Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 3

With the thermometer in the 40’s on March 12 these crocus were open, under the same magnolia tree as the buttercups from the 10th. The blooms close during cold snaps much as you see in the first post.

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A tripod held the composition steady and the timer was set to 2 seconds for extra stability. With the leaf body worn away by time, the remaining veining turns the form lacy.

Here is a slideshow today’s and previous wildflowers.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 2

With the thermometer in the 60’s on March 10 the “buttercups” of yesterday are open. We we first moved here, the plants were much thinner. I used fertilizer spikes on the Magnolia tree around which they grow. Each early the flowers pollinate, forming seeds and spreading.

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A tripod held the composition steady and the timer was set to 2 seconds for extra stability at the f25 setting.

Here is a slideshow of yesterday and today’s shots.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

A fellow blogger, Audrey Driscoll’s Blog, provided the correct and exact species name Eranthis hyemalis. The latin name proclaims the early nature of its flowering both in the genus, “Eranthis” – “spring flower”, and species, “hyemalis” – winter flowering. The genus encompasses eight species, all early flowering winter aconite.

Reference: Wikipedia “Eranthis hyemalis” and “Eranthis.”

Wildflowers Late Winter / Early Spring 1

February 2020 I upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark IV dslr. These are the first images. These flowers are the first to bloom on our property, around a magnolia tree. Each year these “buttercups” grow thicker and spread. A fellow blogger, Audrey Driscoll’s Blog, provided the correct and exact species name Eranthis hyemalis. The latin name proclaims the early nature of its flowering both in the genus, “Eranthis” – “spring flower”, and species, “hyemalis” – winter flowering. The genus encompasses eight species, all early flowering winter aconite.

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A macro lens was mounted, Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 Macro USB. A characteristic of this lens is to underexpose, so I set two stops higher. All these are f25.

With the thermometer hovering above freezing, these blooms did not open today. The calendar says “late winter”, these buttercups are singing “early spring.”

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills
Reference: Wikipedia “Eranthis hyemalis” and “Eranthis.”

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