Weekday Visit to Sapsucker Woods

A far-seeing, nature loving group of individuals set aside this prime swamp-land in 1954. January 8, 2021, it is surrounded by homes, a major road (the unluckily-named Route 13), an airport. Though the trails are narrow, I am happy to report everyone encountered (six individuals, though two were encountered twice on the circular trails) wore mask and demonstrated consideration.

Swamps are navigated on wooden walkways. Here are a few IPhone 7 snaps from the entrance.

Today I noticed for the first time this glistening sculpture with a plaque reading, in part, “Kent Ullberg, Swedish, b 1945, ‘Invitation of the Dance’, 2017. Stainless steel.” It was donated by the billionaire Imogene Johnson shortly before her death in 2018 at the age of 87. Mrs. Johnson was a Cornell University alumna. She and her husband were huge donors to the university, having met there as undergraduates.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Shuffle off

through the coals

Shuffling through the hot coals of autumn on All Souls Day.

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Click Me for another Malloryville post, “Formed By Water.”

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

The path beckons

just around the corner

What is there, just beyond?

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Click Me for another Malloryville post, “Formed By Water.”

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Dappled Sunlight

10,000 years

Walking here, I enjoy telling the grandchildren of the immense, mile-high ice sheet that once covered this land 10,000 years ago, creating these hills and hollows.

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Click Me for another Malloryville post, “Formed By Water.”

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Coming and Going

beneath the bridge

Standing on a stream spanning bridge it is fun to drop a stick or leaf, watch the progress, disappearing beneath the bridge to emerge and continue riding the water downstream.

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Click Me for another Malloryville post, “Formed By Water.”

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Fall Creek View

from abandoned railroad bridge

Fall Creek meanders through the esker fields of the Malloryville Preserve. Here is the view from an abandoned railroad bridge. A major watercourse of the Finger Lakes, throughout the 19th century Fall Creek provided water power for local industry: grain grinding mills, cooperage and furniture. Here the stream bed is wide, flow slow and pacific for a mirrored surface, the effect broken by a single drop from an overhanging tree or, maybe, a fin’s flash.

Pam and I visited Malloryville last weekend to enjoy a “socially distanced” walk with family.

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Click Me for another Malloryville post, “Formed By Water.”

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kame = Pile

Kettle and Kame Topography

Hard on the defunct gravel pit of the northwest side of the preserve is the deposit of glacial rocks washed to some extent by melting ice the former owners of the pit were turning over for profit with the averted result of destroying the water sources for the ecosystems of the future preserve.

The deposit is called a kame. Kames are the obverse of kettles, formed with an enormous remnant of glacial ice melts in place leaving a substantial depression. A kame is formed when earth gathers in a depression formed by meltwater running over a glacial surface. When the glacier melts (in this area the ice wash a mile high), the washed earth is left as a steeply sided pile we experience as a hill.

Water flowing beneath glaciers forms the long, ridged hills, eskers, we explored in yesterday’s post.

The forested land of this video the kame, upper left, shown in the header, an IPhone7 photograph of GoogleEarth. Also marked is a path for the primary esker, the bog formed by a kettle and another kettle that is now a pond. Click me to view a pdf file saved from GoogleEarth. It provides a clearer view of the header image.

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Thank You for visiting. Here is a recapitulation of Malloryville Preserve.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Long, Ridged Hill

A Look at an Esker

Well formed, sinuous, graded on both sides, eskers can be mistaken for man-made earthen structures, such as railroad embankments. Here is an example, nine-tenths (0.9) of a mile long substantial enough to direct the flow of Fall Creek. On entering the Malloryville esker bed the stream makes a right angle turn.

Here we are at the foot of the primary esker of Malloryville Preserve (it is marked as such on the information placard of this series first post). The slope to the right is the esker. A swamp lies to the right.

This video provides a better feeling for this esker.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Turtle Socks

Flowers from Mars

Two kettles of the preserve represent a pond and, below, a bog. Here is a photograph from the observation platform using the IPhone 7. I brought along the Canon dslr and 100 mm “macro” lens for the stars of this show…..

….purple pitcher plants (scientific name: Sarracenia purpurea). In past years, the central observation deck cut-out, hosted healthy pitchers. Today, invading high bush blueberries from the bog margin, crowded out the pitchers and the only flowering plant were among the grasses 8 to 10 feet away. My goal was photographing the extraordinary flowers.

Each flower rises from the base on a strong stalk. Here are the pitchers, also called “turtle socks”, flooded with sunlight.

A flower unlike any I have experienced, like the carapace of an insect, the reproductive element underneath a hood.

The posterior, there are only bracts.

I have, somewhere, macro images of the pitcher, with the downward facing hairs. Brought the wrong lens to capture this at a distance.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Flowing water

Water flowing from glacial till

Amazingly swamp, fen, bog, marsh can all be experienced during a thirty minute walk within this preserve. Here we are traversing a swamp …

…buoyed along on planking from recycled plastic.

The founders of this place, from a dairy farming family, strove for years to protect the water sources from encroachment by development, primary a duplicate of a gravel pit found on the other side of the Fall Creek valley.

This former acidic rainwater, percolating through glacial till, is buffered and chemically altered to create these multiform environments.

Water, flowing quietly, almost soundlessly, with powerful effect.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved