As happens most days, a group of deer passed through our yard while doing their evening browsing. This time, though, the group included four bucks (2 of them quite young). This was a first for us.
Sweedler Preserve is one of our top favorite places to visit because it’s nearby, it features a wonderfully diverse plant community, has several nice waterfalls, and parts of the trail are a little steep providing a bit of exercise in a beautiful environment.
During our late-May visit we enjoyed the intense greens of the fully deployed foliage both on the upper trail with its profusion of maples, oaks, and beeches; and on the bottom floodplain with the sycamores and herbaceous carpet with abundance of wildflowers.
We highly recommend interested hikers stay away–we like having this gem almost to ourselves.
As has become our custom, we returned to Owasco Inlet for some Spring paddling, joined by friends Tim and Sherry. A year ago, we had quite the disastrous outing in the muck. If anything, the launch site is even muddier and more difficult than ever but we tried to be very careful launching and returning in the muck. This time we averted disaster (narrowly in my case). It’s worth the trouble–it’s a lovely paddle in a very diverse community of plants, birds, and beasts. This year, the inlet was mostly clear of debris so we were able, for the first time, to paddle the 4.2 miles to the Moravia bridge and then enjoy the leisurely trip back aided by the current.
We burst the bonds of pandemic lockdown once we were fully vaccinated by spending a couple days exploring NYS’s Letchworth State Park. We stayed in Mt. Morris at the wonderful BrickInn B&B (very comfortable with great breakfasts) and moseyed into the park each day for some trail exploring.
Neither of us had previously been to Letchworth despite its proximity. The Genesee River gorge is impressive and parts are scenic, particularly in the vicinity of the 3 large waterfalls along the southern part of the park. We benefited from the late-April early-season visit in midweek with lousy weather–it meant we often had miles of trails to ourselves. It sounds like the park and surrounding towns gets jammed with crowds during regular season. That would certainly change the character of a visit entirely. Those darned tourists.
The change of seasons is one of the pleasures of living in the northeast. This year, in particular, needs a Spring offering hope, optimism, and rebirth. We are encouraged and entranced by the unfolding of color, light, and warmth.
Our Winter, unlike in past years and other locations, has been top shelf. We’ve had a few major storms but mostly we’ve had many days of fresh coatings of light snow and ideal temperatures. A periodic refresh of the Winter canvas has revealed the daily wildlife activity and charmed us with idyllic Winter vistas. Lori loves Winter too. She just doesn’t always realize it. But she’s always up for a walk in the woods in any case.
It was a lovely sunny day today, first in a long time. It was perfect timing to start shoveling out from the recent couple days of unrelenting snow and wind.
We’ve been having a little snow lately, but at least it’s windy.
Lately we’ve seen quite an up-tick in the local deer population’s visits to our yard. Each morning we see fresh new tracks and removed snow cover spots as they browse for food. Garden plants are being nibbled as well. They’re getting bold hanging around the house. In a few days they’ll likely move on to other neighborhood dining spots, we hope. Yelling “Get off my lawn you kids!” hasn’t helped so far.
A proper snowstorm visited us, blanketing our neighborhood in about 16 inches of snow. It’s pretty but it can be too much of a good thing sometimes: the Binghamton area in our neighboring county got a record 41 inches and nearby Newark Valley got 44. They probably don’t think it’s so nice.