Grand Views

Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve on an early May morning

Click me for the first post of this series, “Burgeoning Forest .”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Two Snags

Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve on an early May morning

I found these snags surrounded and, at a distance, hidden by the burgeoning Brock-Harvey forest preserve here in the Finger Lakes.

As with burgeon (see yesterday’s blog post), the word “snag” has a long history from a forested northern region of the planet, though it hales from Scandinavian languages rather than Old English and Old German. As a noun “snag” is something with a point and a body long enough to cause inconvenience, the point catching on anything handy. As a verb “snag” is to become inconvenienced by a projecting body.

In forestry, a snag is any trunk of a dead tree. Commonly, a tree top breaks off leaving a jagged point which possibly can become an inconvenience. For birds, an upright dead tree is a blessing, perfect for homemaking.

Fallen, the snag is still a snag and also a home first for fungus. When the work of the fungus is done, the resulting mound is perfect for growing new trees.

Click me for the next post from this forest preserve, “Grand Views.”

References
snag definitions are from the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1971

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Burgeoning Forest

Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve on an early May morning

There is a word to describe the first growth of spring, rare in a way as having grown within the English/French languages without roots from either Greek or Latin, wholly suitable to a forest people. The first growth of spring so impressive it has words of its own: burgeon.

Both as a noun, burgeon the bud itself, and a verb; to burgeon, as in to burst forth. Burgeoning: the process of the act itself.

Click me for another post from this forest preserve.

References
burgeon/burgeoning definitions from the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1971

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve

first look

On September 14, 2013, the Bock-Harvey Forest Preserve was dedicated protecting 48 acrea of open meadow, transitional meadow, mixed hardwood forest, a special environmental protection zone and the Finger Lakes Trail.  Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve, and all land as far as the eye can see from there, was part of the Military Tract of Central New York, 28 townships given classical Greek and Roman names, each township 100 lots of 600 acres each, approved by the U.S. Congress 1799.  Here, the township was Ulysses, encompassing the southern end of Cayuga Lake and surrounding lands.  Thus, the city of Ithaca and Hector Street winding up from the valley passing below our home.

This land and several other military tracts were purchased by Samuel Harvey.  He then gave he lands to his sons including this farm to Silas Harvey, the great-great-great-great grandfather of Megan Barber who led the dedication ceremony of the forest preserve.  Megan’s great-grandmother Martha Harvey married Fred Bock and lived on this land used for dairy farming for over 150 years. 

The preserve exceeded my expectations for great upland views.

View from Shelter across the valley of Enfield Creek, the same that flows over Lucifer Falls of Treman State Park

Brock-Click me for another Brock-Harvey Forest Preserve post, “Burgeoning Forest.”

References

The background on the land was taken from a posting on the preserve and from Wikipedia, “Military Tract of Central New York.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Quaker Settlement Series 2

Gone too soon

Joseph P. Lee, a middle aged gentleman with carvings of a mature willow flanked by urns. In the intervening 162 years the upper layers of slate flake at the edges.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Rhoda Ann Mattison, a wife who died too young. What was the relationship of James and Rhoda to Catherine and John?

The carving is a pineapple (for hospitality) set in a elegant vase on a plinth flanked by ionic columns, a simple arch (banded to imply a rainbow?) surmounts all. Cross hatching implies space. An implied eternal banding of stylized leaves as starbursts.

I brought out the characteristic slate coloring. There is evidence of ware from the intervening 197 years, though the carving is surprising crisp.

Slideshow of photographs in this series

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Quaker Settlement Series 1

Delving the past

On my way to Taughannock Falls, November 6, 2019 (see my post “Cuteness Break”, the first of that series) I explored a different route and came up this cemetery set among an appealing pine grove.

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Located in the town of Ulysses, New York there is a Quaker Settlement church a few feet further west on Perry City Road. I have Quaker ancestors, so took the opportunity to peruse the family names. The stones were unusually beautiful and touching, mostly local slate, some with intricate carvings.

Here is a headstone for two young people of the same family name. The white marble carved in the form of a willow, from the flowing lines and, knowing how our willows green up springtime, it calls to mind the same youthful greening as appropriate for two young people who lived 22 and 15 years.

Analysis of the dates, given in the following capture, tells the story of an young woman, a baby born 5 months after her death and who followed his aunt 15 years later.

I have a great aunt who also died young with a headstone naming her mother and father. Here is the granite headstone of Mary R. Daughter of George & Margarett Wills Died Oct. 3, 1886 Aged 20 years. Saint Mary of Assumption Cemetery, Sweetwater, New Jersey. My grandfather James Edward Wills was 9 years old at his sister Mary’s passing. He must have attended her church service and internment, standing at this spot.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills