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


56 thoughts on “Walks Around the Finger Lakes. February, Finger Lakes National Forest

  1. Those are very nice, Robert. Well worth the hike. I used to have a book of images in winter taken in Central Park, New York, many of which were similar to your snow close-ups. These pictures reminded me of it.

  2. Upon looking at maps when we were in this general area last summer, I noticed Finger Lakes National Forest, which I don’t believe existed when I lived in the region half a century ago. You’re fortunate to have it, and to have done a winter walk there again. Do you know whether the creek(s) had frozen solid and were now thawing, or had never full frozen this season?

  3. melissabluefineart says:

    If I lived in such a beautiful place, perhaps I wouldn’t hate winter. So much. Seeing and hearing that waterfall in the snow and ice would be worth it!

  4. Lovely photos. The green ferns are very interesting. They must be frost and freezing resistant. That is something I have not seen before. Also am I right in thinking that they reproduce with spores on the ground? Maybe they shed spores 12 months of the year? Anyway ….thanks for giving me a glimpse of this wintry scenes.

    • Thank you, Anne. I’ve read that this type of fern produces its own natural antifreeze, that protects the leaves even in sub-zero weather. I don’t know anything about what sort of antifreeze, but it’s a pretty impressive ability.

  5. Nice to see all that winter.We had a few days that resembled what you have there…or had…but for the most part we’ve not had the usual snowfall. Actually the last few years have been disappointing that way. On the bright side I’ll probably gt a few more years out of the snow blower with such scant usage.
    As you might imagine, the frost patterns in the fourth image got my attention.

  6. Lovely photos my friend. We haven’t had any snow yet this winter. Just interminable greyness and rain. So I’m a wee bit envious of your sun and ice pictures.

    • Thanks very much Denzil, I have to keep reminding myself to be grateful for the snow and ice! it was 7° F. here the other night, but we have been getting some sunshine which is very very 🙏 welcome

  7. Darts and Letters says:

    Well, I say your miniature forest at the end is pretty neat and I like the snow-covered ferns at the beginning, the best. One of my favorite things on early spring walks in the high country is walking through a forest where the ferns are matted down from their snowy blanket. It’s a fun, easy time to go cross country on rugged terrain without falling into holes or spraining an ankle. Thought of you yesterday when I was reading an article in the New York Times Magazine from last September titled “What College Admissions Offices Really Want” and discovered Jon Boeckenstedt’s (Vice Provost of Enrollment Management at Oregon State) interesting blog in which he covers issues around college admissions and it made me wonder if you’ve ever stumbled across it. Hope you’re having a good week, Robert.

  8. My favorite photo’s the third, with the stair-stepped falls. I do like the first two, for their combination of snow and green. That’s one of the best things about our snow. There’s very rarely (like, once in a century) enough to cover everything, so we have a lot of snow-on-green to enjoy. Snow and palms seems as odd as snow and ferns, but some of these apparently delicate plants are much tougher than most people imagine.

    I’m glad you’re getting some sunshine. It makes a huge difference in everyone’s attitude, I think. People were stripping off jackets and such here today — by the end of the day, I was down to jeans and a tee, and it was wonderful.

    • Thank you, Linda. I was surprised the first time I saw yucca and cacti in the snow, and realized they were ok. I’m currently getting more sun & warmth than usual – helping someone move for a job, and in Guadalajara for a few days. Never been here before, beautiful place.

  9. Very enjoyable, Robert. ☺️ The comments, too. I feel like Michael, nostalgic for upstate winter sights and sounds. And jams. If you remember what Fern that is, I’m curious. Our leathery evergreen sword ferns get through a snowfall or two but always look beat up afterwards. The frost patterns and mini beech forest are nice. We share that love for the of detail, right? I’m glad you got away to a warm place though, if only for a few days.

    • Thank you, Lynn. I remember reading an article about the fern’s home-brew antifreeze, which seems pretty neat – – maybe we humans can be genetically altered to do that! ( 🙂 ) but I don’t remember the name of the fern. Amazing old buildings in this city, and friendly people, feels good to thaw out!

      • That’s got to feel great, and I know you’re busy but I hope you’re taking a few pics. BTW, I read through the comments and picked up on Bridgehunter – very cool! The place we stopped on Route 20 up here, where we found the huge old, moss-laden maple tree, has an old bridge on the site – in fact, that’s what drew us, an interest in crossing that (fair condition!) bridge. 🙂 I’m fantasizing about picking an obscure place to do a road trip, based on interesting old bridges.

        • “Bridges of Snohomis County” has a nice ring to it. That sounds like a fun quest for a road trip. I have a picture on my wall, of the Brooklyn Bridge, that I took when I was in grade school, and I’d like to see the Roebling bridge in Cincinnati (Step One, learn how to spell that city!) Did you ever walk over the Hudson, on that bridge at Poughkeepsie (my gosh, there’s another tough one to spell), that’s pretty fun, to look down at the birds circling over the river, looking for fish. Yeah, a bridge trip sounds like a great idea!

          • 🙂 Spelling, sheesh! You’ve been to NY, right? So many great bridges there; the city depends on them. Do you know that it now costs $19.00 for an out-of-towner like you or me to use the Verrazano Narrow Bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island? Staten Island is WAY closer to NJ but that Verrazano stretch is a long one. I never walked across the Hudson, on ice or a bridge, but I sure used to enjoy seeing the Tappan Zee every time I drove into the city when I lived in Westchester. It was always a major landmark, which if you think about it, bridges often are, as much as we take them for granted. (Unfortunately, we’re in Skagit County but you’re very close, and the county you picked sounds better anyway. Needs an “h” at the end. Thousands of tribal names up here begin with “S” and sound swishy). 🙂

            • Yeah, NYC has some great bridges, I like the Williamsburg, and always enjoy driving up through the arches of the Throgs Neck, going to visit relatives on Long Island — hard to believe that’s a real name, and not something from a children’s story. I haven’t been over the new bridge across the Tappan Zee yet, but it is pretty cool-looking. I hope you do a Bridge Road Trip. One time I sat and ate 🦞 lobster in Mystic CT just so I could watch their weird little lift bridge go up and down, like something a castle would have going over the moat. and I agree, the big ones are landmarks and really like giant sculptures. When my sister was getting ready to go off to college, she told me that she dreamt constantly of bridges, I guess not a tough call to see the message. I hope you have a great weekend Lynn

  10. The ferns were the most surprising thing I noticed when I moved to the Pacific Northwest a few years ago. Despite some very cold temperatures every once in a while–and snow–they just keep growing. They really take the edge off winter for me. Cheers!

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