The Escape – Part II

SNIT tub

Allegany SNIT Program Mystery

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:

Black Cherry Fruits

Black Cherry Fruits

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:

Bear Scat

Bear Scat

There were strange new things along the trail that delighted me:

Strange Fungus

Strange Fungus

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:

Weird Fungus Closeup

Weird Fungus 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:

Beech Tree

A crown of leaves atop a broken Beech.

After completing the Sweetwater trail, we drove over to the Stone Tower for another view of the colorful hills.

Stone Tower

Stone Tower - Allegany State Park

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.

View from the Stone Tower

View from the Stone Tower

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6 thoughts on “The Escape – Part II

  1. Considering the shape and the translucence it looks like a jelly bean fungus, but the pictures of the ones I have seen are bright yellow not clear like this.

  2. Heterotextus alpinus might be a possibility as it says it can be almost transparent when it is waterlogged.
    How large are they?
    It might be cool to go back and check these out again and get pictures of them after they have aged a bit.

  3. It’s the tree that’s of primary interest here. It’s an ancient and rare species of carnivorous tree whose main diet consists of octopi and other jellies. It requires the invisible ink of an even rarer octopus to produce it’s seed. The older the species, the more withered the poor old tree’s lips become, providing for a riveting fight to the death. In this case, it looks like both animals have fallen and the tree is too injured to finish his last meal. Poor old bugger.

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