Well over 30 hikers and mushroom hunters joined Springwater Trails at the All Western Evergreen Nursery and Christmas Tree Farm on Sunday. It was a beautiful dry day. Not the best conditions for mushrooms that like wet soil, but our many hunters found a wide variety.
On Sunday four hikers enjoyed a beautiful day hiking on the Finger Lakes Trail. The Golden Rod was flourishing and the monarch butterflies we taking advantage in preparation for their flight to Mexico. I wanted to share some pictures. And all the birds you see are actually butterflies!
Hike and Paddle at Hemlock Lake
It was a glorious day to be outdoors, on the final day of June. An even dozen gathered at Hemlock Lake to enjoy the cool, sunny weather and were rewarded. We had our usual hiking groups. Four hardy hikers walked the length of the lakeshore then climbed through the woodlands on Rob’s Trail, for an impressive 4.25 miles. Another four motored up to Rob’s Trail trailhead and worked their way back to the boat launch. In this group we welcomed two new hikers, who appeared to enjoy the outing and the easy going group of Tourists. Two folks took the Naturalist. route along the DEC trail, out and back to the boat launch, which was a hefty 3.5 miles. From the bench at the terminus of this trail, they spotted and waved at the paddlers out on the lake. Only 2 kayakers ventured out on Hemlock Lake for 4 + miles of paddling. At they headed across the lake, an eagle appeared, swooping along the western shore. That was a good omen. The breeze pushed them swiftly down the lake, yet was not too much of a hindrance on the crossover or the upwind part of the loop. It was a decent workout.
A delicious picnic supper, awaited the group as they returned to Hemlock Park. It was a perfect evening, weather wise. Everyone remarked or the variety and quality of the culinary offerings. (Nutritious and delicious!) It was a top notch day at Hemlock Lake. Thank you to all who participated.
The seven hikers who made the trek to Big Flats on Sunday were rewarded with a afternoon of pleasant Fall weather in which to explore the Steege Hill Preserve. Although some trails were soggy from all of the recent precipitation, the skies were clear, and the temperature was almost toasty.
Sadly, we did not have the benefit of our usual guide, Bob who is the longstanding steward at the preserve. Therefore we had to create our own script, recalling some of the tales he has shared with us in the past. We did encounter the manager of volunteer patrols, John Abbott, who thanked us for visiting and contributing over two hours to the schedule.
At this season of the year the forest is quieter. The sounds of gurgling streams were prominent. Instead of the cries of hawks, the droning of small planes from the nearby airfield filled the air. We saw a glider being towed through the sky. No wildlife were evident. The rattlers and mound ants were tucked safely away in their nests. Although the foliage was significantly diminished, new forest color emerged. The delicate yellow flowers of the witch hazel shone through in many places. In one section of the woods, brilliant red barberry shrubs burst with color. John has put up a lovely slide show that captures our afternoon adventures. https://springwatertrails.org/november-2018-steeg-hill-2/
The sun was already low in the sky when we picked our way down that steep hill to the parking area. The setting sun lent a lovely glow to the surrounding hillsides as we departed Steege Hill Preserve. As always, Tag’s Restaurant provided a fine feast for famished hikers. The small group size made it easy for conversation.