WANAKENA WEEKLY #9 - 04/02/20 - 04/08/20

Happy Thursday! 

In an effort to “FLATTEN THE CURVE” Otto’s Abode will remain closed until further notice. This is our fourth week of being closed. To borrow a quote: “What makes us special is also what makes us vulnerable” – From the perpetually inspirational Elsewhere. Well put, guys.

Overall, a fairly uneventful week of weather. High 40s Thursday feeling very warm in the sun! Nice, steady rain Friday morning. Saturday high in the 40s and overcast. Sunday morning overcast and 40s. BEAUTIFUL Monday, sunny and just about 50. Lots of folks out raking. The fire pit in Z Park is freshly fluffed and de-ashed just DYING for a party-fire. Smacked dead a rouge mosquito that flew in the house while windows were open. Tuesday and Wednesday again, beautiful - sunny and just above 50! The very last small (once large) pile of snow which remained on the Croquet course melted. Where snow had slid off of metal roofed houses and into shady spots – snow piles remain - mini seasonal glaciers. Tulips, crocus maple buds and more popping up and out. Full “pink” moon Tuesday night, though, unfortunately it was fairly cloudy… ALTHOUGH.. the PEEPERS came out for the first time this year to sing at The Setback Tuesday night to greet the full moon and warm weather! Coyotes in abundance out Wednesday night and could be heard yip'n'howl south of the river by the truck trail. Getting cold over the next couple of days. 30s by day 20s by night... and maybe a little SNOW! River grass can be seen popping up along river.
A closer inspection of the new grass growing through the old, reveals – at least in some spots along the river – that last year’s grass is undoubtedly combed in one direction. This combed texture is created by none other than the frozen river when it POPS, FLOWS and JAMS. Imagine a giant river-slushie with the power of freight train(s?) cascading over and onto the shoreline, whooshing through the woods over boulders, slamming into trees on the shore line - and quite abrasively flattening and combing last years strands of grass. Sedges? Reeds? Grasses? River grass. In the picture below the grass is combed away from the water because at this point in the river it is just downstream from a straightaway. So, the ice jam has LOTS of momentum. Enough to JUMP the shoreline and go straight through a curve in the river onto the rocks and into the woods.
And here’s a shot of some remains of this year's ice jam staying cool in a shady spot along the Oswegatchie:
Clifton Fine Hospital in Star Lake was mentioned on North County Public Radio: https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/41038/20200403/how-ny-state-s-smallest-hospital-clifton-fine-is-prepping-for-covid-19 . There is LOTS more news about our area (St. Lawrence County, Adirondacks, etc...) concerning the Covid-19 crisis (obviously). Besided NCPR be sure to check out North Country Now’s website.
A message from Wanakena’s Blackwaters CafĂ©:

Easy Take-Out has arrived! ONLINE ORDERING is available for GO Meals, Basic Groceries & Bakery Items – adding more each week! Easy ordering, easy payment – schedule your approximate pickup time between 3pm – 6pm. Ring the doorbell at the FRONT door and we’ll deliver to your car. CLICK “FOOD!” LINK AT TOP OF PAGE to try it out! (Thank you for all those who tested it out for us!)

UB’s Mercantile in Oswegatchie, Todd Hardware, Mountain Gate Redemption, Adirondack Pharmacy in Star Lake, and Stone Manor Diner in Cranberry Lake also remain open for business in one way or another.

The Clifton Community Library in Cranberry Lake hosts via Facebook Live bedtime storied read aloud by Ms. Kate the Librarian!

Hillside Diner in Oswegatchie, Twin Lakes Hotel and Coffee Fever in Star Lake and Otto’s Abode in Wanakena remain temporarily closed.
Previously exhibited artist via Otto’s Abode, Michael Mandolfo contacted us the other day mentioning that because of the Covid-19 crisis and noting that most art establishments are temporarily closed, his exhibition of photographs taken in Wanakena - The Flow Through Wanakena - currently on display at Kean University has been expanded to be more available online. A Statement from Michael concerning the project/exhibition:

The Flow Through Wanakena is a series of abstract photographs that explore the natural patterns of the water surface found from the Oswegatchie River to Cranberry Lake through the small Adirondack town of Wanakena, New York. The abstract photographs were taken full-frame in the camera without the use of double exposure or cropping. The images have been printed on large fabric wall hangings and are hung in such a way that the fabric flows with the air current in the gallery space.

This exhibition's goal is to reach people who may not be exposed to art or nature and encourage all viewers to pause and reflect on the fragile beauty of our waterways. The artist invites the viewer to reflect on how the flow affects our lives, both spiritually and physically; the connections that we share with the water and with nature in general; what it says to us, where it takes our thoughts; the silence or sounds that come to mind, memories that it evokes.


More info on the exhibition at Otto’s Abode here: http://www.ottosabode.org/2018/10/exhibition-opening_3.html

Photograph by Michal Mandolfo:

Well, what do you know. Don’t you love when you call someone up to check on something and they say: “Oh, I was just getting to that today!”… Well, this week it happened! Watertown Daily Times is back in action on the front porch of Otto’s Abode/Wanakena Post Office. (The machine had previously been turned around with a handwritten “out or order” sign taped to it). Thanks WDT! Speaking of the Wanakena Post Office. A new note taped on the door reads: “Please put outgoing letter mail in the blue box outside of post office” in other words: please don’t come in here unless you have to. Cheers to Mary Manchio keeping the lights on at the Wanakena Post Office!

***IT HAS MOVED!!! A G A I N !!!*** This past spring a storm blew over a large hemlock on the south shore of the Oswegatchie – halfway between the carbridge and the footbridge. The tree fell north into the river and laid there half submerged all summer. It didn’t cause any harm. Though the ice jam on Jan 14th wouldn’t be described as “big” or “crazy” it was enough to dislodge the tree from its resting place and carry it down to its new resting place directly below the footbridge. It has been resting there ever since. Throughout the winter animal tracks could be seen walking up to the branches sticking out of the ice, looking for something to nibble on. When they ice WENT OUT (melted) a couple weeks ago it didn't move the tree and it was figured to be a new semi-perminant fixture underneath the footbridge; the water continued to rise and rush enough to move the tree about fifty yards down-river just out of the boat channel! It was quite a perfect place for it, actually. A nice new island a stones-throw from the footbridge. It was sure to attract critters; the geese sure knew it's there! WELL, AS THE WATER RISES… the tree moves! AGAIN. It is now comfortably positioned just near the shoreline before the bay by Fox’s Den. This could be it's final resting place.
Kim’s Lost Dog Report: There are currently NO lost dogs in Wanakena. Although, an adult-sized tricycle was seen rolling down third street without a rider. Lost Dog? No. Lost Bike? Yes. It was not until the owner of the trike was seen striding behind it - as when one chases after a dog-on-the-loose - that the trike was successfully captured.

Wanakena Ranger School Property remains closed to the public until April 29th.

A State of Emergency has been declared in St. Lawrence County effective Monday, March 16, 2020 through April 14, 2020 in conjunction with Coronavirus/Covid19.

St. Lawrence County spring outdoor burn ban in effect March 16th – May 14th.

Any questions, comments, concerns, trail condition inquiries, legends, jokes, animal sightings, etc… feel free to email otto@ottosabode.org or call 3158483008!

All for now!