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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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 VII

Welcome Distraction

This Finger Lakes Trail / Treman Park / Cayuga Trails Loop concludes with these incredible trees and flowers

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The diversity of Fleabane throughout North America is simply enormous.

We end at the beginning. Here is more information about these flowers, in the captions.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Loopy VI

Welcome Distraction

The Red Trail makes a turn up a slope of 10,000 year old glacial till. Here a side trail leads to a woodland waterfall.

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Loopy V

There and Back Again

Still photography does not do justice to the Phlox meadow of yesterday’s posting. Here is another presentation including the sights and sounds. Smello-vision does not yet exist.

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Loopy IV

A Cayuga Trails Presentation

Cayuga, the name of the Iroquois tribe of this area, the name of our Finger Lake, an average of 1.7 miles wide, the longest at 40 miles. Fans of the “Twilight Zone” remember Rod Sterling’s Cayuga Productions named for a family lake house, from his maternal grandmother, on the west side of the lake.

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Here we continue this Sunday loop hike, taking this stairway hidden next to the Old Mill. Thanks to the Cayuga Trails club the trail is marked and maintained.

A meadow next to Fish Kills is filled with Phlox.

A path through heaven.

To Be Continued……

Copyright 2019 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