Camillus Erie Canal Park

This past weekend the Camillus Erie Canal Park had a Grand Celebration to dedicate the restored Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct, but since I work on the weekend, we couldn’t make it out there until Sunday after work, after all of the festivities were done.  It doesn’t matter, because I don’t really enjoy crowds, anyway!  And by the time we got there (after eating Luigi’s  pizza, mmmmm), the sun was in that perfect place in the sky to shed an orange glow on everything.

Here’s a replica of the Sims’ canal store, now known as Sims’ Museum, which wasn’t open. I do want to go back when it is open, soon!

DSCN1681
Sims’ Museum

A long bed of iris along the canal bank were all so beautiful!
DSCN1684

This is an old lock:
DSCN1685

As we were examining the lock, Midnight, the resident kitty, came over to greet us, and then to perch himself underneath one of the bottom valves of the lock:
DSCN1698

Buoy Boat 159 is on display here:
DSCN1692

DSCN1701

This is a replica of a Lock House:
DSCN1699

We then went a mile down the canal to Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct:
DSCN1702

If you click on this Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct link, you can see progress pictures of the restoration:
DSCN1705

This looks great!
DSCN1706

The aqueduct over Nine Mile Creek:
DSCN1704

Of course, we had to walk down to the little waterfall of Nine Mile Creek:
DSCN1710

Assuming that this is the old wood which was taken out and replaced with the brand new wood:
DSCN1709

There is a steam engine exhibit that we need to come back and see sometime, soon, too! This is one of the steam engines outside of the exhibit area:
DSCN1715

The back wheels are taller than me!

I took this shot of the sign for the hours, so we can visit when the museum is open:
DSCN1720

And the last thing I noticed was this wildlife refuge sign!
DSCN1717
I always love to see areas for wildlife!

Letchworth State Park – The Nature

Since we were parked near the Portage Bridge, we decided to walk down along the Upper Falls on the Gorge Trail. Have you guessed that I love bridges? So please bear with me, here’s a couple of photos of the Portage Bridge, taken from beneath the bridge.

DSC08827

I love the symmetry of bridges.

DSC08828

Here we are looking down on the Upper Falls, and a sheet of ice on the east side of the falls:

DSC08830

There’s interesting rock along the trail. I have to investigate this.

DSC08843

This is part of the trail down. We had to really watch our steps, because the stairs are uneven, and in some places are missing:

DSC08848

There are cool smaller falls that feed into the Genesee River:

DSC08865

DSC08873

Here’s part of the ice on the east wall I mentioned above:
DSC08866

We’re looking back at the Upper Falls, the Portage Bridge and the ice:
DSC08888

I was on the search for Bloodroot, but saw tons of Skunk Cabbages along the west bank:
DSC08876

DSC08878

DSC08886

I also saw an area with Coltsfoot (Tussilaga farfara), which is so exciting to see after winter!
DSC08879

We had lunch down near this CCC Statue (sorry the statue doesn’t show up, but I was freezing after eating outside in the cold wind) and didn’t feel like getting out of the car at this point to get a better photo:
DSC08892

After eating we went to the Glen Iris Inn to the gift shop to buy their new self-guided driving tour book:
DSC08899

And to see the Middle Falls:
DSC08893

This fountain:
DSC08900

was spraying on the evergreen, causing it to ice up:
DSC08901
(yes, it’s still cold in NY!)

We then hiked up the Mary Jemison trail and saw a downed Eastern Hemlock tree (wah!). Even though I was sad, I loved looking at the wood:
DSC08908

I love the grain, and it smelled good, too:
DSC08909

As my brother said, “this is pleasant,” and it truly was:
DSC08910

Into The Woods

Finally! I was able to get out into the woods yesterday afternoon after having spent all morning and early afternoon first working on my yard and then my Mom’s yard. And I was hoping, based on the past dates in my Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide that I would be able to find some of my favorite spring flowers in bloom. And we did! Yay!

We were so excited to spy some lovely little patches of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

DSC03948_fc

DSC03947_fc
I *love* this flower. And in New York State this plant is listed as Exploitably Vulnerable 😦

And then we spied tons of Trout Lilies or Yellow Adder’s Tongue or Dogtooth Violet (Erythronium americanum) (don’t you love all of the common names).

DSC03976_fc
You can see the brown mottling on the leaves.

DSC03951_fc

And then another favorite of mine, Cut-leaved Toothwort or Pepperroot (Dentaria laciniata), and you can see where both the common name and latin names come from by this next photo:

DSC03953_fc

Here’s one with a white flower and a little bee pollinating it:

DSC03954_fc_crop

And one with pinkish flowers:

DSC03955_fc_crop

This next flower I know is a Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis), but I’m not sure whether it is a sharp-lobed or blunt-lobed since I didn’t look at the leaves (bad Pam).

DSC03958_fc

Another favorite of mine, and one of the 100 herbs I had to learn inside and out, Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

DSC03962_fc
I love the way the leaves come up (and don’t you love the way they poke right through the dried tree leaves)?

I love the leaves when they’re unfolded:
DSC03963_fc

And, of course, I have to show the coolest parts, the spathe and spadix (the spathe being the outer hood and the spadix the knob-shaped cluster inside of it).

DSC03964_fc

We also saw Marsh Marigolds or Cowslip (Caltha palustris) but it was too early for their blossoms:

DSC03973_fc
(sorry no closeups, I wasn’t prepared to go into the water, and I don’t really know how deep it is).

There’s a platform at the edge of the swamp that you can watch and listen to all kinds of birds. I accidentally flushed out a turkey, but didn’t capture a photo of it. Here’s last year’s cattails:

DSC03971_fc

And I spied some eyeballs, can you see them?

DSC03970_fc

Here’s a crop of this photo so you can see the eyeballs a little better:

DSC03970_fc_crop
There’s tons of frogs here.

We tried finding sunning turtles, but I guess we were too late in the day for them. We did see a couple of snakes, but I was only able to capture this Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis):

DSC03961_fc
I love snakes! You can also see how profuse the Trout-Lilies are here, along with the Cut-Leaved Toothwort. And I love my new book The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State because I don’t have to weed through a million species! (P.S. Mary, you’ve *got* to check out the cover of this book)!

Another one of my favorites, moss around the base of a tree in the swamp:
DSC03974_fc

And a burl. I would love to see the inside of it.
DSC03975_fc

And you know I can’t walk through the woods without photographing fungus:
DSC03957_fc

That’s basically it! Except for all of the tremendous sounds in the woods – the bird calls, peepers, etc. We couldn’t have picked a better day to go into the woods! I used to walk through these woods every day, and I miss them very much!

P.S. And for the record, it was 86 degrees F today. Yes, in April. Very unusual for this time of year.

Chanticleer Gardens

The other day I received the May 2008 Horticulture magazine and saw on pages 47-51 that Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA won The Award for Garden Excellence in 2007. I visited there in April 2005, before I was really into taking photos of everything, even though the people I was with wouldn’t believe that because I still have tons of photos from the place. But I don’t have any photos of the very cool old house or the signs. So here’s a bit of what I do have.

Ah, green grass.

100_1752_hl
Minder Ruin, where Minder House once stood – a second home on the property.

100_1754_sl
Terraces leading up to Minder Ruin.

100_1780_crop
These huge acorns are located within the ruin.

100_1751_sl
There’s nothing like spring trees and flowers in blossom. . .

100_1767_sl
I love this cool stone shed.

100_1769_sl
And the water garden.

We went into the woods (you know me, I have to go into the woods) and saw Jack in the Pulpit
100_1759_sl

Among other flowers:
100_1760_sl

100_1766_sl

And trees growing side by side:
100_1768_sl

And hellebores, one of my favorite springtime plants:
100_1782_sl

And flowering shrubs:

100_1783_sl

100_1786_sl

If you ever make it to the eastern end of PA, I recommend visiting Chanticleer Garden!

Cool Stuff Happening Around My Home!

Yesterday when I woke up at 5:30 the light coming into my house was a really pretty orange (my favorite color)! Before I hopped into the shower to get ready for work I went out to the kitchen to get a drink of water and lookie what I saw out the window! A lucky Friday the 13th rainbow!

2007-07-13 DSC01175

(The spots on the window are rain, honest)!  Once again I was limited on how much of this rainbow I could capture, but it sure was pretty!

Fast forward to today. I was working around my house, and had to go to the bathroom, and I looked out the window to see a lot of splish splashing at the bird bath. A Baltimore Oriel had just taken a bath and was fluffing its feathers on the Rose of Sharon. I took this photo through the screen and from far away, so it’s lousy, but it was fun to see so many birdies taking their baths today! (I wish I had seen the Baltimore Oriel taking its bath)!

2007-07-14 DSC01176_crop

When I went to take the garbage out and get the mail, this little guy was hanging on the side of my house:

2007-07-14 DSC01179_crop

Then I saw my yellow lilies are in blossom:

2007-07-14 DSC01181

And my Echinacea is blossoming, too, even though something ate them all down earlier! Yay for the butterflies and later the chickadees!

2007-07-14 DSC01187

One of my favorite herbs of all time is lavender – I simply adore the smell of fresh lavender:

2007-07-14 DSC01188_crop

This thistle is in blossom in my backyard:

2007-07-14 DSC01190

I don’t give a crap if the neighbors don’t like this type of stuff, it’s my yard, and there are always tons of birdies hanging out in my back yard. In fact the birdies get pissed when I come out to take photos!

Of course I had to capture a photo of this little orange flower!

2007-07-14 DSC01194

I was going to go to a new to me state park today, but I’m glad I ran errands and then stayed home and worked around here so I could see the things that go on when I’m at work!

What I Do When I Have a STUPID Day. . .

what else, instead of hiding under the covers and praying for a quick end to the day, but to go for a walk in the woods! And that’s just what I did. After a stupid day at work. Stupid stupid stupid. Stupid. Stupid. There, now on to my walk. I went to 1000 Acre Swamp. I’ll be searching out other woods, because swamp = mosquitoes, and how the heck am I supposed to get decent photos with them sucking my very life’s blood out of my body.

Anyway, I came home from stupid (yes I really do appreciate having a job) and ate an early, quick dinner, and headed out to the swamp/woods. I felt an instant serge of peace and energy flow through me as I walked down this path to the swamp / woods.

2007-05-30 003

I saw buttercups, and columbine. This one was being shy, but I love the purple.

2007-05-30 015_crop

And fleabane, which looks white in this photo, but it’s actually a very light purple:

2007-05-30 012_crop

As I started walking on the boardwalk,

2007-05-30 017

I heard the frogs rebel and hop into the water. Someone’s looking at you!

2007-05-30 020

I love these cinnamon ferns on this log in the middle of the swamp:

2007-05-30 025

and this little island with the reflection of the blue sky on the water, and the sunlight:

2007-05-30 027

Christmas Fern:

2007-05-30 037

I love this photo of the boardwalk. I set the camera darker than it really was. Don’t know why I did that, I just felt like it.

2007-05-30 030

There was a bird here, a lifer too, one beautiful bird. I sooo need a quicker camera.

2007-05-30 032

And a fern I didn’t id:

2007-05-30 035

Lots of fungus on a log:

2007-05-30 040

I saw a jack-in-the-pulpit. Sorry, I wasn’t in the mood to get down in the mud to photograph “Jack.”

2007-05-30 043

Another fern I didn’t id:

2007-05-30 044

It was at this point that I started seeing leaves of three all over the place. Nooooo, I won’t be taking any more walks in this swamp for now. I am not going to get poison ivy again this summer if I can help it.

And then I saw the partly fallen tree that goes over the path I had to walk on. I forgot about that, too. It makes me VERY uncomfortable to walk under it. All I need is to be the “straw that broke the camel’s back” so to speak.

2007-05-30 045

Ohhh, rocks, but nothing like what I saw at ASP last Saturday.

2007-05-30 046

Okay, so I’ve been waiting very patiently to show you this. Remember the tree on Trillium Trail that looks like it’s running away from its issues?

2007-05-30 049

It.

2007-05-30 050

Has.

2007-05-30 051

Leaves!! And it’s a maple.

2007-05-30 052

How awesome is that!

All in all, what a peaceful end to a, ummm, what kind of day was that again?

A 65,000 Acre Backyard

What does one do with a 65,000 acre backyard? Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Mon@rch (Tom) and experiencing first-hand some of what he does in his *huge* backyard! We hiked to many very interesting places. First we went to an old growth forest, where he taught me so much more about old growth forests, so now I hopefully can spot one when I’m in one! One of the many signs are the mounds created from fallen trees. Saplings grow on this rich soil, eventually this soil is washed away, and this is an example of what is left:

2007-05-26_ASP 006

And this:

2007-05-26_ASP 015

You will also see buttress roots on the older trees, like this:

2007-05-26_ASP 014

Another sign is when you look up a tree there are no branches down low. You have to look up at the canopy to see the leaves of the trees, like this:

2007-05-26_ASP 013

The old trees will be nice and straight, like the one above and this one:

2007-05-26_ASP 008

(are you getting than I’m in heaven here with all of these trees and learning!)

You’ll see newly fallen over trees, which leave a huge hole in the canopy. The saplings that have been waiting for this opportunity start growing, and eventually the strongest sapling(s) win.

2007-05-26_ASP 002

You see a variety of trees in the area. One of the trees that I was really surprised to see (and I didn’t capture a photo of) is a HUGE cucumber magnolia tree!

On the way down and back up the old ski slope we saw lots of interrupted fern:

2007-05-26_ASP 016

And Mayapple:

2007-05-26_ASP 021

along with a large variety of other vegetation, including club moss, that I didn’t capture (I know, well, I’ll just have to go back, won’t I?)

Next, Mon@rch took me to see a 200 year old Sugar Maple tree. Mon@rch showed you his up-tree photo, so I’ll show you other views:

2007-05-26_ASP 036

Check out these buttress roots. Aren’t they gorgeous!

2007-05-26_ASP 040

I love the rocks laying all over the place. Makes it hard to walk through a field of rocks like this, but I still think they’re wonderful:

2007-05-26_ASP 031

Next we saw Bridal Veil Falls, but it was raining so we didn’t bring the cameras there. Hopefully I can take photos another time!

Next stop was at Thunder Rocks. Are you getting the theme, I love trees, flowers and rocks, and of course, birds! Rock polypody grows on these boulders, along with moss, lichens, trees, etc.:

2007-05-26_ASP 053

And a tree that looks like it’s sitting up down on this boulder:

2007-05-26_ASP 056

Next we went to France Brook and saw a beaver:

2007-05-26_ASP 060_crop

And when it got scared it disappeared under the water and didn’t show up again. We also saw a pair of grackles removing fecal sacks from the cavity of a dead tree. Here’s a beaver dam in a pond down further:

2007-05-26_ASP 063

While Mon@rch was talking on his cell ordering us some food, I took photos of the Administration Building:

2007-05-26_ASP 069

And the bridge at Red House lake:

2007-05-26_ASP 068

Then we went up to Stone Tower:

2007-05-26_ASP 080

This is the view from the top looking north:

2007-05-26_ASP 074

There is an arrow in the stones pointing to (magnetic?) north:

2007-05-26_ASP 078

And here’s the view looking southwest:

2007-05-26_ASP 075

If the trees weren’t there we could have seen Red House lake!

We stopped to see a ton of Blue Cohosh, a favorite herb of mine!

2007-05-26_ASP 083

Then we went up to the top of another hill with a restaurant on it and took some photos of the view:

2007-05-26_ASP 087

After that we headed for the store for (vegeterian – thanks Mon@rch) pizza, and met Grace who is the naturalist at Allegany State Park and does the ASP blog here.

If anyone wonders why I love New York State, this park is a fine example of why I think NYS is one of the most beautiful places to live! Many, many thanks to Mon@rch for the wonderful day of learning and hiking!

Interesting Wildflower at Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

My friend and I had plans to hike through the Wesley Hill Nature Preserve in the Finger Lakes region on July 17, 2004 and pretty much got rained out. The rain let up for a minute, the mosquitoes were thick, and I did get to take a photo of this interesting looking wildflower. UPDATE: Please see Lynne’s comment for the description of this wildflower called Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora)! Thanks Lynne!
Wesley_Hill_Nature_Preserve_IMGP0001_07172004

I also love the mosses and other cool stuff on the ground, too. Sorry it is a lousy photo! But as I was just going through my photos figuring out something to post today, I came across this. Due to the rain that day I have no other scenery photos for you. I have to go back there! So many things to do, so little time!!