Here’s a nice little fifty-footer, not too far from Boonville, NY.

People are surprised to learn, that the falls is actually located in Hurlbutville.  They often say, “Goodness, can that be so?  I’d have thought  Hawkinsville, or over by Forestport.  Or perhaps, between Alder Creek, and Alder Creek Station?  Or possibly, at the foot of Potato Hill?”

It’s hard not to scoff at such speculation, and I’ve no patience with wild conjectures.

It seems like a sprightly name like “Pixley Falls” should be located someplace more legendary-sounding.  Rome, NY is just down the road, they could’ve called this hamlet to their north “Gnome,” for example.

But it’s definitely Hurlbutville.  I’m sorry, but it can’t be helped.

Even though, I’ve never been able to see any real trace of that place.  I think maybe Hurlbutville, with a name that magical, might be like Brigadoon, only appearing once every century.

But then, I haven’t looked that hard, I don’t wander too far off the winding, sagging little road that runs from Rome up to Boonville, along the remnants of the Black River Canal.   It’s one of those wooded, thinly populated areas that surprises people, who think New York is all urbanity.

Just on the other side of the old canal, is a creek called Lansing Kill, and this falls.

That name shouldn’t make you uneasy.  If you’re from NY, you already know this, but “kill” is just an archaic Dutch term for a stream, and there are kills all over the Mohawk and Hudson valleys.  Like the little mountains called The Catskills (get it?  Cat’s Creek, maybe because of mountain lions, or because they used to wash the cats there, before making them into felt hats, when the beavers were all gone). (OK, no, that’s not true.) (But in the old days, they did use them for coat collars, my sister just read Gogol’s story “The Overcoat” and told me that. )

Just north of the waterfall is Boonville.  A nice little town, on the Tug Hill Plateau, famous for amazing amounts of snowfall, even by upstate standards.  People come there in the winter, to snowshoe and cross-country ski on the canal trail.

The Black River Canal took almost twenty years to complete, and then operated for seventy years.  It used to connect to the Erie Canal, until it went bankrupt a hundred years ago.  You’ll see some beautifully-constructed old stone locks along the trail – – they built 109 of them, for only 35 miles of canal – – more locks, and a greater rise & fall, than the entire Erie Canal.

 

 

This is from the Library of Congress, taken sometime during the last fifty years.

I’d seen different lengths quoted for the canal.  According to the Black River Canal Museum in Boonville,  it was 35 miles long, with another 10 miles for the Erie Canal connector, and they also “canalized” 42 miles of the Black River, to make it navigable.

In the autumn, Boonville is kind of an entrance to the Adirondack region, and hunters head there in droves, chasing after deer with not just shotguns and rifles, but bows, muzzle-loaders, and crossbows.  I realize they’re high-tech items, with AR-style stocks and telescopic scopes, but somehow seeing hunters with crossbows, or black powder/percussion cap rifles, just seem to add to the forgotten-by-time flavor of this corner of upstate.

The canal trail, about ten miles long, is a very pleasant walk, down the old towpath, part of it with the Lansing Kill right along the other side.

 

a rivulet flowing into the kill

 

canal trails, NY, Uncategorized, Upstate New York

Walks Around Upstate New York. Pixley Falls, late March, late afternoon.

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Cold War, Frostbite, Great Lakes, Nature, Things to Do When Your Water Crystallizes on You

Old Man Winter still got teeth

 

 

 

I resisted the title “Beech on the Beach,” but it’s accurate. Winter storms undermined this tree, until there was nothing left to shore it up. During a rare day of sunshine, I walked on the shingle, and saw this sparkling up ahead. It looked a bit like a big chandelier had crashed into the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re at that slippery divide between seasons, transitioning from slipping on ice, to sliding on mud.  March always throws both at us.

Setting aside a month for the god Mars was not a good idea.  In the Great Lakes region, it’s a pugnacious season, and full woolen body armor is still recommended.

Full of bluster and false promises of warmth.  We don’t always see the lion-to-lamb thing – – it’s more “In like a blowhard, out like sheep dip.”  Still icy winds and snow, and then mud, that’s still pretty chilly when it soaks through the seat of your pants after an embarrassing slip’n’slide.  No flowers yet, and the only efflorescence going on around here is crusty deposits from road salt and chemical runoff.

I read an article recently about the old discussion over the number of Eskimo terms for snow, apparently going on at least since “The Handbook of American Indian Languages” was published in 1911 .   I don’t want to reignite the debate, and I don’t want to think about snow for a while. Just want to build a little birdhouse in my soul & a little Florida room in my mind.

 

Strange clumps of ice crystals along the lake shore, like those deep-fried “blooming onions” that were a fad for a while. It’s sad, really, how much I think about food. This picture looked ok and sharper on my computer, than here on WP (?) First time using a tiny Sony pocket camera, the size of a pack of Luckies. Unfiltered, both the cigarettes and camera, I got it for a trip where I’d be traveling light, but now cancelled due to the virus.

 

But if my enthusiasm for ice has cooled a bit, it does occur to me, we really don’t have nearly enough terms for mud.  I only know a few, like Muck & Mire.

This prompted me to look those two up – – I always thought they were the same thing, but in the final scene, we find out, Muck is the slimy one, and Mire is the deep one.

My personal favorite is “gumbo,” since as we squelch through the muck & mire, we often release all sorts of fragrant gasses and spicy odors.  Sometimes as things warm up, some paths, maybe the more aerated ones, give off a kind of nice composted smell, and sometimes a rich bouillabaisse aroma, that’s not unpleasant at all.

I’d be interested in any terms you use for mud (colorful is good, I know I don’t have to ask you to keep it clean).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alternate History, Art, Socks, Uncategorized

Sock Reboot*

 

Last summer, I wrote about the World-Famous Senecka County Sock Festival, still held annually,  despite the obvious controversies, protests, and on one occasion, a catastrophic explosion.  Senecka Sock Fest

This is another post about socks, but it’s new and better.  Because it’s shorter. And we’ve added an elastic comfort-band with Lycra.

Just a summary of my findings from a scientific historical analysis.  But allow me to begin with a personal anecdote, that I didn’t include in my last monograph.

It’s brief, extremely relevant, and was the catalyst for the entire research project.

I’ve always had an inordinate number of unmatched socks.

Technically, manufacturers and retailers would call this problem un nombre excessif de chaussettes inégalées” (because I’ve found, the entire foot garment industry is conducted in French, for some unknown reason).

You can take it as gospel, I am absolutely religious about keeping my socks in pairs, and I swear, they go into the wash like creatures onto Noah’s Ark, two by two.

But not all of them come out again.

At least, not in this dimension.

So…when I was in college, I did a semester abroad at Lingnan University, in Hong Kong.

And the very first time I went down to the dorm laundry room, and opened the dryer, there were two of my socks.

They’d gone missing at home a couple of years before.  And here they were again, in Hong Kong.  The socks have a very distinctive pattern, and I recognized them instantly.

I’d always wondered if my lack of matching socks was due to a genetic flaw, or gremlins, or maybe I’d failed to fish some of them out of the Hoover when I vacuumed, but standing there, in a dank basement laundry in Hong Kong, I realized in a flash, that clothes dryers are some sort of time-space portals. 

Many of you have had similar experiences, and have sensed the truth of this.

 

 

As further evidence, I need only mention that Rockford Red Heel socks, used to make sock monkeys, were invented in 1932.

And yet a patent for sock monkeys wasn’t granted until 1953!!

I guess further explication isn’t necessary, but basically, it’s hardly credible that it would take people twenty-one years to figure out how to make a sock monkey, out of their unmatched socks.

So it follows that it was a lack of single socks that was holding things up. Ipso facto,  it was the sudden appearance of  the  electric clothes dryer, invented in 1938, that made it possible for the sock monkey industry to take off, by creating a huge surplus of single socks! 

The electric clothes dryer had to be invented, for sock monkeys to evolve and for history to progress.

Dryers seem like innocent appliances, and valuable additions to our modern lifestyle, but we now know, they’re actually a Clothes Line to Chaos.  I think you’ll agree, the logic is impeccable.

 

When I first got into sock collecting, just getting my feet wet, as they say, I picked this item up at a garage sale, as one does. The previous owner assured me, that it was an attachment for one of the original Amana clothing dryers – – an automated sock fluffer.  I’ve harbored an increasing suspicion, that this was malarkey.  I’m going to keep it, because I believe it can be tweaked & re-purposed, for another hobby close to my heart – – waffles.  More about that later.

 

So anyway, when I’m traveling around, visiting different states or countries, no matter where I roam, there’s one constant – – I will always pop into any laundromats I run across, even if there’s nothing that needs washing.

I just check the dryers.

One particular item continues to elude me, a mid-calf wool-blend, in Mackay tartan, but I will bring it to heel, it’s just a matter of time.

 

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I remember something from Eng. Lit. about “poetic feet,” and it reminded me to ask – – do you know the English poet and librettist Charles Bennett?  He writes wonderful stuff, including a poem called “William Wordsworth’s Socks,”  it’s online, you should read it! [ http://poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record59fe.html?id=2810 ]

I offer as a very poor substitute:

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and rocks,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of unaccompanied socks;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

 

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

Stretched in a never-ending clothes line

Their faithless partners gone astray

 

It’s more melancholy with just socks, and no daffodils, isn’t it.

 

The stocking cap, a genius hybrid.  Freshman year, but I do not recall any of the particulars of the evening this photo was taken.

 

The “Sock Monkey” comic book was written and drawn by Tony Millionaire and published by Dark Horse Comics; cover design by Tony Millionaire

* If you think “Sock Reboot” is a lame title, it was originally “Sock Appendix”  But that sounded like an unpleasant medical condition.

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It always seems amazing somehow, how ferns shrug off ice and snow. I guess after 300 million years, they’ve learned how to get by. Probably a relief when the dinosaurs stopped stomping on them, and our era’s deer don’t care to eat them.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s worth hiking though the snow, back to these little waterfalls, just to listen to the sounds you only get in winter. A strange combination of delicate swirling sounds, very musical & almost chiming, with deeper gurgling and gulping sounds. Seems like an unlikely and awkward pairing, but they all get along just great, and it’s a very mellow little jam they’ve got going.

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the snow in the stream bed had a strange, cotton wool look.

 

 

In late afternoon, the sun found its way through the trees, and illuminated a little waterfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

a miniature forest of beech saplings is almost lost in the snow

 

 

Finger Lakes, FLX, hiking, NY, Things to Do When Your Water Crystallizes on You, Uncategorized, Upstate New York, Winter

Walks Around the Finger Lakes. February, Finger Lakes National Forest

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This pedestrian bridge at Watkins Glen has survived since 1870.  For some reason, a park sign identifies it as a suspension bridge, but a website run by historic bridge enthusiasts says it’s a cast- and wrought-iron truss bridge – – specifically, a “bowstring pony truss.”
I like that name, although it suggests some sort of uncomfortable rodeo event.  I’ve posted pictures in the past of the remnants of a similar bridge, over the Keuka Lake Outlet.  The company that made this example was located in Phoenixville, PA, and made all sorts of iron & steel, for almost two hundred years, including over a thousand rifled cannons for the Civil War.

 

 

Since we’re talking about bridges (well, I am, anyway), upstream from the little pedestrian bridge, is a 1949 railroad trestle bridge, kind of overgrown, but still in use.

 

 

 

A train crossing the trestle over the glen.

 

 

Looking down into the glen

 

 

 

 

The white line is the top of a stone wall, running alongside the trail. Which is closed during the winter, but always seems to have footprints on it, nonetheless.

 

 

Some of the reasons why the trail is closed in winter.  You can see some of the stone stairs in the bottom left.  These giant icicles hang over the path, and can detach any time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finger Lakes, FLX, History, Nature, NY, Railroads, Things to Do When Your Water Crystallizes on You, Uncategorized, Upstate New York, Winter

Walks Around the Finger Lakes. February, Early Evening, Watkins Glen. Train-, Bridge-, and Icicle-Spotting

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India, travel, Uncategorized

India from the back seat of a cab.

 

 

This summarizes a lot of my experience for two weeks.

 

Last September, I traveled to India, to recruit students for my university.  I traveled all over, south to north, east and west, literally ten thousand miles in all.

I wrote a brief post about this a few months ago, but wanted to add some postcards about individual cities, and about what it’s like to travel at warp speed through a country, and whatever flickers of insight you can gain.

 

 

There was no time to do any of the things I usually do – – museums, historic sites, people-watching from cafes, etc.  Mostly, I saw hotels, conference rooms, airports, and offices.  And cabs.  Lot’s of cabs.  Endless flights and meetings, zipping along in cabs and the occasional auto-rickshaw, everything seen in glimpses as fleeting as a Snapchat.  Far removed from it all, not an active participant.  Just a pair of eyes, passing through like a GoPro on a badly-steered drone.

And you know what?  In some ways, it was liberating.

I didn’t have to do anything, or decide anything.  I knew I had to get to such-and-such event or fair at such-and-such time. Whatever happened in-between meant that I was free to live in the moment fully, just soaking it in.

Obviously, a limited immersion.  In some ways, like spending an afternoon at an aquarium – – a layer of glass removes me from the fascinating images and lives that I’m seeing, but not fully experiencing.  Looking at sea creatures in a tank is not the same thing as swimming through a coral reef.

But sometimes, to be honest, arms-length was kinda pleasant – – in an air-conditioned cab, you don’t feel the humidity, and are safe from mosquitoes. But in some ways too, it cemented my status as an outsider, one who isn’t able to fully comprehend what is happening.

 

So… these little postcards and snippets are what I was able to gather.

The photos were taken with an old cellphone – – no camera – – as it was, my bags were overweight the whole trip, from all the pamphlets and printed materials.

 

 

I even had to ditch the newspapers I’d picked up.  Unlike our dwindling industry in the U.S., newspapers in India seem to be thriving, and I wanted to bring home a sampling to show people – – lively, entertaining, sometimes strange.

 

I started jotting this entry during my second-to-last stop, staying in the LaLiT Hotel, Kolkata.  It’s a luxurious, modernized place – but what was more of a kick for a history buff – this used to be the Great Eastern Hotel, 175 years old, the first hotel in India with electric lighting.  You walk down hallways following Mark Twain and Kipling (well, just a few years behind).  I loved that section of town, too – Old Calcutta – majestic colonial era buildings, like a capital in Latin America, large palatial buildings and walled-in gardens.

 

Kolkata was my favorite stop,  Parts of it are like Singapore –  massive Victorian-era buildings in pristine condition, gardens, parks, the biggest cricket stadium in India, a huge suspension bridge.
The Victoria Memorial still stands, like a giant white marble palace.  Then ultra-modern tall, sleek buildings. Really tall lux hotels.  Some neighborhoods are definitely not for me, but if I were to live in India, that’s the city for sure.  There’s something special about it even amidst the chaos.  Shrines to Durga and Kali (the multi-armed scary-looking one) all over.

 

Radha-Krishna

I drove into town past a tall building with a sign flashing an ad for some soft drink.  And it struck me as being how NYC looks in movies, but not in reality anymore, since so much old neon is gone.

Then I saw an old-school cab in front of a crumbly building and palm tree, and instead of Singapore, it felt like a street in Old Havana.  It was a Hindustan Ambassador, a chunky 1950’s-style thing, like one of those dogs that are homely, but you just like on first sight.

(When I got home, The Economist had an article that noted exactly the same impression – – Kolkata’s striking resemblance in parts to Havana.)

Traffic is Chaotic.

The food was interesting. Here, seafood and banana-based food is popular. I steered clear of the fish, but had a meal made with bananas. I don’t recall the details of how they prepared it, but it was delicious. It was washed down with lime juice and soda water, which was also refreshing.

Traffic can be chaotic.  Sometimes the telephone wires, too.

 

Lucknow seems like Colonial India is still alive.  And it has a gorgeous river walk

 

Smaller by Indian standards, crazy traffic, like everywhere, but manageable.

The only true Old City I was in, the denseness of the streets and the sort of India you’d expect from watching movies – – masses of people of all walks of life, jumbled into one place.  I was very glad to have be in a scene that met my expectations, and glad it was Lucknow, a storied, historic, artistic, and multicultural whirlwind.

And I particularly liked the hotel there. While the Lalit in Kolkata was by far the most swank, the one in Lucknow had a wonderful faded glory about it. This was true of the city too, faded but still majestic, at least in the old city.

 

 

Lucknow was one of the two cities (the other being Jaipur) where I broke my rule to not eat meat. In the land of Tikka Masala, it would be criminal to not partake. It was delicious and rich. My entire time in India was marked by amazing food, and the meals I was able to take in small eateries were in a way, the most authentic experiences I had on this trip. I tried whatever the locals were eating, dishes which I cannot name or even describe accurately, and loved everything I ate.

 

Ahmedabad was also a unique experience. Famed even by Indian standards for their vegetarian dining options, I ate incredibly well every day. But the highlight for me by far was the tea. Masala chai was offered frequently and I never missed a chance to have some.  Chai is familiar in the West, but here they offered it with different varieties, including one I loved most, Ginger  – – it has a real kick, but is delicious, and good for the stomach.

I was struck also by the number of Chinese business people that were there. In a country like the US, we assume that the whole world comes to us. But India and China both have trade agreements and rivalries, and there you see the rest of the world interacting with each other, hastening development or maybe looking into expanding their own industries abroad.

 

Ahmedabad was the only place I had any free time, though I used most of it to sleep, after 8 days of back-to-back flights, cabs, conferences, etc. But that evening, I went with the locals I knew to a restaurant/tourist village. This place was designed like a traditional village, with thatched huts and the like. We ate on the ground, legs crossed (or in my case, a sort of crossed-legs sitting that killed my lower back), and ate off banana leaves. The “Gujarati Thaali” is a true marvel — a spread of all sorts of vegetable dishes and salads, rice, flat breads, with many sides. Waiters arrive at the table from all sides, ensuring there isn’t ever an empty dish.  Amidst the traces of smoke from smoldering mosquito repellents, it was a very charming experience and the food was excellent.

We had time to visit an unusual “Utensil Museum” — full of unfamiliar food preparation devices, and chock full of locks and keys – – all of which was surprisingly interesting.

Just outside of the bamboo fence was a mega highway, reminding you that this village is a simulation, and not how many people live anymore.

 

India coke

Regardless of trade deals or rivalries, everyone loves Coca-Cola. Outside of Chandigarh there were several Coke ads.

 

Chandigarh was a pleasant surprise.  A “planned city,” by Le Corbusier and other architects, roughly the same 1960 vintage as Brasília, it felt unlike anywhere else in India.

Initially, traveling from the airport to the city’s industrial center and hotels, it felt like the rest of India. A horse cart on the side of the road, laden with sacks of tea or rice. A man with one crutch, dusty and haggard, going car to car to beg.

But the city itself is almost more like something you’d see in East Asia. Virtually no trash, wide clean avenues. For a semi-arid city, there were still a good amount of trees, green spaces, and as I learned, about a dozen public gardens. The market there was also unique. Rather than a maze-like souk, it was a spacious open-air shopping center with organized rows of tables, and many storefronts aligned in a large open rectangle offering an array of clothing, food stuffs and gadgetry. It was hardly the most interesting city, but I enjoyed it more than I’d expected.

 

Hawa Mahal

Jaipur was the other city that surprised me.  But, it was the opposite reaction.  While Chandigarh was much better than I anticipated, Jaipur ([probably the most visited by tourists of all of the places I went) was not as beautiful or luxurious as I had hoped. Dirty, smelling of sewage in parts, I felt it had a bit of an edge I didn’t experience elsewhere.

 

one of the Mughal-era gates

Men were sleeping at the base of the city gate, while cars roared past. This was the city where people would make offers of whatever they were selling, the instant they saw me, and I felt more watched than others cities, where visitors are regarded with respectful curiosity, rather than seen as a mark.

Even the famed Hawa Mahal palace was a bit underwhelming – gorgeous, intricate and fascinating, but  far smaller than I had anticipated.  (Much like people always comment, going to a gallery to see “American Gothic,” or Dalí’s “Persistence of Memory,” which shocked me when I saw how small they were, the fame of things can make them seem bigger in our mind’s eye.) This is definitely true of Jaipur’s most fabled attraction.  But still, striking and enjoyable to visit.

The Hawa Mahal looks like something out of a fairytale, with its many windows (which I learned are actually the back of the building). The name means “air or wind palace,” with its many tiny window-outcroppings, and was designed for the women of the Harem to look out of without being seen. The women were forbidden to be seen by the populace, and had to wear full veils when in public, so they created this strange viewing gallery, where they could see the town, while hidden from view.

 

 

India 2019 Royal Enfield (2)

This was a lucky shot. I rode across the old city of Kolkata (in a vintage yellow Hindustan Ambassador, making for the complete authentic experience).  Next to me was this man on his Royal Enfield (one of my personal favorite in motorcycles, based on aesthetics).  I felt it was a nice street portrait but I really wanted to call this “Nerves of Steel” due to his relaxed posture but imposing look.

While very short, not much more than an airport stop, I was briefly in Srinagar in Kashmir.  And it struck me, that what you see from planes, is often misleading, you really need to go and take a walk to experience a place properly.  But flying in over the foothills of the Himalayas, I looked down over what could have been Russia or Canada, not the tropical landscapes I had been seeing.

If you remember my somewhat fishy analogy in the beginning of this story, Srinagar was the closest to what I like about aquariums.  I’ve always found them mesmerizing. Perhaps there, more than anywhere else, in the dim light and quiet, looking into an alien, watery world, watching the fish go by is somewhat akin to meditation.  Noisy people are out of place.  They’re disturbing the reverie.  I sometimes wish aquariums would play some soothing ambient music or the like, to quieten the visitors.  Srinagar was like that. I landed, it was silent, the mountain air was cool, and it transported me back to the hill country in Chile for a moment. There was an Urdu song (perhaps a prayer?) playing softly in the terminal.

Yes, this was during a period of unrest, and there were also a good  many soldiers and police present, far more than anywhere else.  But despite all that, it felt so peaceful. To me, for at least one moment,  before being shouted after by taxi hawkers, it was the most like being in an aquarium. I found it magical.  I guess you take whatever moments you can.

 

India motorbike

 

India cow trash

In the outskirts of Ahmedabad we drove by this scene. While much of India is rapidly modernizing and largely I experienced positive changes, some of the issues that still plague India involve the sheer amount of waste and an inability to dispose of it.  Here, cattle roamed freely amidst the garbage.

 

 

 

India 2019 old building

A scene from Old Kolkata

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There’s a story I’ve heard many times, about a couple of my directionally-challenged aunts, getting lost on their way from NYC to visit my family in central NY, many years ago.

They were missing in action for many hours, and finally, late at night, they called from a payphone.  “We must be near Waterloo, because we passed Watertown quite a while ago.  It’s very dark, and there’s nothing but trucks loaded with logs.  The sign says ‘Last U.S. Exit.'”

If you don’t have a map handy, you just have to know, they’d driven north from The City, and neglected to ever turn west, toward my town.  They’d just pressed on, northward, like Admiral Peary, and were calling from the Canadian border.

It was assumed by most, they’d arrived somewhere near the St. Lawrence River, and the province of Ontario.   But I think people underestimate my aunts’ ability to misplace themselves, and it could’ve easily been near Quebec, or even New Brunswick.

If they ever have time, and a platinum gas card, I believe with all my heart, that they could outdo Moses, who only wandered in the desert for forty years, and they’ve been practicing for almost that long now.

The last time I told this, the listener wasn’t surprised about them getting lost, since they’re related to me, but they asked about the log trucks.   And they were surprised when I mentioned logging in New York.

I don’t think these photos are all that special, but they’ll serve as illustrations.  Folks who’ve only visited NYC, might not realize, that New York still has lumbering.  While not on the scale of the Pacific Northwest or southern states, NY is on the top ten list for producing hardwoods, especially maple, oak, and cherry.

 

 

 

The pine trees in the photos are something different.  Government foresters planted them to help stabilize worn-out farmland.  That was years ago, and I think all of the pine plantations around the Fingers Lakes, state or federal, are now mature, or a bit past it.

As they were harvested, some were being replaced with red oaks, but mostly it appears to be left to windblown chance – – so it’ll probably end up with the usual suspects – – beech, maple, oak, hickory.

This region doesn’t have the large-scale chip- and pulpwood farming that goes on in the south, with it’s industrialized pine monoculture.  The white pines are in decline around here, between logging, windstorms, a destructive fungus that attacks the needles, blister rust, and pine bark beetles & weevils.

 

 

I guess the plantations are “fake forests,” of course, but I have to confess, that walking in these groves, through the orderly rows of pencil-straight trees, has always appealed to me.  They’re not that common around here, so it makes a nice change.  Almost zero undergrowth, so you can march along inspecting ranks, not worrying about ticks or thorns, breathing that great pine-y air, with chipmunks skittering across your path.

Especially when it’s frosty outside, it’s great to take the path less traveled by, but it’s also nice to not get bent in the undergrowth, always having to watch for trail blazes, and just let your mind wander, knowing you’re on the straight and narrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finger Lakes, FLX, hiking, Nature, NY, Uncategorized, Upstate New York

Walks Around The Finger Lakes. February, Schuyler County.

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