Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another Tree Post

I've been called a tree-hugger more times than I've actually hugged them, but I couldn't resist with this one. For one thing a hug gives some scale to the size of this tree. For another thing, this is a tree I've been looking for my entire adult life. It appears to be an American Chestnut (Castanea Dentata). I say appears because there are some imposters that often confuse or trick people, however, I'm pretty certain this is the real deal since a real tree expert I know found a chestnut in Six Mile Creek last year and gave me an idea where it was so I went and found it. In the case of that one, I'd been within ten feet of it several times without noticing it, with this one I dare say I'd been that close at least 100 times. I'm not saying where it is other than also in Six Mile Creek, so you'll have to get out there and find it, which you can do by staying on the trail and keeping your dog on leash with you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Crossing the Finger Lakes

Earlier this summer Andy Moore mentioned this idea of walking across the Finger Lakes Region and swimming across each lake. The logistics sounded pretty complicated with needing places to get into and out of the lakes, places to stay, and support vehicles with gear and food which would also transport the kayak that accompanied the swimmers. Then when I saw Andy's father-in-law, Alan Vogel, he mentioned he was going to walk 18 miles from Sampson State Park on Seneca Lake to Canoga on Cayuga Lake the next day. So I rode up to Sampson with Alan, his daughter Cori, and Cori and Andy's son Ozzie where we met the three guys doing the walk/swim. Andy, Neil and Bill were about done breaking down the camp, getting the day's route worked out with the support vehicles and nursing some aches and pains when we got there. Cori and Ozzie drove ahead all day and stopped in the shade occasionally so we could get a drink and snack. Marilyn Vogel joined us later in the day as we got close to Cayuga Lake.

Crossing the Finger Lakes

We had a nice road closed to traffic to get out of Sampson State Park, but as we walked north the view was of Seneca Lake which was upsetting to the guys who had already swum across in pretty choppy waters after walking about 30 miles. They had no desire to start the day going back. Fortunately we turned east after walking the Lake Rd. where I stopped for a well-deserved break. Hey, I got to bed late the night before.

Crossing the Finger Lakes

At one point along the way (OK, at several points) I got a little behind, but at this one I could see they were turning a corner so all I had to do was cut across this field. The guys really seemed like they were having some kind of religious experience so I had them pose in front of this nice little church in Fayette. Red Jacket was born in Fayette. Alan had just had a religious experience when he saw the awning of the fire house in Fayette, stop by and see it sometime, I didn't take a picture of it.

Crossing the Finger Lakes

Andy, Neil and Bill donned their wetsuits and headed out for the east shore of Cayuga Lake with Cori along in the kayak as support. After she'd been driving the truck carrying the kayak around all day with Ozzie, it only seemed fair she get some fun in the sun. So Alan drove the truck (with a broken brake line) and Ozzie and I joined Marilyn and we drove over to Union Springs to meet them. When they emerged from the water we transferred all their stuff into Marilyn's car for Cori and Ozzie to support them the rest of the day on their way to Owasco Lake, we tied the kayak on the car roof and Alan and Marilyn and I took the truck. They dropped me off in Ithaca and went back to Trumansburg to fix the brakes.

Wood and Stone

As the trail system expands on the compound out in Caroline, new treasures are found, like this rock pile with a large ash tree growing next to it. Connie and Andy had been encouraging me to make some kind of sculpture, or "statement" as Connie put it. Knowing the ash will likely be dead soon from Emarald Ash Borer
and how you're not supposed to move firewood to prevent spreading the borer infestation but it's going to get here someday no matter, I thought of constructing this Borer Protector, and if it fails and the tree dies, nobody will be moving it for quite awhile.
Thanks to the uptight standards of the US State Department, I won't be using this photo on my passport. OK, so it's a little blurry, and it wasn't taken in the last six months or whatever their rules call for, a chalk line appeared so it wasn't a solid black or white background, but it was a nice picture. And I was standing next to Caline Khavarani. It should have been admissible on that point alone. Maybe they knew about the goofy face I was making in the bottom photo.