Almanack Contributor Laura Bellinger

I am a retired teacher who enjoys the outdoors, especially the Adirondacks. My parents took us camping when we were kids, then we attended 4-H Camp in Speculator (a former CCC camp). As an adult, I served on the Camp board for 8 years. I went to my friend's camp in Bloomingdale (Saranac) for 10 years. We enjoyed cross country skiing, canoeing, fishing, snowshoeing, etc. I still hike, cross country and downhill ski, snowshoe. I bicycle and ride a Harley. I play the organ at a 300 year old church.

Monday, November 27, 2023

The relaxing experience of a sound healing session

Sound healing session instructor

Recently, an announcement for a sound healing experience at the ADKX appeared in my email.  So I thought, what the heck? Let’s try it! My friend [Rosemary] does not do yoga or meditate.  She is a retired hard-nosed investigative journalist who has lived and reported around the world.  So, she wasn’t sure how she would feel about this “full body sound massage.” I don’t really practice “wellness” activities either, but [I] did walk the new ASA Adirondack Labyrinth in October, so [I] thought this might be a good follow up.


Therefore, on Sunday, November 19, Rosemary drove about an hour from Sand Lake to my home in Ephratah.  We drove another hour and a half to Blue Mountain Lake. (Of the approximately 15 guests, it was determined we traveled the farthest.) We arrived a little early, so [we] watched Andrea Lisette Villiere of Sound Healing Adirondacks set up her “instruments” of crystal and copper bowls, gongs, etc.

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Monday, October 16, 2023

A visit to Asa Adirondack Labyrinth

Asa Adirondack Labyrinth.

My mother and I met Christine Powers at the Adirondack Labyrinth a little after 9 a.m. this morning [ October 11.] It was a chilly day in Johnsburg in a beautiful setting with birch trees, two ponds, and the babbling Kibby Creek. There was a sign instructing us to park outside the gate, sign in, and walk to the gazebo.  There was a lovely (much welcomed) fire. Christine greeted us, [and] offered chairs and blankets. We were scheduled for last Saturday, but it poured all day, so Christine was gracious enough to invite us for an early appointment today.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Poetry: On the Porch with Lily

Stray cat on a chair

Upon waking at midnight.

I look outside

to see if the little unhoused calico

is sleeping on “her” wicker chair.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Poem: Day’s End



Relaxing on the porch

with book and drink

is my reward

for persevering

through a myriad of chores.

The sharp, incessant chirp

of a nearby cardinal

makes me think

we both enjoy the rain.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Poetry: Heat Lightning


Heat Lightning:

All day, meteorologists promised extreme storms.
Tonight, the atmosphere is grumbling,
clearing its throat, and posturing,
like a featherweight boxer
trying to seem larger and tougher
than he is.

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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Poetry: Reading Outside Near the Crab Apple Tree

Crab apple tree

The wind is especially strong today,

its invisible hands shaking the crab apple

like a snow globe.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2023

A perfect day just outside the Adirondack Park

plaque for Italian Oven in Little Falls
A friend and I prepared a jam packed itinerary last Saturday.
We began at the original Beaversprite. We saw Dorothy Richards’ home, listened to the babbling brook, spotted a deer, many wildflowers and butterflies.
The Utica Zoo is now in charge of Beaversprite.  We drove to the nature center at Belden’s Corners where we found walking trails, more wildflowers, and more butterflies.
We filled our water jugs at the Dolgeville spring, then toured the Violet Festival.  Homes were decorated in violet bows, flowers, lights, etc.  We went through the Daniel Green Mill to ooh and ahh over the flower show.
Next, we were awed by the hundreds(?) of varieties of African violets, begonias, and orchids at the Lyndon Lyons Greenhouse. The owner explained that there are not many violet greenhouses like his left in the US.  This greenhouse even sends hundreds of violets to the Virginia Beach Botanical Gardens! I never even knew this jewel was right in our backyard.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

A Visit From Becky

Laura Bellinger's late sister, Becky.

My sister passed
from this world,
like a puff of smoke
from one of our
Speculator bonfires.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Encounter with an Agile Marmot

Woodchuck (Marmota monax.)

It’s woodchuck season again.
In fields and woodlands
they abound.
I drive slowly,
knowing they’re around.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Nova Scotia Wildfires 2023

hazy sky

Must beauty always come with pain?
Not even Mother Earth is spared.
The French say “il faut souffrir pour être belle”
“one must suffer to be beautiful”.

The meteorologists report that Canada’s blaze
may create an extraordinary sunset
from the poisonous haze.

The death of a forest combines with the end of a day.
A terrible funeral pyre from which smoke chokes the air.
Yet Nature rises like the Phoenix,
the sinking Sun takes a deep, brave, gasping breath,
exhaling one last crimson burst,
creating a sky too awesome to bear.


Photo: Hazy sky in Vermontville due to wildfires. Photo by Melissa Hart

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Spring visitor

The dinner guest arrived late.
No invitation.
No reservations.

Just newly awake,
belly growling with
a devastating hunger.

Drawn here
for a free meal,
high in calories.
A good deal.

He almost got away with it
but for a soft noise.

3 a.m. is the witching hour.
I look out.
Is he even real?
or a supernatural specter?

To Native Americans
he is a spiritual guide.
To Robert Frost
a being that roams wide:
“The world has room to make a bear feel free;
The universe seems cramped to you and me.”

Ursa Major dominates the spring skies.
The Big Dipper, a guide.
Under the stars, my bruin friend,
I whisper “safely abide.”

I will listen to the DEC officers
and take the bird feeders
down until fall.
When you next again
“rock a boulder on the wall”.


Black bear in Raquette Lake. Photo by Jeff Nadler, archive photo.

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