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Dog Days of Summer aka Beach Time!
Aug
26
2015

The Best Way to Cool Off

Our warm weather of late has found me chatting with friends and family further south who are complaining of the hot and muggy conditions where they live. To be sure it has been warm here and very hot elsewhere – but Wren and I have a solution that eludes many others thanks to where we live. After all, the region is dotted with seemingly countless numbers of lakes and we can be found almost every day swimming in one of them. It is the best way to cool off.

Wren is constantly in the water wherever we hike or canoe – the railroad tracks along Lake Colby, Bloomingdale Bog, Jones Pond, Middle Pond - it doesn’t matter – if there is water, she is in it. The trick with her isn’t getting her to go swimming, it is keeping her out of the water once we are finished!

Wren’s Digging Obsession

Her favorite diversion at the lakes once she has cooled off is to exuberantly dig in the sand with her ball – in the process creating a series of interconnected canals and holes. Her handiwork is best displayed right now at the beach at the Lake Colby boat launch and it was recently shown at the Lake Clear Beach, turned dog art gallery.Wren and Tyler

In fact, when my family visited in July we spent a few afternoons at Lake Clear Beach – sunning, swimming, and playing in the sand. While Wren chased balls and swam, she always came back to the beach to resume scooping out heaps of sand, creating bulwarks across the beach. My nephew Tyler was also digging in the sand, but he soon discovered he could use the holes she was making as part of his plans to fashion a sand fortress. The key was to get Wren to dig where she wasn’t excavating what he had already created! This proved a difficult task, but eventually they had collectively produced a nice series of moats, castles, and mountains.

Wren’s preoccupation with burrowing through the sand to the other side of the world was great for me – and with my family watching her – I was able to get in a bit of snorkeling in the clear waters – something I can’t always do if I’m keeping an eye on her. So I cruised along the edge of the swimming area where the weeds are thick so I could snorkel with a variety of fish, a painted turtle, and where I dived for any trash I saw (thankfully I didn’t find much).Lake Colby sunset

So Many Places to Go and So Many Things to Do!

I have done the same thing at places like Little Green Pond and Little Clear Pond this summer – both of which are great for paddling and for a dip. But most days Wren and I end up at Lake Colby – partly for convenience, but it is a great place to swim as well. Wren tunnels in the sand and I swim laps out and back from the boat launch beach, keeping track of her while she occupies herself with her strange and amusing obsession. If I can get her to pause from her mining activities, I’ll throw the ball out into the lake where we will race for it, but of late the amount of exposed sand on the lake edge has kept her attention, limiting our races to just a couple each trip. She generally beats me anyway.

And it doesn’t matter if we swim much or not. Beach time is time to do what you want – and to enjoy some of the best diversions the summer has to offer. And so some people lay in the sand, others play volleyball at the beach and swimming area further south on Lake Colby. Others paddle around the shallows or take part in SUP yoga classes. Wren creates doggie sand castles. I swim and keep an eye open for Osprey, Common Loons and other birds. It is up to you. We’ll be heading out shortly for some open-ended beach time soon. It is, after all, the only way to end a summer day.

Plan your vacation with time spent relaxing at our lakes and beaches, then head into town to enjoy our variety of dining and lodging options!

Martha Reben: staring down the Great White Plague
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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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