The frozen lake, carnivorous plants and an abandoned summer camp

The other day we went for a nature walk on the frozen lake at the weekend house. Don't worry. It's perfectly safe. We wait until we see the Russian fisherman driving out to setup their huts before we go on the ice every year. These photographs are my humble homage to my hero Harry Callahan. (Click photos to enlarge)

We live on three lakes that are connected: White Lake, Kauneonga Lake and Amber Lake. I wanted to take the 30-45 minute walk over to the bog forest on Amber Lake where we canoe to see the carnivorous pitcher plants in the summertime, especially since I had never checked on them in the winter. Even in summertime Amber Lake is a quietly mysterious place, in winter it is even more so. There is some interesting history on White Lake here.


Animal footprints surround a watering hole in the bog forest (above). It was hard to spot the pitcher plants among all the dead leaves (below).

These American pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea) are about five-inches tall and live on mossy islands in the bog. They had a frozen block of ice in their throats and downward-facing hairs that help keep insects from climbing back out over the lip. In the summertime they are more conspicuous when they send up tall flowers.


The bog is a series of small moss islands surrounded by channels. In the summertime we canoe in between the islands where the water is very deep, dark and tannic. Once I fell in trying to see a pitcher plant and was covered in incredibly smelly black anaerobic mud. I had a hard time convincing Chad to let me back in the canoe while he kept me out with his oar. He would have survived the Titanic I feel sure.

Kauneonga Lake


Amber Lake with a stunted hemlock tree in the bog.

A partially frozen ice fishing hole. The ice looks to be about 10-12 inches thick.

Next year's bud are already on the trees.

Chad walks on frozen White Lake.


Ice feathers down by the shoreline.

In the woods on the far edge of Amber Lake and Kauneonga Lake, we came across a derelict summer camp hidden in the woods. I know from a friend who went there in the 1960s that it was called Camp Hi-Li (Hebrew Institute of Long Island). There is a facebook group that shows photographs of this camp in its heyday.

One of the abandoned Hi-Li buildings with a tree growing out of its middle.

The place had an eerie feel to it in the snow. This looks like it was one of the main buildings.

A small wooden hut is the only structure visible from the lake.

It's unclear to me why they would have wanted a swimming pool when the beach on the lake and is 100 feet away.

I understand that most of the structures burnt down in the 1990s. Oddly there are groves of white birches growing out of the site of every cabin, in among the stone pilings. Since there aren't many birches around otherwise, it almost looks like a art installation.

2 comments:

MJ said...

As always, fantastic! Love ur photos. What a magical place!!

Germi said...

I'm going out and buying that camera asap. Can I also buy your eyes and exquisite taste?