Archaeology near Hemlock Lake

I just got emails from Pam and Amy regarding some active archaeology taking place just off one of the hiking trails at the northwest side of Hemlock Lake. This is worth sharing right here on the home page of Springwater Trails.

Pam at foundationA special archaeological field school directed by Kristi Krumrine from St. John Fisher is currently digging around the foundation of the Rix House which is located close to Rix Hill Road, (road that goes through Hemlock Park) just off the entrance to the western lake trail.    Pam and Amy spoke with Kristi and she invited our group to an open volunteer day this Saturday starting at 9:00 and staying as long as you would like.  This is an opportunity for us to learn about archaeology and the history of the site and Hemlock Lake.  This is the same professor that did the archaeological digs in the area of Dixon (now spelled Dixson)  Hollow in the Canadice Outlet.    If you are interested, just show up, bring a lunch, and stay as long as you can (all tools will be provided).

Old stone foundations

The field school will be going next week until Friday if anyone would like to stop by and just visit.  The site exposes the stone foundation, well, barn area, and other out buildings.  Students are sifting through excavated pits for findings.  Contact Pam at 245-1252 for more information. 

Click the pictures below for bigger pictures.Sifting2 Sifting Sifter Checking for artifacts

Trail Building – Wheaton Hill Trail – June 2, 2013 – 2:00 PM

Wheaton Hill 2This Sunday, let’s return to the Wheaton Hill trails and fight back against some more roses.  Please check the weather as you prepare – it looks like a variable week coming up. In April we worked on the Pine and Skid trails, cutting back roses and raspberries and removing some trees that had fallen across the trail.  Now we will have an opportunity to see the results of our work and to start work on the Redbud and possibly the Spruce trails.

As you probably remember, cutting the roses seemed like a nearly infinite task.  No matter how much we cut, it seemed there still was more that needed to be cut.  I am hoping that going back on Sunday, we will see an improved Pine trail and that will sustain us as we work on the Redbud Trail.

DSC_4945What to bring:

  • Clippers, long and short handled for clipping half inch stems.
  • Power hedge trimmers for cutting roses.
  • Good shoes (Hiking boots).
  • Good gloves for handling logs and roses.

We will split the group into two teams.  The first team will cross Wheaton Hill and work down to the Redbud Trail. At the loop we will split again and meet at the farthest point.  Then on the way back we will cut away at all of the roses we missed on the first pass.

DSC_4958_smallThe second team will hike the lower Pine trail and will look for roses that we missed in April. They will then return to the Spruce trail and will go to the left, working around the Spruce trail to join the first team at the top of Redbud.

Please park headed down hill on the right hand side of the road.  Pull off the road as far as possible.  We will place the Springwater Trails sign above the curve to warn drivers.  If you prefer, parking is available at the South Hemlock Access parking area and you can car pool from there.  In any case, be on the alert for cars on Wheaton Hill Rd!  Directions are available to the Wheaton Hill trailhead and to the South Hemlock Access parking area

After the trail work, we will meet at about 4:30 or 5:00 at the Hemlock Grill for food and conversation.

Bristol Trail

As the late Mr. Rogers would have put it, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Temparature around 60 with a clear sky.  Exactly what we requested, showing that the Allmighty listens to his chosen people.  However, just to be sure, we rented a covered pavillion for the social and that act was sure to keep the rain away.

3 hardy souls, led by Ann, made the workout climb up Cleveland Hill and were treated to a great view at the top.  The rest of us enjoyed the gradually decending 3 mile trail. from Ontario County Park to CR 33.  The beaver pond was still there, as well as their lodge, dam and stumps of saplings that they felled.

This again proved to be the prime time of the year for wildflowers.  We were treated to a big bunch of wild azelias, something not often seen.  Trilliums are coming to the end but there were still a few faded ones.  Also blooming were wild geranium, mayapple, fringed polygala, false solomon’s seal and bellwort.

The forest was primarily hardwood.  Shadbush and maple leafed viburnum were identified as well as many saplings of mountain maple, the leaves of which make a good substitute for Charmin, should the need for it arise while hiking.  If you use any leaf for that purpose, it’s a good idea to make sure it isn’t poison ivy.

This is also the prime time to learn birds.  Cocks are in their attractive breeding plumage and are singing to proclaim their mating territory and attract hens for nesting.  If you don’t want to take the time to look for them, many can be identified by their unique songs that can be heard as you’re hiking.  We heard several red eyed vireos, who have a 2 or 3 syllable song that sounds like “see me, here I am”.  Also identified by ear were chickadee, peewee, ovenbird, redwinged blackbird, crow and tree swallows were seen over the beaver pond.

Mushrooms are also starting to come up.  Along the trail, we found a yellow morel and a batch of fresh oyster mushrooms, which were gathered and enjoyably consumed with scrambled eggs, this morning.  We also found one that we think was a deer mushroom, which was not taken.  Although the deer mushroom isn’t poisonous, it’s as tasteless as my jokes, and there are some poisonous ones that look like it.  If you’s like to try some wild mushrooms this summer, fold a small paper bag in your pocket (plastic makes them sweat, and rot).  We’ll point out ones that we know are safe and will gladly share them with you.  Never eat one that you’re not sure about.

As it got dark, in a clear sky, we were treated to the 3 planet grouping described in the nature column.  The next morning, we saw that the much anticipated frost did not come to our flower garden so we saw, by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed, at the twilight’s last gleaming.  Nice to be the chosen people.

Till next Sunday, may the Schwartz be with you. .   .

Need help ID’ing a plant

I received the following message from the Olean Hiking Club and I was sure some of our experts could identify this plant.  Leave a comment here and I will forward it to the Olean Club.  The Olean Club uses a Google Group to communicate if you may want to join them.

Maybe Susan can help, or anyone else that might know. These plants were growing at the start of the trail at Wolf Creek Narrows on Saturday. I guessed that they might be some sort of (wild) lettuce. But I can’t find it in my Newcomb’s guide, nor any others I looked in so far. Notice the “wings” growing along the leaf petiole between the leaf and the base.
– Lee Ann