Taughannock Through the Seasons

I pass by Taughannock Falls a couple times a year and take a picture on most trips.  I’ve gotten some good pictures and some bad pictures.  After several trips to the park, the bad shots don’t bother me so much.  I like looking at the falls through the lens.  It’s a great way to focus on the water.  when I just look at them, the falls are beautiful, but watching the water fall through a long lens is mesmerizing to me.  Beyond the pleasant ionizing effect, falling water looks very cool up close.  when I go to Niagara Falls, I always spend some time standing close to the edge watching the water go into the abyss.  The constant nature of the energy at that point is interesting to me.

Winter

 

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Fall

 

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Braddock Bay

Along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, there are many small bays.  It’s an interesting habitat.  Some of the bays only connect to the lake seasonally, when the lake level is high enough to cover the shallow channels to the bays.  Braddock Bay is almost half covered with cat tails.  The ground has become a spongy mass of previous years’ plants.  It’s a perfect habitat for migratory birds.  I’ll stop by this fall a couple times to get more pictures.  We mostly saw sparrows while we were there. I guess it’s the wrong time of year.  We had a nice walk, though.

 

The boardwalk juts a  long way out into the bay.  Not quite past the rushes, though.  It’s closed during some parts of the year to protect the rushes from intrusion during migration and nesting.

Black Creek Park

My Black Creek Park Flickr Set, Black Creek Park Website

Denelle and I went to Black Creek Park today and took the Blue Bird trail. the trail starts under high tension power lines, then crosses into a birch forest. Denelle is staying with me for a while. It’s a bit of a long story, but I have an extra bedroom and she needs a place to stay.

We thought these were Monarch Butterflies at first, but now we think they’re some kind of moth that looks like a Monarch. I pretty much got nose to nose with the second one.

Damsel Flies and Dragonflies buzzed around the trail as we walked. The Bluebird trail is circular, so it’s not hard to follow. The hardwood swamp is dominated by Birch trees. the trail is well groomed and mostly free of encroaching foliage.

Mendon Ponds

Lori and I took a walk through Mendon Ponds this afternoon. This is the 4th or 5th time I’ve tried to get to the scenic overlook on the grasslands trail. This is also the 4th or 5th time I’ve gotten lost trying to reach this “Scenic Overlook”. I don’t think it exists… or if it does, I have to complete some quest before I’m allowed to see it.

Lori brought her 14 week old puppy. Ophie and Amber got along fine. Ophie is a really friendly dog, I got along fine with her, too. 🙂

Amber, of course, showed the puppy how a mature dog should behave.

Rush Oak Openings

I was searching the Internet, looking for a new place to go when I stumbled upon a reference to an “Area of Exceptional Forest Character“.

Oak Openings, or Oak Savannahs, are very rare in the Eastern US. The Quinn tract is the Easternmost one in the country. Openings are just that, large fields of grass in the middle of an Oak forest. This ecosystem is dependent on fire to clear the fields and competing trees from the forest. Oak withstands fire better than most tree species, so it tends to dominate the forest around the fields.

NYDEC description, Town of Rush, NY description

Here are two pictures of an opening. I think modern prescribed burns have created the square look. Another, smaller opening I went to was round.

I saw honeybees everywhere, too. Big open fields of wildflowers with large trees to build nests in, I guess.