Mohawk Valley Elite Spring Tournament

Eric and his Mohawk Valley Elite AAU team played four games in a one day tournament on Saturday hosted at Accelerate Sports Complex. The team started off the season with a record of 1-8 and finished the  last nine games 7-2 in tournament play. Eric played mainly as a wing.  His strength was the ability to play defense versus 3-5 and rebound.  Eric had times when he was aggressive rebounding and getting steals, but wasn’t much of an offensive threat.  This was a good bunch of kids and thanks to the coaches for all their work.

Crown Point Bird Banding – Year 3

For the third year in a row Kathryn volunteered to do bird banding at the Crown Point station.  She overcame flu-like symptoms prior to leaving and ended up staying in a hotel rather than camping with the pop-up camper.  Below she is handling an Indigo Bunting.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird laying on it’s back.

AAU Hoopfest @ Mohonasen

Eric played in single day AAU tournament held at Mohonasen on Saturday.  They won their 1st two games by margins of 4 and 20 points earning their way to the championship game by virtual of point differential (1 point).  Eric had his usual performance, not scoring much but setting picks, rebounding and playing defense on positions 3-5.

 

Planting Trees and Blueberry Bushes

Once again I ordered trees and bushes through Herkimer County Soil and Water district: 50 White Spruce and 10 blueberry bushes.  The ten blueberry bushes were to fill in some holes in the existing row of bushes.  We waited until noon to plant so the sun could warm up the day.  Kathryn, Scout and Cullen all enjoyed being outside and feeling the sun.

The 50 spruce trees were to fill in the rows of Fraser Firs planted in the pasture across the stream with 10 trees planted in the woods across the road..

Snowshoe Repair

I got my snowshoes back from Mountain Soles. Other than the snow pile on the north side of my barn I have no snow to try them out. I got new decking support, rivets and deck wraps all for $100.

 

 

Ice Out

Kathryn and I took a walk through the woods, but found 6″ of snow in several places.  The ice cleared off of two of our ponds, but not this one.

With the help of the dogs we chased the Canada Geese off one of our ponds and then located our evergreen trees in the little triangle lot.  The transplants we planted over the past two years needed to be uncovered and allowed to straighten up.

Eric had an AAU basketball tournament (MVE Spring Shootout) at Accelerate with games against Salt City and Tri-Valley Playerz.  They lost close games to both, but Eric recorded 15 and 10 rebounds respectively.

New Snowshoes

After 22 years of use I finally wore out my Atlas 1033 snowshoes.  I don’t feel too bad about it, in fact, I am a little proud of the fact I have worn them out.  Last year I wore out the deck wrap on the tail of the right shoe and got it repaired at a shoe repair shop.  This year the wraps on the left snowshoe wore through as did the rivets holding the binding and crampon to the aluminum frame.  I shipped them out to Mountain Soles for repair, but they are running 1-3 weeks for repair orders and I expect shipping to/from will likely take another two weeks.  Spring seems to be knocking at the door, so I decided to get a pair of comparable snowshoes and ordered a pair of Serrate 30 Snowshoes from REI.  I opted for the 30″ size as a comfortable medium; I was concerned that 36″ would be too long and cumbersome.  Most of my snowshoeing is in snow of medium depth or traveling over a previously packed trail. Sunday following Eric’s AAU tournament I got to try them out.

One big difference is that single pull bindings have developed in the past 20 years.  My old bindings had three separate nylon straps to tighten while the new ones have a single pull for the front two straps.  My size 13 insulated hiking boots just fit with the heel strap let all the way out; unfortunately  I don’t think the binding will stretch much.  I covered a couple of miles on a familiar trail up Pen Bonc Hill.  It was sunny and felt warm – I ended up wearing a baseball cap for eye shade and just a windbreaker over my long sleeve shirt.  At the top of the hill I pulled on a fleece and sat for 10-12 minutes enjoying the near lack of sounds – only the breeze rustling the leaves of a few small beech trees.  After a bit I stomped home.

Broomstick Lake

Matt & I exchanged emails about our desire to get out for an overnight camping trip.  We settled on Broomstick Lake, about an hour’s drive for each of us.

Our initial plan was to meet Saturday afternoon and camp Saturday night, but with no one else joining our trip we discussed the possibility of meeting Friday evening for the short snowshoe hike in.  We met at the trailhead at 5pm, hiked up hill to a level knoll and set up our shelters and gathered wood while it was still light.  I brought my Black Diamond Hilight tent and Matt brought two tarps which he set up using bent over branch.  In the morning he reported there was more a slope to his site than originally assessed.

We managed to find dry standing wood including a two flat chunks of pine that served as a base for our fire and a dead ash that yielded logs approximately 8″ across.  Matt’s chain saw was handy for cutting the larger logs.  Our fire lasted for hours.

As I got the fire going Matt set up his stove and heated water for our dehydrated meals. The fire, meals and waning light all coalesced around 6:20.  We sat up around the fire and talked until 8pm when we decided on an early turn in time.  We received 2-3″ of snow overnight and I heard it repeatedly slide off the tent during the night.  We were awake a little after 6am, packed up and headed home.  I was back home by 8:30 and had the rest of the weekend.

March Comes In Like A Lion

We got 20 inches of new snow Thursday night through Friday night.  School was closed along with all businesses.

The Dog Walker

Our winter weather has been sporadic for sure.  This past week one of Kathryn’s friends visited with a plan to go XC skiing.  They caught the last two days of snow before rain and warm temperatures melted it all away.  Instead of XC skis and snowshoes it’s rubber boots and trying to avoid the soggy ground as Kathryn takes the dogs for a walk around the pasture.