Mirror

…on the wall

On Lick Brook, Thayer Preserve, still pools become mirrors at low flow during a dry autumn.

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Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Will

A Visit with Tom and Hen Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving

The Catskill Mountains are not mountains. The Catskills started as a high plateau. Over eons, before the first humans, water, the sun, and wind carved high steep peaks: rounded, forested and teeming with life.
 
October 2008, on a return trip from family on Long Island, we traveled the winding road called “Route 17”, through the high autumn hillsides.

Route 17_FishsEddy_throughTheWindshield– CLICK ME!!!!

 

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Fishs Eddy

As the sun passed over the western hills we stopped to explore a place called “Fishs Eddy”, a town on the banks of the Delaware River.
 

Delaware River at Fishes Eddy– CLICK ME!!!!

 
 
On the east side, facing sunset is a formation that would be a cliff if it was not for the hardwood trees growing from every available nook, crevice.  Everywhere a root could be sunk, roots fed trees that, one late October afternoon, made a hill bright with autumn.
 

Turkey Habitat

Turkeys live in this type of habitat. We took a trail, barely a road that climbed past failed farms and hunting shacks.

Catskill Hillside– CLICK ME!!!!

 

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The Hens Flee

On a level place, in front of a ruined home, we came upon a Tom (male) turkey and his four hens. The hens fled at the sight of us.
 
With barely time to raise the camera I caught Tom and the last hen as she fled into the bushes.

Tom and Hen Turkey Flee the Scene– CLICK ME!!!!

 

Tom Turkey Defiant

I say she, because Tom stayed behind. He stood erect, all three feet of him, defiant and strutting in a direction opposite from the hens.

This is the bird Benjamin Franklin proposed as the national emblem of the new United State of America (the bald eagle won that competition).
Hunted into almost oblivion, across the United States the wild turkey is making a dramatic come back in many places, including the forests and farmland of rural New York State.

A Defiant Tom Turkey– CLICK ME!!!!

This fellow made no noise. His strutting posture and head bobbing said it all.
We left Tom Turkey in peace to his domain and hens.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, my friends.

Tom Turkey Stalks the Ruin– CLICK ME!!!!

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Sycamores and Riparian Space

a Preview of Reavis Ranch

….continued from the chapter “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek.”

Compare these Arizona Sycamores with the struggling specimen from the last chapter, “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek.” Many Sycamores such as this one flourish along Reavis Creek, a perennial stream of the eastern Superstition Wilderness. The drainage that feeds Pine Creek is far less acreage than that of Reavis Creek and, when the Pine Creek flow fades in the driest seasons, plants go into survival mode and halt growth and may even slough off limbs to conserve water.

These Sycamores grace a stream that seldom stops flowing, even in the driest of seasons. I had the good fortune to visit the Reavis valley of the Superstition Wilderness in November 2007, when these trees were at peak autumn foliage.

The tree requires a supply of water to thrive. This specimen demonstrates the species growth habit growing multiple trunks with a shape driven by water availability and the environmental context. The multiple trunks may be a desert survival mechanism. In dry periods a trunk or trunks are sloughed off to reduce moisture loss. This is why the Sycamore of “A Peaceful Day at Pine Creek” has a single trunk.”

To encounter a riparian space of the Arizona desert is a revelation, to progress from Sonoran desert spaces assailed by the breath of dry wind, to see the first signs of water in the distance as a welcome fluttering of leaves, to feel a welcome odor of water.

Yes, the first effect of a riparian space on the senses is the smell of water. Let’s finish this post with limbs of the Reavis Creek Arizona Sycamore reaching for the sky.

Click me to visit Michael Stephen Wills Online Arizona Gallery.
Click me for the next post in this series, “Desert Luxuries.”
Clck me for the first post in this series, “Racing the Sun.”

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

more Jennings Pond IV

Still life and stillness

I described Jennings Pond to Pam and we returned together. Here is a photographic essay from that day, one of a series.

The first image is the small concrete dam, taken from the footbridge over the pond outlet, source for Buttermilk Creek.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

more Jennings Pond III

Picnics on the berm

I described Jennings Pond to Pam and we returned together. Here is a photographic essay from that day, one of a series.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

more Jennings Pond II

A gathering autumn glory

I described Jennings Pond to Pam and we returned together. Here is a photographic essay from that day, one of a series.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

more Jennings Pond I

No Swimming!?

“Jennings Pond,” is a song, celebrating swimming.

Here is a photographic essay on the subject of swimming at Jennings Pond this October afternoon.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Chief Logan

Spring Fed Pond

Reputedly, the life of a famous Native American orator, had its beginning on a spring fed pond we know today as Jennings Pond.

We briefly visited Jennings Pond in yesterday’s post, that day I also captured the 1932 New York State Department of Education historical sign with attribution of Chief Logan’s birth to this place and some of his most famous and notable words, “I appeal to white men to say, ‘If hungry Chief Logan gave no meat. If cold and naked, he clothed me not.”

Heading photograph: Purple Asters found along Jennings Pond by Michael Stephen Wills

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Jennings Pond

Buttermilk Falls Source

Tom Knight, “has been delighting children and their grown-ups with his original, interactive, musical puppet show since 1988,” in 2018 Pam, myself and the grandchildren were lucky enough to catch his act at Cornell University Johnson Museum. His CD, “Purple Pumpkin Pie” is in the car and, pre-Covid, I’d play it in the car while riding with the grandchildren.

“Jennings Pond,” a song on that CD, mentions a local town, Danby. Until last week I did not think twice about it. Driving into Ithaca, heading north on Route 13, there’s a compelling view down a valley. I’ve taken exploratory drives down there on the West Danby-Spencer road, seeing what there is to see. A week ago last Sunday, turning left at West Danby, up the hill forming the east valley wall, on Station Road, then Bald Hill Road, passing by the Finger Lakes Trail through Danby State Forest, on the right I spied a compelling open area, a pond, and this sign….

I proceeded onto a footbridge over the pond outlet, the source for Buttermilk Creek,…….

…and continued to a footpath, southeast and away from the pond. Toward the Finger Lakes Trail? I left this adventure for another day.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Dunseverick Castle Ruin, roadside info

Pride of History on display

On Causeway Road there is a turnoff an information placard for Dunseverick Castle near a cottage. This is the left side of the placard with the historical context. The right side is natural history of the area.

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.

Click me for the first post of this series.

Reference: Wikipedia “Dunseverick Castle.”

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills