Lib Slope Hickory

the largest and brightest yellow canopy on Libe Slope.

Libe Slope

Cornell University is on a west-facing hill above Cayuga lake.  Libe Slope is between the West Campus and Quadrangle / Libraries.

Besides the exercise of walking the 18 degree incline several times each day,  Cornell students and alumni remember The Slope for autumn color.

Built in 1868, McGraw Hall has the honor of having the first of Cornell’s towers. The building is built of Ithaca stone and is home to the American Studies Program, Department of History, Department of Anthropology, and Archaeology Intercollege Program. The first floor of McGraw Hall houses the McGraw Hall Museum, a collection of roughly 20,000 objects from around the globe used for teaching by the Anthropology Department.

Hickory

This is a Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra),  the largest tree  according to a 2009 Campus Tree Inventory (see link, below).

Seen from the north on a cloudy October day, this Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) is the largest tree on the Cornell Campus, at 79 inches in diameter.

This hickory grows south of the Johnson Museum and among the autumn glories, it is the largest and brightest yellow canopy on Libe Slope.

Contrast

I remember this hickory for the contrast between the canopy and trunk, the way the clumps of yellow hang from dark boughs.  An overcast day is the best to capture this spectacle.  October 20, 2012 provided both bright sun and dark, rolling autumn clouds.  I waited on the north side, sheltered from the glare of the sky, for these perfect moments.

Leaves and Nuts

The pignut hickory is native to these Eastern United States.  It is known to favor moist slopes and this specimen has thrived on The Slope.  The ground beneath it is thick with nuts.

One week later as Hurricane Sandy approached the east coast

Just one week later, late afternoon on a sunny Friday as hurricane Sandy approached the east coast the hickory has fewer, tawny golden leaves.

Later in October the bright yellow leaves of the Libe Slope Hickory darken to a tawny gold. The Johnson Museum is in the right background.

Wonderful Flow of Limbs among Gold

Seen from the north on a cloudy October day, this Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) is the largest tree on the Cornell Campus, at 79 inches in diameter.

References

A Photo Tour of Key Buildings at Cornell University by Allen Grove

Websites

Cornell Tree Inventory

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

10 thoughts on “Lib Slope Hickory

    1. Everyone in the city is nervous about the returning Cornell students and the potential to overwhelm our local hospital capacity. Nine days so far and active cases exceed the peak of April, since our numbers are low it is still not very high; but this is early.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.