Durand Eastman

IMG_0573WIt was a beautiful day Sunday – just right for an early spring tour of Durand Eastman park.

Turns out the hike & sun gods favored 20 Springwater Trails hikers at Durand-Eastman Park Arboretum on Sunday April 27th, and many other hikers at the CCE-Master Gardener led Arboretum tour as well. Sunny & nearly no winds, and the ground was fairly dry for the most part. Yes, there were blossoms of varying types although still a bit early for blossoming prime-time due to our “extended winter” and later season cold temps, and still no substantially warm days in succession to coax out more blooms. Three weeks later than initially planned for and two hike postponement dates later S/T had a great hike (two great hike routes in fact.)

A discussion during the tour of the Arboretum.

A discussion during the tour of the Arboretum.

The Springwater Trails Naturalists hiked as part of a larger Interpretive led Tour/hike through part of the Arboretum centered around Zoo Rd & Pine Valley Rd. That group was led by three Cornell Coopertive Extension Master Gardener volunteers as part of the Sundays in April – Tours of the Arboretum. A very informative Interpretive Tour indeed, many blossoms, exotic trees both deciduous and evergreen, and so much more all were topics covered in the Arboretum tour, and a bit of hiking too for this Naturalist group.

Just one of the 24 control markers on the Permanent Orienteering Course at Durand Eastman.Climbers (9 of ’em) set out on their own. Climbers, at a Tourist pace, toured through contiguous parts of the arboretum adjacent multiple lakes, climbed up & down numerous hills, navigated downed trees, and followed several trails.  As they wandered, they found one control point for the orienteering course set up at Durand Eastman.

The march to warmth.

The march to warmth.

Climbers crossed paths with the Naturalists a bit after midway in the hike. Climbers did some looking and a bit of group cooperative self-interpreting thanks to the Arboretum guide each was handed out at the initial hike meet point, and did a lot of appreciating along the hike. And while one day later than the officially organized date of “Clean Up the Parks Day” S/T hikers did our part on the effort of removal of stray bottles/cans, papers, and trash.

IMG_0586wAbout a dozen hikers availed themselves of the after-hike social where a sweeping view of Lake Ontario high above Lakeshore Blvd at Three Lakes Pavilion afforded plenty of open space and facility. Grillin’ at the Pavili’n on a portable Propane Grill with fare of more than a dozen of both hot & cold potluck dishes-to-pass all set up along the stone wall of the pavilion worked well with nearly no winds. And for those of us not already schooled in the art of keeping a “hot dish” hot when bringing it to a social, …a couple of thick towels wrapping the dish or pan works fantastic for heat retention. Thanks to all for the fantastic cookin’, bakin’, salad makin’, and Grillin’ !!

IMG_0588wIf you did not make our first potluck picnic after-hike social of the Spring Season here’s what you missed: Zweigle’s Sausage, Hots, Chilidogs, Kosher dill pickles, lasagna, baked beans, veggie tray & dips & chips, many types of salads, two cakes (one being Char’s legendary Pineapple upside-down cake), and fresh cut watermelon. Toss in some non-alcoholic libations, some brews, wine glasses and vino & a view, … and it worked quite well. Truly a fantastic variety of food was served, sound good? Take notice, Sunday May 4th at the S/T Sonyea State Forest hike hikers not only have an opportunity to hike a new locale for S/T but also to enjoy the second Potluck Picnic of the Spring Season.

IMG_0582wSpecifically in our Arboretum hike discussions whilst among the conifers at varying points was how our S/T Evergreen aficionado and owner of All Western Evergreen Nursery would have appreciated the arboretum and contributed to the group if she had been able to attend this hike.

Time will tell if perhaps our joint hike efforts on this hike will result in a few new hikers to S/T, as some non-S/T hikers asked about the S/T hiking group. Many thanks to all who helped make this hike and social a great experience, and THANKS ESPECIALLY TO THE CCE MASTER GARDENERS!

Below are some more pictures from Char and Pam’s cameras.