Yesterday we walked by plantations of white pines and spruce,  remnants of old apple orchards, lovely red sugar maples, beeches, hornbeams, and hophornbeams.

Those last two trees are pictured above.

Of the two, I prefer the hophornbeam.

I mean, who wants a hornbeam that just sits there?

I find it’s true that Nature abhors a vacuum – –

ambling along,  pretty much totally vacant of thought,


so Nature provided a little wake-up call – –

two ruffed grouse, alway wiseguys, suddenly shot up,

like whirring rockets.

I’ve never gotten a picture of a grouse,

just a few minor heart attacks,

when they suddenly blast off,

three feet in front of my face.







We’d gone into a stretch of hemlocks, where it’s always a bit darker,

and getting along toward sundown,

so we’d decided to head back, while we could still see the trail.







But first we walked just a bit down the hill,

to listen to the creek,

and look at the tiny waterfalls.











And found a shrine-like assemblage of pebbles on the bank.







Little heart-shaped stones were tucked every which way into crevices.















I know, damn hippies.

This won’t gladden the hearts of most hikers I know,

who are fundamentally opposed to leaving any alteration or trace of human activity in the woods.

And humans being humans, they kinda overdid things,

maybe just a tad,

so it ended up looking like a Neolithic dump,

just after Valentine’s Day in the Stone Age.







But there were no beer cans, cigarette butts, or shell casings,

and to be honest,

I kind of got a kick out of this particular little display of weirdness.








Why am I always thinking about food? I saw these lovely ferns, and all I could think was, how come there’s never a good salad bar in the woods, when you need one.  With those little croutons.


Autumn, Finger Lakes, FLX, hiking, Ithaca, NY, photography, Public Art, Uncategorized, United States, Upstate New York, Valentine's Day

Walks Around The Finger Lakes. October. Corazón de Piedra.


31 thoughts on “Walks Around The Finger Lakes. October. Corazón de Piedra.

  1. Wonderful pictures! Mystical. 🙂 As to the hearts: well, like you said, better than beer cans etc. I agree, though: it looks somewhat overdone. Less would be more, in this case, I think, as it would really draw attention to just one [or a few, max] lovely-looking stones.
    Have a great week,

  2. Strangely, despite my previous grumblings about rock-stackers, I find the hearts fun and appealing. I think part of what I enjoy is the thought that people who come along add to them, and besides: who doesn’t like hearts? I did come across something that made me think of you the other day: how’s this for messing up a perfectly good symbol?

    I have a rock that so perfectly resembles a baked potato I put it on someone’s plate and fooled him for about five seconds.

    I’ve never once heard of hornbeams or hophornbeams. A consult with the venerable Google was necessary. I love this: ” American hophornbeam is a small understory tree of well-drained, deciduous forests that thrives on neglect.” After a little looking around, I decided that the first photo might be hornbeam or hophornbeam seeds. It’s a great photo, whatever it is.

    I went out to do a little walking and photographing myself, this afternoon, but it still was hot and humid: 92 degrees and full summery. It wasn’t conducive to concentration, I can tell you that. Better to sit in the air conditioning and look at your photos for a while.

    • I should have labeled the tree pictures- very common around here, benign neglect I guess, the 2nd is (I think) 🤔 a hornbeam, and the 1st is hophornbeam, kind of resembles hops (the plant used to flavor/preserve beer). They’re growing hops around here again, too, after about 100 years absence, for the microbreweries.
      Thank you for the airport article, that’s pretty funny, unless you’re getting on a flight and recognize the meaning. Yikes!
      I’ve seen this called “Cultural tone deafness” like when Detroit tried to sell a car in Mexico called “Nova,” to Spanish-speakers “No va” or “Doesn’t Go”
      We’re into some nice weather (but not too many fall colors yet.). I was going to say “summery” but meaning ‘70’s not 90’s 🙂Tonight may be a frost.

  3. On our recent trip to Alberta I remember two places where I couldn’t take the nature pictures I wanted to because of all the stones piled up. In one of those places a guy kicked down some of the piles, saying “I hate these things.”

    • yep, folks need to avoid Edifice Complex, as I think Linda pointed out, when I photographed some stone stacks a couple of weeks ago, and leave things as they find them. It helps to think of some of these things like a mandala, where recognizing impermanence and the ephemeral nature of things is a key part of the exercise. (Or so I’ve read, I’m not Buddhist)
      And since I’m not very peaceful by nature, I’m starting to develop a serious irritation over drones with GoPro’s buzzing around – – very tempting to think about target practice with a slingshot or .410.
      But perhaps harder to hate little hearts hidden in a ravine?

  4. pinklightsabre says:

    I dig that layout, and I know those hippies and agree, better than the casings and the butts: they leave stone-shaped hearts, like leprechauns or some such. Good to know ya’ mate. Bill

  5. Stone tributes, hunks of shale with scratched messages, have become a “thing” in the parks. What happened to enjoying the moment and writing it on your soul? Better than scratching on trees, so an improvement.

    • That’s a good point, there does seem to be fewer people defacing trees.
      A couple of cities have designated fences, for those symbolic padlocks (to me, a questionable symbol for love!), to keep folks from weighing down bridges. Maybe the state parks can create some secular sgraffito “shrines” at the parking lots, to leave the shale tributes.

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