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Green Lakes & Poet's Walk & more

A few Fall adventures from the past week and a half...

Green Lakes State Park

On my way back from a visit with friends in the Hudson Valley, I stopped at Green Lakes State Park near Syracuse, NY. I'd seen photos a few years back and have been wanting to go. I was totally blown away. This is such a beautiful, and fascinating place! It's a bit of a drive for those coming from Rochester, but once you're there, the walk around the larger of the two lakes is well groomed and flat, so anyone can enjoy it.

The lake's unusual blue-green color is due to its high mineral concentration that leads to annual "whiting" events, in which small crystallites of calcite and other minerals precipitate from the water. The mineral content of the water also makes it a meromictic lake (one in which layers of water do not mix), which is quite rare and has led to intense scientific study of the lake. There is also a freshwater reef at "Deadman's Point" - microscopic organisms called cyanobacteria have lived in the reef’s surface, using sunlight and nutrients dissolved in the lake water to build the reefs. The nutrients are deposited on the reef, creating a type of limestone called marl that hardens to form the reef structure.

I also saw a pileated woodpecker up VERY close - just a few feet away from me! This was my first time seeing one so close (the only other time I saw one it was far off in the trees).

Hudson Valley - Poet's Walk and Blithewood Garden

In the Hudson Valley, I took an early morning stroll at Poet's Walk (near Bard College), followed by a quick visit to Blithewood Garden at Bard.

Mt. Hope Cemetery

Always impressive this time of year! We learned something new - about a gravestone that was originally a column in a downtown hotel. It's made of limestone and covered in fossils. And bonus - we saw a pileated and a downy woodpecker here too! (That's two times in one week seeing a pileated woodpecker up close!)

Norton's Falls & the Genesee River Gorge

I've posted photos of this beautiful hike before, but it's always worth another mention. The falls emerge from a cave in the red sandstone gorge cliff, directly below the Seneca Towers building (off of St. Paul) in Rochester, and then flows down to the Genesee River. It's not an easy walk down into the gorge, especially if it's wet &/or there are a lot of leaves on the ground. Parts of it are very steep. But if you can get down there, it's well worth it. There's also a nice view of the 104 bridge - if you're there at the right time of day, and when it's sunny, it creates a very cool illusion making the bridge look circular.

This time I actually thought to look up the falls, and found this link with the following info:

This winding trail was used thousands of years ago by Native Americans as a means of accessing the river for fishing or portage. Pioneer settlers founded the village of Carthage just up on the ridge in 1817. They expanded the trail and built several mills on the site. The bank of the river was one of the more inland ports and was used for passenger craft and light shipping vessels. It was commonly referred to as Brewer’s Landing. By the late 1800’s Carthage was gone, and the city of Rochester was developing rapidly around the gorge. In 1888, the thriving community of Genesee existed here above the gorge, and Seneca Park was commissioned to be built along the eastern gorge. Norton’s Creek was dammed at St. Paul Blvd, forming a pond that stretched all the way back to Hollenbeck St. In winter, ice was harvested in the pond and stored in a massive ice house at the dam. On hot summer days guests of Seneca Park were treated to free water and ice.

(I made the leaf art at the base of the tree. And... I just really thought this shale ledge looked like a mouth, so I gave it eyes!)

Ontario Beach Park

Sunset walk along the beach... including SO much driftwood!

(All images by Tate DeCaro)

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