A pair of swans were the only movement in a beaver pond







maples reflected in a small pond




A heronry appeared to be deserted, but I’ve still seen the birds fishing in local creeks.  Most of the NY herons will take off for the Caribbean soon, but some Great Blues tough it out all winter.



along the shore of Lake Ontario


I’ve posted a few pictures from this place in past years.

The Sterling Preserve is not far from Oswego, NY, and about an hour’s drive from Rochester (maybe 45 minutes if you skip the leaf-peeping and drive down Route 104 like a bat out of hell, which is generally the custom in these parts).

In the 1970’s, a utility company acquired thousands of acres to build a nuclear power plant – – there were/are such plants near Rochester and Oswego.  However the plans for this Sterling plant fell through and there’s now roughly 1400 protected acres of fields, wooded hillocks and marshes .  And almost two miles of shoreline along Lake Ontario, all cobble beach.



The woods are nice – mostly maples, oaks, tulip trees and beeches.  Along the eastern edge of the preserve, remnants of a stone boundary wall and an old apple orchard are visible, now overtaken by native trees.  Near the marshes, there’s more buttonbush shrubs than I’ve seen anywhere else in the region.

WP seems to be doing that thing it does – – some of these photos fuzzy to me, I fiddled with them but no improvement.  They seem to look ok when you click on them.


What a variety pack of colors on a single branch from an oak tree



Birds, Clean Waters, Finger Lakes, FLX, Great Lakes, hiking, Nature, NY, Ontario, Uncategorized, Upstate New York

Walks Around Upstate New York. Sterling Preserve, Cayuga County, October


32 thoughts on “Walks Around Upstate New York. Sterling Preserve, Cayuga County, October

    • Absolutely, I’m with you. The local land trust is currently fund-raising for another parcel along Cayuga Lake, that’s the largest remaining private chunk of land on a Finger Lake – – that was supposed to be a nuclear power plant, too. The state did allow re-opening a power plant on Seneca Lake, converted from coal to gas, but infuriating because it’s just for crypto-mining.

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Constant struggle. Go record the gorgeous landscape whenever you can! As if you need me reminding you to do so…ha ha. Enjoy the day RP.

    • I think it’s neat, too, when they come flapping home at sunset with those big wingspans & they croak like (I imagine) a bunch of pterodactyls. You can spot a colony a mile away, because they’re almost always in dead trees – – if they aren’t dead when the herons get there, they’ll die off after the herons have nesting a while. And you don’t want to walk around them in hot weather, the smell will peel paint! But pretty cool birds.

    • You’d probably remember it’s about as big as the state of New Jersey! During the winter storms it can have waves 10 feet tall, although on Lake superior they get twice that high sometimes

  1. I am delighted to see this side of Lake Ontario. From where I sit I see the Canadian side. You have some lovely fall color in those maples. We have had amazing colors here this year. I am happy that the nuclear plant was defeated. A victory for nature.

  2. What beautiful photos of a beautiful place. Are cobblestone streets made from the sort of cobble stones that you’ve shown along the lakeshore? Of course the colors are splendid; the third photo down is my favorite. The reflections add so much — although those swans are a great catch.

    I did a little poking around re: your blurry photos, and noticed something. The smaller images look fine; it’s the larger ones that are blurred. I checked the properties of the one titled “along the shore of Lake Ontario,” and discovered that the blurry one is 878 x 582 pixels. When I click on the image, it’s perfectly crisp, but the size is 713 x 475. I read that WordPress sometimes stretches images, and causes blurriness as a result. That may be happening for you. (My ignorance about such things is substantial.)

    On the other hand, there could be something about your theme that’s mucking things up. Your large header photo looks just fine; the other large ones ought to, as well. If you contact WP about the issue, be sure to mention your theme — Ryu. I had an issue with my theme after they made some back-end changes, and they fixed up the CSS for me.

    • Thank you, Linda, when I’ve got the Wi-Fi working again, maybe I’ll just try taking those pictures down to 713 x 475 and see if that fixes it. I like this theme but it does have its limitations .
      I know they used to have everybody join in sorting the cobblestones by size for the buildings around here (but I’m not sure how they did that, maybe big boards with different size holes in them kind of like the way they sort eggs?) The same day I shot these pictures I took some of a one room cobblestone school house that’s supposed to be the oldest one in the country, I’ll look those up and post them sometime. But the stone-paved streets in the state are usually Belgian block = big buildings chunks of granite or some other really hard rock that have been roughly shaped into rectangles. Easier for people and horses to walk on. I’m not sure if any of those pavers actually ever came from Belgium, the ones in New York City were from the New Jersey side near the Palisades, and that area I guess is all hard volcanic rock. Upstate there’s still brick streets, and the ones that haven’t been paved over will generally rattle your molars loose. And then people would lay down plank roads, usually private for-profit turnpikes where they charged a fee, now it’s hard to imagine lumber being so cheap that you would pave a road with planks.
      Thanks for the comments and help!

  3. Looks like a nice place to walk around on a fall day – but then I’ve always thought that would be a nice area to visit in the season of colors.

    Not sure about your blurring problems. I’ve occasionally run into it, but not too much lately. I’ve been resizing to 1200px on the long edge for the most part – might be worth a try.

  4. Gee, maybe we should propose all kinds of sites for nuclear power plants, then they might be preserved once the power plant is nixed. 😉 A happy ending! And is’ great that herons nest there. 🙂

    • Yes that’s not a bad idea! I had no idea they’d planned all these nuclear ☢️ plants in the area, years ago, glad it never happened. The state did allow a coal-fired plant to convert to gas and re-open on Seneca Lake, just so they can use the electricity for crypto mining! Hard to believe.

      • There’s a park near here that was once going to be a nuclear power plant site and that came to nothing, too. Now, the park is jointly managed by the tribe that originally inhabited the land and the state parks department, Nice, right? Crypto mining – I had to ask my partner – didn’t realize cyber currency was eating up resources like that. Ah, the world is crazy!

        • Same thing with the old naval training base they built for WWII, they tore 99% of it down I guess after Vietnam and now it’s a state park, otherwise all that lake shore would’ve been wall-to-wall cottages for sure.
          I read about a former aluminum plant, I think near Massena and the Canadian border, that was wired up a huge amounts of cheap hydroelectric from Canada. The crypto-miners moved in and use so much power, it’s pushed the rates up for all the people living in that area. Yep I think it’s crazy too.

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