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Hiking Among the Glacial Remnants of New York

The Daily Bucket is a place where we post and exchange our observations about what is happening in the natural world in our neighborhood. Birds, blooms, bugs & more - each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
October 5, 2012
This series of photos was taken last month at a town park in a populated area outside Rochester, NY. Altho there are way too many people in this part of the state for me, the counties and towns are good about setting aside land for parks and trails. The trail pictured today is along Route 31 between Fairport in Monroe County and Macedon in Wayne County. Route 31 also includes the NY State Bike Trail and parallels the Erie Canal Hiking Trail.

Following along on the Wild Notebook from yesterday, this area was reformed by glaciers from the last Ice Age. Drumlins are most notable here and are generally oriented north/south.  

It was a bright sunny day, blue skies with puffs of clouds.

A map of the trails - and I am so glad I took this photo. While Ann had hiked this trail many times in the past (back before she became Farmer Ann and had free time), it's easy to get turned around in the woods with the lack of blazes and many social trails criss-crossing.  The trail started out immediately going uphill. I noted on the west-facing slope many old old apple trees. My guess is that it was once an orchard, cleared of trees but now recovering - maybe 40-50 years past its prime. Atop the first hill was a small meadow, once a pasture or hayfield, and then we started down along the woods bordering the big field pictured above.

Proof of glacial deposits? Check out all the rounded stones and boulders that some long ago farmer hauled out of the field to a hedgerow.

About halfway down the trail is this impoundment. I have issues with it since it seems to have altered the natural streams running between the hills. Pretty tho....

Given the sections of private land along the trail, I was wondering if this had been a private park or fishing hole after looking down and seeing this below the earthen dam. Surely some jokers didn't carry this in just to dump it here? As thick as the trees and shrubs were, it's not going anywhere.

Native Flowers

Everlasting Pea - this was on the first meadow we saw. I hope it spreads.

Goldenrod - at the peak of blooming. Lots of it everywhere but that is fine by me.

New England Aster - fairly common but I did not see a lot of it.

Spotted Jewelweed - the Touch-Me-Not or Impatien family. It grows fast enough and big enough to outgrow competition despite its delicate looks.

Non-Native Flowers
Black Swallow-wort - this plant is very invasive. Note the pods, similar to milkweed. It also spreads underground and is hard to pull up as the roots break off leaving enough to resprout.  

Multiflora Rose - very prolific rosehips, forms thickets.  

Purple Loosestrife - this was along the small lake.  

Canada Thistle - I may be wrong since I don't actually see the stem and leaves. Being visited by Cabbage White which I read has now spread across the world.

Trees
Boxelder - in the Maple family.

A stand of conifers - probably old stuff to folks that live here but this long-converted Southern boy is impressed.

Flowering Dogwood - The drought curled the leaves and forced the early red. A neighboring tree was dead but this one is showing buds for next year. Look close in the center and you can see 2 red drupes.

Redosier Dogwood - not something I was familiar with but there were some heavy thickets of it.

Staghorn Sumac - very common but quite striking as the leaves change to red matching the seedhead.

Artifacts
An old hay wagon put out to pasture, but now the pasture is gone to vines. So few farmers use these hay wagons anymore as most have converted to the big round bales.

Wait wait - she's not an artifact. Note the Tshirt for Peacework Organic Farm  - a local inspiration for Farmer Ann and Ann's Purple Produce.

Well that was a beautiful day for a hike. But then anything we can find to get out of the garden for a few hours is always fine. Like yesterday we were kayaking across Canandaigua Lake - one of several Finger Lakes - also created by glaciers.  

Thanks for stopping by and please, you are welcome to add any observations of note in your neck of the woods.

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 08:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.

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