Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Thousand Islands

The Thousand Islands first came to public attention in 1872 when President Grant visited George Pullman on Castle Rest. Within years the Thousand Islands was the playground of the rich and famous as well as those who of more modest incomes looking to escape the summer heat of the big cities. Railroad service to Clayton, NY started in 1873. During the summer months, trains transported vacationers from New York, Boston and Philadelphia to Clayton, NY. At one point, as many as 12 trains a day pulled up to the dock to disgorge passengers, trunks and luggage for transfer to steamers. These were vacationers who were not here for the day, but for at least a week, maybe a month, perhaps the entire season.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Carp were present in the St. Lawrence River prior to 1900

Carp are not a native species.  The fish, originating in Asia, were introduced into New York State in 1831 as a source of food. Carp were present in the St. Lawrence River prior to 1900. Many diners, however, have thought of carp as bottom-feeders in warm ponds, hence presumed to be muddy tasting or even reputed to be “polluted fish.”  Carp may survive in polluted waters, but prefer clean from which they are fine eating.  Carp are commercially marketed.  The Japanese, known to be fish connoisseurs, regard carp highly, and Jewish diners, scrupulous about cleanliness of their food, have long savored carp. Carp is enjoyed in China and is traditional for Christmas Eve dining in Slovakia and Poland. Instructions for preparation are available online.  Recipes for preparing carp bait are as elaborate as those for cooking the fish.
Carp are distributed widely.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation notes that they are to be found in eastern Lake Ontario and at the Thousand Islands--prominently in Eel Bay, above Wellesley Island (and not far from Clayton--where “there is no carp fishing”).
The New York State record size for carp is fifty pounds, four ounces.  More commonly, carp abound in the ten-thirty pound range

Monday, January 9, 2017

1000 Islands International Bridge

 The 1000 Islands International Bridge offers a panoramic view of the islands near Ivy Lea. The suspension bridge is 150-feet over the St. Lawrence. I’ve driven by boat underneath the bridge and travelled across it by vehicle many times but seeing it from above in a helicopter aboard 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours gave me a birds eye view of ‘The Bridge’ as  it is locally known here on ‘The River’.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Minna Anthony Nature Center on Wellesley Island

The islands are elongated parallel to the river, with blunt upstream ends and gentle downstream trailing slopes. Evidence of the glaciers can be seen throughout the region in the form of glacial furrows, glacial erratics, and potholes. A glacial pothole is a semi cylindrical hole gouged out of the bedrock by the scouring action of rocks and pebbles in the floodwaters of retreating glaciers. The best known (and largest) example of a pothole in the Islands is Half Moon Bay on Bostwick Island. Several smaller examples of potholes can be seen along the Eel Bay Trail portion of the Minna Anthony Nature Center on Wellesley Island. An example of a glacial furrow can be found in the road cut on Route 12 just outside of Keewaydin State Park. Here the bedrock of Precambrian gneiss has been scoured and polished by boulders at the bottom of the glaciers. Glacial erratics are boulders from elsewhere that were carried by the ice and then dumped as the glaciers melted. These can be found throughout the region.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

along the St. Lawrence River

The former industrial site will become a focal point in the Mohawks’ cultural restoration program, funded by a $19 million settlement in 2013 with GM, Alcoa and Reynolds for pollution of tribal fishing and hunting grounds along the St. Lawrence River. The program partners young apprentices with tribal elders to preserve the Mohawk language and pass on traditional practices such as hunting, fishing, trapping, basket-making, horticulture and medicine.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thousand Island Park

 You can ride on a tour boat or rent a houseboat in Alexandria Bay New York. Watch hulking ocean-going freighters pass along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Go scuba diving to look at underwater shipwrecks. Attend vesper services by boat. Take a shuttle boat to shop at the Boateak on Bluff Island or a ferry to dine at an inn on Wolfe Island. Stay overnight at a B&B on a boat or an island. Camp in a cabin on Canoe Island or a tent on Mary Island, and island-hop between campsites in Canada's St. Lawrence National Park.
  You can visit North America's largest freshwater maritime museum, see first-rate theater at a playhouse beside the water, visit a nature center on Wellesley Island, reminisce in the Victorian homes and ambiance of Thousand Island Park, relive the past on Wolfe Island, and enjoy the local Thousand Island salad dressing and River Rat cheese.