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April 19, 2012
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This year’s long range weather report is in.  Folklore among the Canallers is,

Oak before the ash; a year of slop and splash.

“Ash before the oak; a year of fire and smoke.”

As you can see the red oaks along this end of the Erie Canal began leafing out two weeks ahead of the ash.  So if you follow the folklore we will have a wet year.

Wild flowers are a couple of weeks before “normal”. And the blue heron are back earlier than usual from warmer climates.

A barge with WWII vintage aircraft rises in Lock E5.

A barge with Korean War vintage aircraft rises in Lock E5.

The true sign of spring is the Erie Canal is open.  On Saturday, April 28, 2012, two barges with three vintage Korean War aircraft began moving through the Waterford Flight of Locks.  The aircraft are en route to the Empire State Aerosciences Museum at the Schenectady County Airport.  My question is, even though there is no flight deck, can the barges be considered aircraft carriers?

There was a cold, dry, gusty west wind.  But the bright sun and blue skis helped make the craft quite a unique perspective as they moved  through the canal locks.  Curious spectators included those interested in aircraft and those interested in Canal operations.

The interior of Lock E5 makes a MiG, in the foreground look small.

The interior of Lock E5 makes a MiG 15, in the foreground look small. - photo by Tyler Koziol

It was especially interesting on Monday morning to see one of those aircraft pictured in the Daily Gazette engulfing a four lane width of Freeman’s Bridge Road as it moved between the Erie Canal barge to the Schenectady County Airport. The difference in perspective is dramatic.

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