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Fort Ticonderoga / Fort William Henry

We took an overnight trip to visit Crown Point on Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga and Fort William Henry – learning a lot about the French-Indian Wars in the process.

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Crown Point a fort located north Fort Ticonderoga on a narrow peninsula, averaging about a mile in width; the peninsula closing the lake down to a width of only half a mile. The Crown Point Banding Station was operating a the Banding Station at its location on the Crown Point State Historic Site just 300 yards southwest of the British fort,  at the edge of the Hawthorn thicket.  The volunteers offered an educational program, however, they did not catch any birds while we were visiting.

Fort Ticonderoga, formerly Fort Carillon, is a large 18th-century star fort built by the French at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain where the outlet of Lake George, known as the La Chute River, flowed into Lake Champlain.  Since Lake George is 240 feet higher than Lake Champlain, this river is full of rocks, rapids, and falls necessitating a three mile portage  which came out on Lake Champlain at Fort Ticonderoga. it was strategically placed in conflicts over trade routes between the British-controlled Hudson River Valley and the French-controlled Saint Lawrence River Valley. Both lakes were long and narrow, oriented north–south and flowing northward. The name “Ticonderoga” comes from the Iroquois word tekontaró:ken, meaning “it is at the junction of two waterways”.

The fort contained three barracks and four storehouses. One bastion held a bakery capable of producing 60 loaves of bread a day. A powder magazine was hacked out of the bedrock beneath the Joannes bastion. All the construction within the fort was of stone.  There were soldiers, a shoemaker and a tailor on site working and answering questions.

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Fort William Henry (also known as Fort George) was built at the southern tip of Lake George beginning in 1755. The place was begun following Sir William Johnson’s victory of the French general Dieskieu in 1755. It was besieged by Montcalm from 4 August 1757 to 9 August, when its garrison of 2200 men under Lt. Col. George Munro surrendered. The Indians began massacring the prisoners and Munro reached Fort Edward with 1400 survivors.

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2015-05-23 Fort Ticondaroga

Middle School Track Meet

Eric participated in the Middle School track meet by running the 300 meter race. He ran 5th for much of the race and put on a kick to capture 3rd place in his heat of 8 contestants.

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1st Weekend of May

Kathryn (and Scout) did an solo overnight canoe camping trip to Moss Lake on Thursday / Friday.

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Friday Eric was home sick with a sore throat.  In the afternoon I got our riding lawnmower fired up and did a 1st time mowing of the lawn.  Saturday we cut trees along the meadow.  Kathryn sprained her ankle and got Hawthorne thorns in her leg.  I got a wagon load of manure from Weslie Hughes for the pumpkin patch and planted tomato plants in the garden.

Gardening

I have been using leaf mulch in my garden between the rows to eliminate weeds.  Last fall my neighbor Rick dumped 6 loads of mulched leaves on the garden.  I wanted to get the leaf mulch down into the soil.  They were too thick for hoeing and turning them into the soil with a shovel was too much work.  I rented a tiller from Taylor Rental on Thursday and tilled the garden 5x to loosen the soil and work the leaves into the dirt.

Saturday morning I judged presentations at the 3 Minute Thesis competition at Hamilton College, while Kathryn played volleyball in the Ride for Missing Children Tournament.  Saturday afternoon I risked planting some cool weather crops:  pole beans, lettuce and yellow wax beans.

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Saturday Eric was bored and sat waiting for his friend Jack to show up.

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Sunday I repaired the bottom drawer of my dresser and the bottom drawer of the changing room dresser.

We had a 1pm home game vs Sauquoit and won 7-1.  This is a good U12B team.

HP Gold vs Whitestown

Our U12B team had two practices in the Bethel Baptist Church Rec Hall and opened our season with a 13-0 win against a mediocre Whitetown Team.  The field was soggy, but we had no injuries or incidents.

2015-04-26 HP at Whitestown

Planting Trees

I added 10 more blueberry bushes to the 24 we currently have.  I extended the trench, planted them and then mulched with pine needles to prevent weeds and increase soil acidity.

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I pruned my fruit trees, especially getting the cankers on the plum tree.

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I am trying out tree tubes for the 1st time. I had two pear trees damaged by rabbits last winter.  They showed some signs of recovery last summer and I am keeping my fingers crossed on them.

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We planted 50 Norway Spruce trees in the triangle lot across the stream.  The dogs found and fought a mink that was hunting in stream.

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Monday we picked up another 50 trees ( Fraser Firs) to help fill in the triangle lot across the stream.

Daniel Barden Highlands Mudfest

Almost 1,000 people participated in the third annual Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest in Deansboro Saturday, April 25, 2015.  Kathryn, Eric and Stone ran the Daniel Barden Highlands Mudfest, this being the 3rd year for Kathryn.  Eric did the kids run the 1st year, but did the whole course this year.  The mudfest takes place at a farm in Deansboro.  This year they had warm water showers.  They make hollow log heaters and everyone starts off nice an clean.

2015-04-25 Daniel Barden Mud Run

They have a variety of obstacles and Kathryn enjoys the run through their property.

2015-04-25 Daniel Barden Mud Run after

A little muddy at the finish.

Black Creek

Early canoe trip on Black Creek. Usually lots of birds and skunk cabbage; I think we went a little earlier than usual, but it was still a beautiful stream.

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The buttress for the old Shawangunk Road/Railroad is separating from the bank more and more every year.  We used to rely on this as our spot to pull out for a snack and stretch our legs.  Now it looks ready to topple into the stream.  The usually copious amounts of skunk cabbage were just emerging from the ground.

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On the stream we were out of the cool breeze, but wore gloves because the water was still cold.  We saw small snow banks alongside the stream.  Kathryn found a nice place for us to land, sit in the sun, out of the wind and enjoy our lunch.

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It took us 1 hour from departure to being on the water.  We paddled for 2 hours with a small break and exited at bridge Black Creek road.  There were branches underwater at the take-out and it was a little slippery, but it cut off the last 45-60 minutes of paddling into Grant.

Benefit Soccer Tournament for Brayden Hughes

Eric and his friends; Amber, Hannah, Jack, John, Jordyn, Luke and Olivia played co-ed soccer in the benefit tournament for Brayden Hughes U11-13 division at Accelerate Sports. The team had a lot of fun and played great, considering they had never played together. There were a exciting finishes to two of the games; winning one game on a goal with 31 seconds remaining and a second game on a penalty kick shoot-out. They finished 3rd in their 9 team division, losing to the two club teams from Odyssey Sport Soccer Club-Central New York. Congratulations to all who participated. Good luck to Brayden and his family.

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Birds of Spring

After a late breakfast this morning Kathryn and I sat and watched the birds in our backyard.  We had downy, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers coming to feed on the suet.  The finches and chickadees were eating sunflower seeds.  There was a large mature, male Northern Harrier continuously swooping over the pasture.  There were Red Wing Blackbirds on the ground and perched in trees calling loudly.  A half dozen Robins were hopping around on the bare spots in our lawn.  There was a small bird that looked suspiciously like a blue bird that would perch on our fence, fly down to the ground and then return to it’s perch.  I was fascinated by two snipes that were probing the soft ground with their long beaks.  It was all very cool to watch.

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