Fine Day for a Walk

The only bad thing about a day like today is knowing how to dress. Highs predicted to be in the upper thirties with the “real feel” the same. When in doubt – go with layers.  I picked well.  The extra layers I carried in my pack were never needed.  Go me.

We had to pick a section of the park north of France Brook Road to avoid the hunters.  The Park used to always be “no hunting” on Sundays.  This year, though, hunting IS allowed on the Quaker side, south of France Brook.

We parked at a new (or at least new to me) marker commemorating the location of the first capture and release program of turkeys in the park.

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According to the plaque, this is the site of the first trap and transfer program.  The sign reads, “Allegany State Park – Founding site for the N.Y.S. Conservation Dept. Wild Turkey Transfer Program. Birds trapped at this site helped reintroduce the Eastern Wild Turkey to the northeastern U.S. & southeastern Canada. 1959.”

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We walked France Brook to the Horse/”Jeep” trail, then headed uphill.  After getting tired of walking roads, we headed toward the sound of a gurgling creek and followed that all the way down to Horse Trail 11 up above Camps 10 and 12, then followed it to Camp 12, and roads back to the truck.

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There was no snow down at France Brook.  But as we climbed, the hills were covered.  Saw lots of colorful fungi, as well as some deer and coyote tracks.  But my favorite was the bear:

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The walk was about 5 and 1/2 miles.  It was a good day.

And my new thermos worked!  Hot soup for lunch.

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(No, the color isn’t off.  It’s vegetarian borscht!)

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P.S.  I love the new GPS I bought myself for my birthday last month.  It’s fun to turn it on and track my hikes.

I love Camp Timbercrest

This week, my daughter and I hiked at camp twice.  I was in search of the Pink Lady’s Slippers that bloom there.  On Tuesday, they were up, but still pale and ghostly.  On Saturday, the were glorious.  Along the way we took lots of other pictures, too.

Painted Trillium:

Rose Twisted Stalk:

Star Flower:

Wild Geranium:

Golden Ragwort:

May Apple:

A bench overlooking Jackman Bay:

Jackman Bay from the Peninsula:

Re-growth around beaver-chewed trees:

Red Eft:

Animal Tracks in the mud:

This Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) was good for my soul! So grateful to be a Girl Scout and have access to such a gorgeous place for hiking.

A Spring (?) Walk

April 10, 2016.  25 degrees.  Snow lingers on the crunchy frozen earth.  I dress for a February hike.  I should be looking for spring wildflowers, not animal tracks in the snow.  Ah well…

IMG_7433-Coyote tracks

In addition to coyote tracks, we saw tracks of deer, rabbits, squirrels, mice, fox, turkey, and more. We also heard grouse and saw deer. We visited the beaver pond and watched a goose try to swim away making tinkling noises as he broke through the ice.

There were wildflowers, though. And domesticated ones.

 

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Skunk Cabbage

 

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Daffodils

This in April. And in December I could have photographed violets and dandelions.

Weird Weather.

Escapism

So, Kathleen and I jumped into her car for a little escapism. We had a lovey day driving round the Stedman/Clymer/Sherman area, stopping wherever we felt like it.

First stop, East Branch Books (etc) in Sherman, New York.

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That place is packed floor to ceiling and then some with used books, all nicely arranged into categories for easy browsing.

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Then it was off to the Reverie Creamery to buy artisan cheese, Stedman Corners for a delicious lunch, then we took the long way to Clymer for ice cream for dessert. Along the way, we stopped for photos, mostly at beaver ponds.

IMG_7251 Beaver Lodge

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One of the ponds had me thinking about the exhibit I visited at the Albright Knox in Buffalo a couple of weeks ago, and the sign about Monet’s work and how over time the horizon line moved further and further up on his canvass until eventually it disappeared altogether…

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IMG_7276 Beaver Pond Reflection

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At the pond with the Swamp Monster in it (you’ll have to see if Kathleen has a good picture of it!) I was transfixed by a grouping of three trees. I’m not sure exactly why. They just caught and kept my eye for some reason.

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It is hard to convey the size of this old remnant of a tree. It was enormous. Would have loved to have known her when she was whole.

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Finally, I really want to see the insides of these apartments just a stone’s throw from the business district of Clymer!

IMG_7298 Te Croney Dairy Apartments

— Update:
YAY! Kathleen did have a picture of the Swamp Monster! Here it is:

Swamp Monster by Kathleen Tenpas

Salamander Migration

On a rainy spring night with temperatures sufficiently warm and ice melted from the ponds and ground we go to The Pool. We hope we have picked the right night and will be able to meet up with our old friends. We are not disappointed.

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Spotted Salamander

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Jefferson / Blue-Spotted Complex

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Leopard Frog

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Wood Frog (not sure why he appears blue-ish here!)

This was only my second time using this camera (Sony DSC-RX100) at night. (The first time was in a snowy blizzard, and this time in the rain…) I tried using it without the flash, lighting each critter with a new, powerful MagLite flashlight I bought just for the occasion. I need to practice more to get better focus and to get the light just right, but I’m not displeased with the exposures.

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Lunch in Pennsylvania

I planned a 6.25 mile hike.  Of course we didn’t do the whole thing.  At our less-than-one-mile-per-hour speed (you gotta stop for coffee, and lunch, and pictures…) and given our desire to end the day with a beer at a favorite watering hole, we turned back before the planned half-way point.  Still, it was a beautiful hike on a beautiful day.

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There’s a Wolf Run Road in Allegany State Park, and another in Pennsylvania south of the Park. The goal was to walk the length of one until we got to the other. Inside the park, Wolf Run Road is pretty wide open until it meets with the North Country Trail intersection. Then it becomes less well-kept – wide with meandering run-off in some parts as pictured above, narrow and overgrown with the remnants of ditches in other parts:

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We knew we had reached the NY-PA state line when we found a stone marker.

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The photo above is of the south side of the marker. You can see the “PA” engraved into it pretty well. The engraving of NY was much more worn on the north side of the marker:

DSC00959 Stone Marker NY side

There were also signs indicating the boundary of the State Park:

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There was plenty to catch my eye on this beautiful nearly-spring day:

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And finally… everytime I walk this trail, I cannot resist photographing this tree:

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I don’t know what kind of tree it is… I’ll try to remember to pay attention to the leaves… if I ever hike here when there ARE leaves!

There were footprints of many kinds: deer, squirrel, mouse, chipmunk, vole or mole, coyote, fisher, grouse… for a change, I didn’t photograph any of them. hahahahah