Dogs, photography, Upstate New York

dog park

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10 thoughts on “dog park

    • It struck me as strange, but there’s an explanation. In the middle of my county, during WWII, they built a huge Army depot, an airstrip to train pilots, and a Navy training base (on a lake, far from the ocean, I guess so it was safe from subs, etc.) They covered 1,000’s of acres, but finally shut it all down, and the Navy base is now 99% gone. The “brig” was turned into a little museum. My sister and I learned to drive on all the abandoned roads, where there used to be barracks, etc.
      Part of it is now a state park, and the woods are gradually covering most of it up. They had to clear away soil contaminated with fuel, explosives residue, etc. and this field must have been part of that.
      Here’s one more thing in this long answer. On the former depot land, surrounded by a high fence, there’s a herd of pure white deer! Not albinos, just pure white, due to a genetic quirk and inbreeding, fenced in since 1941. I’ve never gotten a decent photo of them but will try again some time.

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      • Wow – natural white deer, that must be an amazing sight! Your explanation of the history of the place sounds right… and there must must be a lot of places like that, I expect.

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      • Most military bases in the U.S. are concentrated in the South and West, but in the past, there were quite a few in the Northeast, too. People sometimes convert old missile silos, watch towers, etc. into homes. Some of the depot has warehouses where they repair railroad cars, press grape seed oil, all kinds of things. and a lot of the land is finally going back to farmland, but they’ve promised to set aside sev’l thousand acres for a deer preserve.

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      • That’s good news. Will they stick to their promise, do you think?

        Do people have to have permission to convert old Military properties, or did they become common property after a period of time?

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      • It’s a protracted bureaucratic process, having the land released by the military. The depot, for example, is now controlled by a county “public corporation” that promotes industry, but they’ve agreed with the deer plan, and there’s so much public attention, I think the deer are safe, for the near future, anyway. Eventually I hope the state parks agency will take over the deer preserve, they already took the Navy base.
        Some land will be leased to local Amish farmers. No one has any idea what to do with the airstrip and control tower!
        I think this time the Army is really gone, but they reactivated all this for Korea, and then Vietnam, so I guess it’s possible they’ll be back.

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  1. First the photo: it made me laugh, for sure. If you’re going to develop a dog park (or even imagine a dog park where none formally exists) of course it has to be furnished to suit a dog’s preferences, and this one surely is. Sometimes, the right title can create a wonderful context.

    And lo! there are the Seneca deer. There still isn’t a firm conclusion about the white deer that showed up on the high-fenced ranch here in Texas. Everyone’s certain they aren’t albino, but whether they’re Seneca that somehow were dumped is still unclear.

    There’s an old army base down near Port O’Connor that’s always been fun to explore. There’s an old, metal-clad lighthouse there, too. During the Civil War, the Confederate forces took out the lens and buried it in the sand, so the Union boys marching up the coastline from Brownsville couldn’t find it. My gr-gr-grandfather was with those troops — he made it to Matagorda island before I did!

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    • We’re seeing fewer white deer lately so maybe some got kidnapped!
      That’s a neat link to the Civil War! I’ve looked at some of those old Fresnel lenses, and pretty neat. Even a 5 watt bulb is too bright to look at through them
      Speaking of lighthouses how’s the weather there!?

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      • Right now, it’s fine. I just got back from a couple of hours of looking around — gloomy, and can’t get into many of the places I’d like to go because of water. There still are some tornados around, but we’re in between bands, and happy for it.

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