Autumn Wonder

Cornell Botanical Gardens

“Cornell Botanic Gardens is a living museum with a mature botanic garden and arboretum—part of what makes Cornell one of the most beautiful campuses anywhere. We steward over 3,600 acres of biologically diverse landscapes that represent the full range of ecological communities found in the Finger Lakes region.” — from their web site

Pam and I need venture no farther than across the valley, from West to East Hill, for an experience of autumn in all its glory. These IPhone 7 photographs and videos are from a recent visit.

We took in the artistry of the railing, the stone steps, gentle curves.

I marveled at the absence of Gypsy Moth egg masses on the Oak trunks, in spite of evident though modest leaf damage.

Houston Pond is visible in several of the “Buena Vista” images…..

Houston Pond reflections from the pavilion

Another version of reflections from Houston Pond taken from pavilion

“No Place Like Home” — Back on West Hill, our Japanese Maple was waiting for us.

Copyright 2022 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 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Bog Bodies

In the the long view

On this occasion we will explore a time machine found four miles south of Kells, County Meath, Ireland.

Step into this pool and you, too, can emerge 4,000-odd years later, skin intact, to achieve fame and fortune, a place in a museum and the record books if such exist 6019 AD. Reference the Cashel Man from Cúl na Móna bog near Cashel in County Laois, Ireland who now resides within the National Museum of Ireland.

Click photograph for the expanded view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

True, post mortem fame is hollow for the individual. Maybe, attaching your life story engraved on a gold plaque with a gold chain encircling your torso will offset the loss of your bones (dissolved in the acidic waters) and life itself.

The water of this pool is colored dark by long decayed vegetable matter. Beware of walking the bog surface, it is dangerous and destructive to the environment. Pam and I visited Girley Bog on our tour of County Meath, Ireland.

Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

The Waterlily Genus Nymphaea

Congrats to all fathers and grandfathers, Happy Fathers Day

The McKee informative placard divides the Genus Nymphaea into “Hardy” and “Tropical” waterlilies. “Hardy” being plants native to temperate climates, such as New York State. I do not have photos of these from McKee. Nor are there examples of Lotus.

What I have is an abundance of the “tropical” varieties.

The family Nymphaeaceae, of which the genus Nymphaea is a part, is thought to be the most basic of all the Angiosperms. A minute flower of the Nymphaea type was found in early Cretaceous deposits in Portugal, dating early waterlilies to at least 115-125 million years ago.

Angiosperm,” the word referring to all flowering plants, is composed to two greek words angio-. meaning enclosed, and -sperm, meaning seed. “DNA studies indicate the Nymphaeaceae separated from the rest of the angiosperm family tree…..before the separation of the monocots and dicots.” – see reference.

Click me for wonderful sculpture at McKee Gardens

Reference: The Botanical Garden, Volume II, by Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix, Firefly Books, pp 382-383

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary

Brevard County Park on Merrit Island

Ulumay is the name of the Native American settlement of the Ais people decimated by disease after the arrival of Europeans. The park is a natural lagoon and bird rookery linked with canals created for mosquito control and surrounded by a manmade dike. A trail on the dike provides access to the waterways for the fisherman, birdwatchers, and paddlers.

This informative placard, placed at the entrance. Note the 600 park acres is surrounded by residential properties.

I left Pam at the entrance, seen below at the words “Ulumay Wildlife”; she had a reasonable concern about alligators. It is quite possible to find a large specimen blocking the one and only trail. “What? Me Worry?” When pursued by an alligator, remember to zig-zag.

“Flora and Fauna”

Waterways, sightings

Second Stand

Third Stand

No sightings of alligators or manatees.

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