have worn my kilt while hiking in the Smoky Mountains once.
 

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