Thursday April 8
Buttermilk Falls SP, lower parking lot to Lake Treman
First hike since Sun Jan 4 with no snow on the ground …. three full months! — we had to postpone this hike for a day because of heavy rain on Wednesday — Buttermilk Creek was really roaring 12 hours after the rain stopped — lovely dark damp morning, beautiful under the evergreens that flourish all along this trail
One excitement — a mysterious large animal pelt was lying along the path at the start of the Bear Trail — several of the hikers were willing to pick it up ….
…. Steve even put his mouth down next to it when I asked him to pretend to bite it
We also had a brief moment of false excitement —
Vicki, an avid birder, thought she saw a loon on Lake Treman …. but not so
Otherwise, uneventful, and a real pleasure to be back in the woods.
Official head count: 11 hikers, two dogs
Click here to see six more photos online
Saturday April 11
Lindsay Parsons Nature Preserve, West Danby
Wonderful morning on one of our most varied and picturesque trails — raw and blustery in the parking lot, but lovely once we dropped down into the preserve — upper 30s, dark and snowing lightly part of the time
The huge rolling fields got a boot-camp style buzz cut since we were here last, in September — in some spots, the effect was really extreme — no matter, it still looks great, and Elizabeth assured us the goldenrod, an annual, will all grow back, and we can expect the usual spectacular display when it’s in full bloom later in the year.
We had one of our best adventure hikes ever when we did this hike a year ago — then, we walked up un unfamiliar trail ad ended up in a huge bushwhack — this time we played it safe and stayed on the marked trails — the one excitement came from a bit of water crossing — Katharine’s feet are both in the air, if you look closely at the shot above — our hikers are all getting older and a little battered, but they can still jump ….
and balance ….
Official head count: 13 hikers, three dogs
The transition from snow and ice to puddles and mud seemed to happen almost overnight this year — that’s fine with me, I love puddles and mud — I sometimes wish I was a dog at this time of year, they have much more fun on the trail than I do (that’s Arlo, normally gold in color).
Click here to see nine more shots online.
Sunday April 12
Robert Treman SP on the Finger Lakes Trail
A fast-moving warm front arrived just before hike time — temps shot up more than 25 degrees from 8 am to noon, below-freezing to nearing 60 — we set off in hats and scarves and finished in shirtsleeves —
Gorgeous morning, of course — who would complain? — but I’d rather move a little more gradually from early spring to early summer than in the short span of two hours
This trail has dramatic dark masses of beautiful pines all along the way — but almost always off to the side — I’m always trying to work them into a photo, but failing — somehow I managed this time — though you’ll probably need to look twice to discern the hikers
Lots of fantastic sun-and-shade scenery and long shadows, very moody and satisfying to walk through — but a bit of a challenge for my new camera, which is exceptionally small and light but doesn’t do that well in bright glare and high-contrast settings because of the compromises needed to stay so small
Official head count: 23 hikers, nine dogs
The parking lot off Route 13 was unusually full when we stepped off, and when we got back to the cars, we found a strange sight — drivers from a college in Pennsylvania sitting idling their motors and waiting for parking spaces to open up — just like at a bustling mall — some kind of special outing for them
Hiker Virginia left a hiking pole by a tree and failed to retrieve it — if you saw it and picked it up, contact me.
Click here to see seven more shots online.