A walk in the woods today, turned out to be a macrofungi field trip. Still very damp, even mucky in places, after getting eight inches of rain in recent weeks. All these pictures, with the exception of the second one, were taken within a few hundred feet of each other.
Some towns to our west, in Cayuga County, have had flooding recently. Eight inches of rain over two weeks, and the woods are filled with fungus. I know little of wild mushrooms, so no one should rush out to eat this on my say-so, but I think this is what the old folks call “sheepshead”. You can get an idea of size from the oak leaf in the top right corner, of the first photo. Kind of sloppy ground for walking, but also kind of neat. So many fungus, almost glowing in the dim woods, it struck me that a coral reef was taking root. While I was away last summer, there was a drought, and everyone reported on all the little streams that pretty much dried up, but they’re now going full tilt.
“Excelsior” is the motto of New York State, “Ever Upwards,” and this works for the glen.
A series of little waterfalls, the tallest is actually a thin cascade over one hundred feet tall.
First time I’ve hiked here. A few miles from the much better-known Watkins Glen, but this one isn’t a park.
The “entrance” or mouth of the glen is unmarked, and unattractive, a narrow opening next to a highway, so it doesn’t attract many people. But one minute’s walk and it’s quiet and picturesque – the tiny waterfalls are great.
There are two other issues, though.
One, there’s very definitely sulfur in them there hills, and the stream smells of it.
Two, it’s a good place to break your neck. Don’t bring children.
It’s private land, and hiking is allowed, but no real trail in parts, so it’s a scramble over slick, crumbling shale and clay. I’d advise real caution going up the stream bed, or along it, and normally I never say stuff like that. This is a very slippery place, and one member of my party, who was being careful, stepped on a root and went down a slope. Fast.
Luckily a two-inch sapling snagged her before she went over and hit the rocks, and nothing broken.
And just as important, she wasn’t carrying my camera, so everything was ok in the end. (Kidding!)
The Finger Lakes Trail passes close by, but it’s been routed away from the glen, and you won’t see most of the falls by staying on it. But if you’re very, very careful, and don’t mind a whiff of sulfur, the falls are really nice.
I took a picture of an old Chrysler, and didn’t see the reflection of the flags until I got home. This is similar to the one owned by Harry Truman, who would drive with his wife Bess to NYC, to visit their daughter. He drove it himself, with no Secret Service detail.
This reminded me of the 1975 song by Robert Lamm of the band “Chicago,” who was not a fan of Richard Nixon –
America needs you Harry Truman ~ Harry could you please come home
Things are looking bad ~ I know you would be mad ~
To see what kind of men ~ Prevail upon the land you love ~
America’s wondering, how we got here ~ Harry all we get is lies~
We’re gettin’ safer cars ~ Rocket ships to Mars ~
From men who’d sell us out~ To get themselves a piece of power ~
We’d love to hear you speak your mind ~ In plain and simple ways ~
Call a spade a spade~ Like you did back in the day ~
You would play piano ~ Each morning walk a mile ~
Speak of what was going down ~ With honesty and style ~
~ America’s calling Harry Truman ~ Harry you know what to do ~
The world is turnin’ round ~ and losin’ lots of ground
Oh Harry is there something we can do to save the land we love ~~~~~ by Robert Lamm
In Trumansburg, NY, flowing into Cayuga Lake, a few miles north of Ithaca.
Thirty feet taller than Niagara Falls (but a bit less water)
The name “Taughannock” is apparently not Iroquois, but most likely Leni Lenape (aka Delaware, an Algonquin tribe). I’ve heard many explanations for the word, from “large waterfall in the woods,” to the name of a Delaware chief, to “Better get out and carry your canoe for a bit“.