Lake on Early Spring Afternoon

Out of Season Dandelion

A willow, nurtured by Cayuga Inlet waters, with a bench.

All photographs are from the Apple IPhone 14 ProMax, raw format and perfected on the phone.

Click Me for more photographic art from my OnLine Gallery, “Finger Lakes Memories.”

Stenciled on asphalt pavement along the Cayuga Lake Inlet, the white paint delimits dandelion flower stalk and seedhead, mostly denuded, with floating seeds held aloft by the pappus.

A circular bench that has seen better days, a hollowed out tree trunk repurposed as a children’s playgound house, picnic benches and, in background, a portion of the Farmer’s Market pavilion, to the right is Johnson Boatyard, Cayuga Inlet and lake. This is the Steamboat Landing, historically the southern port on Cayuga Lake. The entire area is long overdue for a facelift.

Painted on the side of restroom building, various shades of blue, black outlines, something or other holding a trident surrounded by fanciful fish.

On the trail to Lighthouse Point, this tree is in fine winter form on this early spring afternoon in March. Newman Municipal Golf Course

Cayuga Lake Views from Lighthouse Point

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Home to Birds and Trees

Fuertes Bird Sanctuary / Renwick Wood

This large sign found along the Cayuga Waterfront Trial at the entrance to Renwick Woods. It provides the origin story (floodplain, delta of Fall Creek), how it came to be conserved and the importance of the place to birds.

The original entrance to the Fuertes Bird Sanctuary, now called Renwick Wood, was marked by this arch, designed by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, dedicated June 10, 1917.

The professor was born February 7, 1874, at Ithaca, the son of Prof. Estevan Antonio and Mary Stone (Perry) Fuertes. He was graduated by Cornell with the degree of A.B., in 1897, and married Margaret F. Sumner of Ithaca, in 1904. Since 1898 he had been a painter of birds.

Professor Fuentes illustrated such volumes as “Birding on a Broncho,” “Citizen Bird,” Song Birds and “Water Fowls.” His permanent work included habitat groups in the American Museum of Natural History; 25 decorative panels for F.M. Brewster, at New Haven, Conn., birds of New York at the State Museum, Albany; murals in the Flamingo Hotel, at Miami, Fla., paintings for the New York Zoological Society, Bronx. (Source: Find a Grave)

Misshapen tree trunk on the shore of Fall Creek, Renwick Woods

The flowers of this small shrub identify it as a member of the Rose family. The berries I captured in the following photograph are edible (non-poisonous), though astringent. Autumn time, the leaves turn red. It is native to eastern North America. I found these berrys along the Renwick Wood trail.

A pair of Mallard ducks foraging along a Fall Creek bayou on the edge of Renwick Woods where Stewart Park begins.

Ithaca Fire Department was training at their facility on Pier Road, next to Newman Golf Course, and across Fall Creek from Renwick Woods.

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Happening on Cayuga Lake

Wave Riders

Pam and I have sailed past Crowbar Point, the arm of land projecting into the lake on left, so we know this end of Cayuga Lake well. The lake reach northward is deceiving as the bulk of the 39-mile reach is north of the headlands of the west lakeshore visible in the distance as the apparent end of the lake.

I love the pale blue of late February / early March skies.

Also known as White Willow, for the white undersides of the leaves that flash in the wind. These flourish on the southernmost shore of Cayuga Lake.

Here is a video of a large gathering of Canadian Geese, multitudes landing to ride lake waves on an unsettled, windy March afternoon.

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Golden Willows

Stewart Park

Among the earliest plants to flower, brilliant yellow willows (Salix alba ‘Tristis’) are glorious early spring as new growth sprouts.

Willows native to New York State are all shrub-like, the homeland of these large trees is Europe and Asia.

Also known as White Willow, for the white undersides of the leaves that flash in the wind. These flourish on the southernmost shore of Cayuga Lake.

Willow bark does NOT have analgesic properties. The genus name, Salix, is the root for acetylsalicylic acid (aka aspirin), a chemical that does not appear in nature, originally synthesized from salicylic acid extracted from Meadowsweet.

Movement of budding willow branches in a north wind off Cayuga Lake

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved



Another Cayuga Waterfront Trail stop is this memorial. The plaque reads ” ‘Grandpa’ (Ironwood) Trees in memory of John A. ‘Jack’ Dougherty; June 15, 1927 – March 12, 1995; City of Ithaca 1949-1989, Retired as Superintendent of Public Works.” Located near the intersection of Pier Road and Willow Avenue, Newman Golf Course, Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York. That is an Ironwood tree, midgound center.

The American Hornbeam (scientific name: Carpinus caroliniana) is also known as Musclewood for the rippled surface of the mature trunk. Other names are blue-beech, ironwood and muscle beech.

Nestled on the trunk……

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Goal Achieved

Here and There

This week I hiked the entire waterfront trail from end to end, just not in one day.

Informational Signage at the Ithaca Farmers Market.

Ithaca has competitions for the honor of decorating storage buildings, electrical boxes and other urban accoutrements.

The Ithaca Farmers Markets is a venue for local farmers, artists and others, on the shore of Cayuga Lake and a stop on the Waterfront Trail.

Generations of children enjoyed this figure while turning and round on this now discarded spinner.

Stewart Park, Ithaca, New York

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved


Sundry elements

This Phragmites grows along Cayuga Lake shoreline. Cayuga Waterfront Trail, Ithaca, New York

A humble and fertile weed.

I learned today in China the stem of Phragmites, not this species possibly, is a common component of kites. Here, I’ve noticed the seed heads on stems used in home decoration. Some other uses Some other uses for Phragmites and other reeds in various cultures include baskets, mats, reed pen tips (qalam), and paper. Beekeepers can utilize the reeds to make nesting. In the Philippines, Phragmites is known by the local name tambo. Reed stands flower in December, and the blooms are harvested and bundled into whisk brooms called “walis”. Hence the common name of household brooms is walis tambo. Reeds have been used to make arrows and weapons such as spears for hunting game.

The movements of grace.

This is my first posting of photographs and video from the IPhone 14 ProMax.

Copyright 2023 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved