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Take A Swim!
Jul
20
2013

            With summer now in full swing, it is the time of year when Wren and I are taking daily swims in Lake Colby in Saranac Lake.  I return from working in the field each day sticky and sweaty from hiking around and conducting bird or vegetation work, and there is nothing I want more than a swim to cool off. 

            Wren is always game to swim (she swims until the ice is on the lakes!), and might not leave the water if I don’t force her to do so, so she is more than happy to take me up on the offer.  We generally start by taking a short walk during which time Wren plunges into every stream crossing or water body we pass before we head to the lake. Lake Colby

            We usually swim near the boat launch at Lake Colby – a great place for swimming and for dogs – there is also a public beach on the other side of the lake.  I initially throw the ball a while for Wren to retrieve – I’ve been sick of late and she always has more energy than I do anyway.  Eventually I join her in the water and chuck the ball so we can both race for it.  She usually wins. 

            Of course Lake Colby is just one of many, many Adirondack lakes which are great for swimming and great for swimming with your dog.  It is one of the best things about living or visiting this area.  We all have miles and miles of natural swimming pools at our fingertips – or paws.  And right now the water feels great.    osprey - Larry

            And, not only is swimming in Adirondack lakes great for exercise and fun, we often see a variety of wildlife when we are out swimming.  Birds like cedar waxwings and common yellowthroats are always on the brushy wet edge near the boat launch on Lake Colby and we often find other larger species there as well.  Just last week Wren and I were at Lake Colby and a merlin – a small species of falcon – was chattering loudly from the top of a white pine along the lakeshore.  That was followed shortly by a calling broad-winged hawk overhead and then two bald eagles – first an adult and next an immature bird.  Two days later we saw an osprey while swimming and we often see common loons.  That’s not bad when all you are really trying to do is to cool off.  And taking a swim is the best way I can think of to top off a warm summer day. 

Ampersand Mountain
A peaceful afternoon on Jones Pond

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About The Author

Alan Belford has spent much of his life outdoors exploring and learning about wildlife – particularly birds. Alan is often out hiking, paddling, running, or cross country skiing – with his Labrador retriever Wren at this side. A certified teacher and former cross country, baseball, and ultimate frisbee coach, he loves teaching others and has taught multiple natural history (specializing in ornithology) courses for both college students and the general public. He is a licensed guide in New York State, he has traveled widely both domestically and internationally, and he is also a published travel writer and photographer – focusing on outdoor and nature writing.

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