Report to Hikers: week of Sept 28-Oct 4

Hello Hikers!


Thursday Oct 1

Willseyville Creek, Caroline

Willseyville Creek 184

Finally, a genuine fall morning on the trail — mid 40s, hikers wearing gloves, beautiful gloomy lighting, a spritz of chilly rain on the windshield on the way to the meet-up — it felt great to finally put summer behind us

Willseyville Creek 114

I pushed the hike off one day to Thursday to avoid the tail-end of the big storm — I always wonder whether doing this messes up people who would have come on the original day but couldn’t make the rescheduled hike — in hindsight, we could have hiked Wednesday as originally planned and barely gotten wet

Willseyville Creek 203-001

This walk takes us along Willseyville Creek where it spreads out into a big pond and swamp, and it looked like everything survived the long dry spell nicely. The route passes through some noble woods but these were too dark for me to get any shots — there are also lots of raggedy, scruffy woods — these were brighter so I got a few photos.

Willseyville Creek 141-001

I think maybe some people like to hike only when the scenery is first class — I love hiking because it reminds me of playing in the woods as a child, and I’m completely happy with overgrown jumbled up areas like those here.

Willseyville Creek 127

Part of the trail runs through some large rolling fields that in the past have always been open and created some wonderful vistas — this time they were planted with corn that was mostly picked but not cut down and we couldn’t see much of anything.

Willseyville Creek 028

Official head count: Eight hikers, three dogs.

You can see eight more photos by me online here.


Saturday Oct 3

Monkey Run Natural Area, north side of Fall Creek

Monkey Run, north side 170

More lovely cool grey weather — there was rain around but none of it hit us — we had a delightful hike — captured and returned a runaway dog …. plowed through some serious weeds …. a number of satisfying chats about illness and aging parents ….
Monkey Run, north side 075

This photo shows the first beach along Fall Creek — the weeds are extremely high and dense this fall and there was major griping from some hikers about having to take this route — “I hate this,” said one person — but we pushed on and it was soon over
Monkey Run, north side 185

You’ll get the impression from just looking at the photos that this walk is all out in the open — in fact, most of it is under the trees — but it was too dark as usual for me and I didn’t get any shots there
Monkey Run, north side 205

This is the edge of a big Cornell field just before you get back to the cars — it had been recently cut into a golf-course-quality carpet of green, and its lush sweep clearly energized our dogs — two of them put on a spectacular show of running for us, the bigger one chasing the smaller around and around in huge circles — they were pretty equally matched for speed but the smaller dog was nimbler and always dodged away at the last second — looked like they were having a fabulous time — but I suppose the smaller dog could have actually been running for its life ….
Monkey Run, north side 101
Official head count: 15 hikers, three dogs

You can see eight more photos by me online here.


Sunday Oct 4

Kennedy SF, Virgil

Kennedy SF 008

Great mild dazzling morning in Cortland County after a week of chilly grey days
Kennedy SF 046

This is yet one more hike where we’re in the shade 99% of the way — it starts literally as soon as you turn off Daisy Hollow Road from the cars toward the trail head —
Kennedy SF 054

Sometimes this walk can be so dark you can have a little trouble seeing — but the woods are very uncluttered and spacious for almost the whole time, and some leaves had already fallen, and maybe the sun was at a good angle — for whatever reason, enough light was filtering through on this morning and everything looked fabulous
Kennedy SF 106

Our group fractured a bit — a fast bunch shot ahead and a slower bunch fell back — but I didn’t get any bad reports so I guess everyone made it back OK. It certainly was a wonderful day to be out.
Kennedy SF 115

Official head count: 25 hikers, two dogs

You can see seven more photos by me here.

Still more photos:
By Annie — who’s been away a lot of the summer on an island in the St Lawrence River
By Hussain — too busy to hike with us much recently — he’s in the last 60 days of finishing his PhD