We neared the end of the narrow side trail and could see the wider main trail ahead. There in the branch of a tree was a one gallon plastic tub. Hmm… I wondered if it was a geocache. We took it down to have a peak. You could still just barely see that someone had labeled it “ASP SNIT.” SNIT? It was all in caps, so we assumed it was an acronym.
Inside was a laminated photocopy of a section of the same map we were using with an arrow pointing out “You are here.”
When I got home, I googled “SNIT Allegany State Park” and found that in summer of 2009 there had been a “Senior Naturalist in Training” program in the park (click here for the program PDF). I’m not sure how this tub fit into the program, but, well, there you have it. Mystery solved.
This picture didn’t turn out well because it was getting darker and darker in the woods:
Have you noticed that the black cherries this year have been heavy laden with fruit? Seems like every tree I see is just dripping… and the ground under them covered with shiny little cherries. The animals are enjoying this, as evidenced by this:
There were strange new things along the trail that delighted me:
This weird fungus was something I had never seen before. All jelly-like and nearly colorless. I haven’t tried to find out its name yet. Do you know? Here’s a closeup:
A little further on beech tree had lost its top… And look at the way it forced some greenery out the broken trunk in an effort to keep living:
After completing the Sweetwater trail, we drove over to the Stone Tower for another view of the colorful hills.
I feel blessed to live so near this beautiful State Park, where a couple of hours of walking can so refresh and relax the soul.