Exploring the Ponds in Wolf Gull – June 29, 2014

the ponds at Wolf Gull

the ponds at Wolf Gull

What makes Wolf Gull in Naples so unique? Is it the narrow valley surrounded by two steep hills, the creeks that flow in two different directions from the lush ponds, the protective environment, the secluded seasonal little cabins, or the variety of plant and aquatic life? Where are the 15 owners and why do they come here? Do they come for hunting, silence from a busy world, or to study nature? Springwater Trails wants to know as they have visited in the winter and summer! Thanks to landowners Mike Arena, John Shipman, and Schum Acres Dairy Farm, Springwater Trails has received special permission to explore the Wolf Gull area from the top of Richards Road/Lanning Road, to the bottom on Atlanta Garlinghouse Road, dropping over 600 feetĀ and following a dirt road through the narrow valley.

P1110411P1110398P1110397Naturalists, lead by Ellen Folts from Amanda’s Garden, identified the following plants: dolls’s eyes (white and red baneberry), wild leek, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wild ginger, common milkweed, white turtlehead, joe pye weed, wild geranium, barren strawberry, hepatica, virginia waterleaf, patridge berry, may apple, rose polygala, solomon’s seal, flowering raspberry, early meadow rue, fall meadow flower, foam flower, red trillium. A variety of ferns including sensitive fern, interrupted fern, christmas fern and others were prolific. Trees included yellow birch, hemlock, witch hazel and maple leaf virburnum. Thanks Ellen for sharing your knowledge and Amy for her photo’s.
image003 Pictures of the native perennials can be obtained from Amanda’s Garden website.

For a little more of a workout, Char and Brook climbed the steep road, allowing most Climbers and Tourists (with good tires) to 4 wheel up the road which housed deep ditches on either side. We began our hike from the top of Richards/Lanning Road at what seemed like a landing pad of some sort to park our cars. In the winter the C-4 Snowmobile Trail and feeder trails pass through this area and Views of the windmills can be seen to the south. We proceeded left on a farm trail passing through the planted fields to a gate that dropped into Wolf Gull. We think the gates that mark the entrances to Wolf Gull are to protect the rough logging roads from erosion, keeping the ATV’s out that tend to dig up the roads, but allowing the snowmobiles in the winter.
image002image001image004 An hour later we arrived at the ponds to rest from our steep drop into Wolf Gull, listen to the frogs, swirl the green algae(?), study the overlow area and how it was constructed, and try to figure out why the creeks go in different directions from these ponds…one to the Naples Creek and the other we suspect to the Cohocton.

After hike social was at our favorite Atlanta Restaurant, the Mountain View. Thanks to Pam, Rick H., Amy, and Ellen who helped to organize this beautiful hike. We will return again in the winter, given permission from local landowners, to answer some of our questions.

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