Baker Laboratory dates back to World War I. With 200,000 square feet of space, the lab is home to Cornell’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, the Chemistry Research Computing Facility, the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility, and the Advanced ESR Technology Research Center (whew!!).
Trees on a Knoll
On the right, on a knoll, is a European beech tree (Fagus sylvatica). The Latin name holds a double irony. Standing, alone, high above East Avenue on the Cornell campus (sylvatica means “of forests”) as a memory of the forests growing above Cayuga Lake is a being once worshiped as a god. In Celtic mythology, Fagus is the god of beeches.
A maple is on the left, genus Acer of unknown species. I recognize it from the shape.
Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved
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.
This is a Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra), the largest tree according to a 2009 Campus Tree Inventory (see link, below).
This hickory grows south of the Johnson Museum and among the autumn glories, it is the largest and brightest yellow canopy on Libe Slope.
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.
Wonderful Flow of Limbs among Gold
A Photo Tour of Key Buildings at Cornell University by Allen Grove