Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Best Worst Weekend Ever

     So in my first year teaching, things have been quite an experience. On the weekend of September 21st, our good friends from college got married and we went all the way upstate to witness the event and have a good time celebrating with them. It was a fantastic wedding and everything went very well - even the rain stayed away until the outdoor ceremony was over. I'd like to think that I sucked all the badness away from their day because boy, did that weekend stink for me...
     It started with leaving Brooklyn at 7pm (and a major emotional breakdown over a pair of jeans, prior to leaving), and arriving to my husband's grandmother's trailer in Lake Pleasant, in the Adirondacks. The power and heat was shut off, so at 1:30 AM, we were sneaking around in the dark trying to turn on heat, water, and power. When we hit the bed, sleep came quickly. We woke up and I swore that we would very much so go on a hike, and we did. During the hike, we somehow left a camera lens on the trail (major, major ouch) and it is gone forever. We also got back from the hike and realized my dresses were still in Brooklyn. We drove an hour to Utica, got a dress at a mall in less than 15 minutes (in and out the door time), drove an hour to the wedding, got ready in a friends room, and all was good. I cried a lot over all the silly things that happened, my husband is the best in keeping calm and not freaking out with or at me, and the wedding was great once we got there and our lives calmed down, wine was good too.
     On the hike we did take, I did forget about the world for a moment and just focused on the fact that my husband and I were up in the ADK in the forest and there were creatures to be found. Well, here's what we found:

Redback salamanders were a common find under logs, rocks, and leaf litter.
Found a red eft (the juvenile stage of the Eastern spotted newt)
When I was five, we took one of these guys home from Lake George, NY. We set him up in a tank, and probably looking back now, it makes sense why he escaped and was never found. These guys are terrestrial and return to the water when they are adults.

Fawn Lake
Not even close to peak, but you can see some fall color.

Found this American toad hopping around just off a trail.

As I released the large toad, I found this much smaller version.

A very cool looking fungus.
I'm sorry, they look like fetus hands in macro. Same fungus as above. This photo is also the reason we lost our lens, switching lenses is a pain in the rear. 
It's like a painting.... but real! 

A hint of autumn.