Hammond Hill Walk V

Facing the sun

I close this walk at the turnaround point, the high meadow, with a fireworks display of daisies.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Hammond Hill Walk IV

“We Had A Great Ski — Tob”

New since I was last here, this bench, made from local “blue” limestone dedicated to the memory of cross country skiing.

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Here are sounds you may experience while sitting here on a summer afternoon.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Hammond Hill Walk III

High Meadow

After birdsong, open spaces are an unexpected wonders of these walks. Nowhere listed on the map, and on private lands adjoining the forest, this meadow comes upon the hiker’s consciousness gradually as the trail approaches.

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I have seen those gigantic seed heads here and there and never taken the time to research and identification. Do you recognize it?

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To be continued…..

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Hammond Hill Walk II

Diamond Strands

Hammond Hills walks are a solo affair for me. Pam joined in days past, summer and winter, and fell out of love with the lack of flowing water and bugs. The pleasures of the place, for me, are the miles and miles of varied trails, the sounds among silences, unexpected vistas from hilltops.

The trails themselves are unlovely, beaten down by mountain bike tires or grooved by skis. On the hills I am always on alert, listening for the sounds of bodies hurtling down. The bureaucrats called this “mixed use.” It could be worse, motors are excluded. Today there were two bikers.

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A sprinkling of wild rose.

The song of the Hermit Thrush, a sound of diamond strands, always stops me. Here are two 30 seconds clips.

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Click me for better experience viewing the following video. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page. Note the replay icon (an arrow circling counter-clockwise.

To be continued…..

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Hammond Hill Walk I

Buttercup Meadow

Hammond Hill New York State Forest is visible as an alluring height from many places of Tompkins and Cortland Counties. It is not on the list of tourist destinations, very popular for locals to mountain bike, and cross country ski at an advanced level for the steepness of some trails that wend over this high hill.

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The beauty of this wildflower meadow took me by surprise. The pink flower is a Bouncing Bet, AKA Soapwart. Scientific name Saponaria officinalis. The genera name is from the latin root for soap, “sapo.” The juice of the plant mixed with water can whip up a lather. Thus, also its common name, Soapwart.

The meadow is almost entirely buttercup. Click me for a post about a member of the buttercup family that is the first to flower.

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To be continued…..

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Loopy III

There and Back Again

Looping from the hinterland of Treman Park, I turned left on the Rim Trail, following the a one-way track in this time of coronavirus.

“Ithaca is Gorges” is a popular bumper sticker with locals and in this portion of the walk we glimpse the truth of the marketing. No sooner than I turn onto the Rim trail, a foursome approaches, two young couples, a baby in a front mounted carrier on a presumed father, the women talking continuously. I ducked into a handy viewing platform to maintain distance and wait 5 minutes or so until the breezes clear the air. The mask is in my pocket.

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All these photographs and video are from an IPhone 7, sent to my laptop via ICloud.

I am not the fastest walker and this portion of the trail, a steep incline with many large rocks, roots and tilting bridges over rills, demanded care. Still, no other hikers passed me.

Walking the parking lot I understood why, there were few cars and people. Still, I needed to head off the path into the parking lot to maintain distance. Why is it always I how move? Time for experimentation, but I don’t want to put on the mask.

Find this mysterious pathway to beyond next to the Old Mill. To be continued……

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Loopy II

A difficult clamber.

Hiking nowadays I seek out unfrequented spots, such as the Red Pine Trail. In yesterday’s post we started on a path that opened and changed with the building of a new footbridge over Fish Kill. Here we are on the other side.

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I meet no other hikers, though at the foot of the hill, where the path turns to climb, I pass a tent on a spot overlooking Fish Kill. This portion of the Finger Lakes Trail traverses the forested southern rim of Enfield Gorge (Treman Park) close to private lands, occasionally emerging for short distances on roads. It is the little known, and true, Rim Trail. The park’s named Rim Trail runs below on the side of the gorge.

Here is where the service road intersects with the Rim Trail, beyond the fence is a cliff dropping to Enfield Creek on an approach to the dramatic Lucifer Falls through the Devil’s Kitchen. With COVID-19 the park trails are one-way to reduce hiker interactions. The Rim Trail is one-way, up the gorge. I turn left.

To be continued…..

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Loopy I

There and Back Again

Hiking nowadays I seek out unfrequented spots, such as the Red Pine Trail using the adage “a mile makes all the difference” to find peaceful corners even in popular New York State Parks. A turn onto Woodard Road finds an intersection with a Finger Lakes Trail. On one side heading away to woodlands and fields. The other side the same with the option of hitting Treman’s Rim Trail.

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Much of the infrastructure of our local parks were built in the 1930’s during the Depression, witnessed by this plaque. Substantial work is ongoing, such as a bridge over Fish Kill by the Finger Lakes Trail volunteers.

To be continued…..

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Native

Red Pine on the level

Red Pine is a tree native to North America, yet it is called “Norway Pine” in Minnesota. Famously settled by Norsemen, the misnomer may originate with a sense of homesickness in these first settlers. The tall and straight trunks grace the trails of Treman Park, one trail is eponymous.

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I break away from household chores on a week day for exercise, arriving am impressed by the COVID-19 mitigation.

The new one-way trail rules, posted on the Rim Trail sign, means my planned route must change. Today’s COVID-19 strategy is to use the Red Pine trail, a very steep climb, a pine woods ramble, ending with descent to the Gorge Trail suitable for a mountain goat. The rules mean I cannot turn right on the Gorge Trail to form a loop. Instead commitment to the Gorge Trails means a 4 mile loop to the bottom of the park, returning on the Rim Trail. I decide to climb to the top and return.

I take an interesting detour on the way, visiting an archaeological site, fields of strongly scented wild roses, lush ferns.

All these photographs and video are from an IPhone 7, sent to my laptop via ICloud.

I cross a nameless stream to the trail head, follow this stream uphill to where it cuts into the slope where the trail turns sharply and climbs into the pines.

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Here is the experience from the ridge top. The sound of water is Enfield Creek rushing along the cliff face.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Spring Outing X

Please give your opinions of this experiment, via comments. Thank You

Seconds after taking this shot, at f/4, I changed the f-stop to 29 and captured these blossoms with the environment in focus (yesterday’s posting). At f/4 focus is a challenge and I was not happy with the detail of the foreground blossom.

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I am in the experimentation phase of learning the new camera, so in spite of the 100% file size increase I turned on the Dual Pixel Raw feature. The two photos are from the same file. My impression is the adjustment improved the foreground flower details. Is it my imagination?

Click me for another Hepatica wildflower posting.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills