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October 12, 2014

Hiking at Harriet Hollister Spencer

Filed under: Fall,Parks,Travel — Judy @ 11:34 pm

What an absolutely gorgeous fall day Cathy and I had to take a little trip to Harriet Hollister Spencer Memorial State Recreation Area high in the western hills between Honeoye Lake and Canadice Lake! The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, the leaves were at peak color – and the company was incomparable. We needed to get out and get some fresh air and a nice hike was on the docket.

Honeoye Lake overlook

Well known in winter for its cross country ski trails, the land for HHS or Harriet Hollister for short, was given to New York State by the estate of Harriet Hollister Spencer (1887-1962), a woman from Rochester who was an expert on roses and a civic leader. More can be found about her here. The location of HHS ensures that it usually has more snow than surrounding areas. The trails, ranging in difficulty from novice to expert, are well-maintained and groomed by the Rochester Cross Country Ski Foundation.

Many of these same trails are used by hikers and even some bikers in the spring, summer and fall months. There are also picnic tables and a pavilion. A nice map of the park is located here. The main road through HHS is called Overlook Road and is closed to car traffic in the winter. What a gorgeous view we had!

Honeoye Lake overlook

Feeling adventurous on such a nice day, we took some of the side trails. Pictures of some of the flora we saw are linked below. We also inadvertently ventured off-road thinking we were still on one of the park trails. Nope! and it was quite a hike back to the car. We are not really certain how that happened as we thought we were following a trail. Needless to say, we rewarded ourselves for all the effort and stopped for a lovely Sunday brunch at The Holloway House in East Bloomfield.

Honeoye Lake trail pictures (click on any picture to bring up the viewer, then play the slideshow or click the arrows on the side to navigate to each picture):

October 8, 2014

Fall Trip to Pittsburgh

Filed under: Creatures,Fall,Parks,Slideshows,Travel — Judy @ 10:13 pm

We had a lovely trip to Pittsburgh last week and it was great to see Kelsey after her summer in Europe. Her boyfriend from Germany was also visiting. In addition to the usual haunts, we took a sidetrip to The National Aviary there. It was a free day and the line to get in was long in the cold breeze, but so many birds!!! Cute little ones, and big ones like the eagles. All colors and sizes. I took lots of pictures and included them in the slideshow.

On one of the days we had an interesting lunch (and tea, of course) at Dobra Tea Room in Squirrel Hill. The tea, of which there were so many choices that it was hard to choose, were served in their traditional vessels from around the world. Hot tea, cold tea, loose leaf tea, and light vegetarian fare all served in a Bohemian-style tearoom.

And naturally, we spent a lot of time playing with the puppies. Walks around the neighborhood and down into Frick Park are always a must when we go to Pittsburgh. Sky is the blue merle and Huxley is the red merle that you will see in the slideshow. Both of them are mini-Australian Shepherds and both are deaf. Such good dogs, sweet and fun to play with. Cooper is the big Golden Retriever. Also a sweetie, he is my sister’s baby. They all love going to Frick Park to play at the Hot Dog Dam.

Slideshow for trip to Pittsburgh Oct 2014

March 9, 2012

Robert Treman Park

Filed under: Parks,Slideshows,Travel,Winter — Judy @ 9:57 pm

We had a beautiful, light-jacket-kind-of-weather day to take a short hike into Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, NY. The park wasn’t really open for the season yet, but a few of the trails were available for the intrepid/curious. This park features 12 waterfalls (including 115 foot tall Lucifer Falls) as Enfield Creek winds down a narrow, deep gorge on its way to the Cayuga Lake inlet. There are lots of pretty cascades, and plunges, and flumes to be seen. Only the upper part of the Gorge trail was open so a trip back is definitely is in order.

February 11, 2012


Filed under: Creatures,Parks,Winter — Judy @ 5:46 pm

This is the winter that was not winter here in upstate New York. We get a little tidge of snow off and on, and the weatherman claimed last night that we were up to 25 or so total inches – a record low for snowfall, I think. Today we do have some snow falling and maybe tomorrow the skis will come back out again – hopefully!

These pictures are from the end of January, another two days where we had enough snow for a couple of ski runs so I went out to Mendon Ponds Park again for some passes around Quaker Pond. It was lovely! The sun was out and this little rill was babbling mightily as I passed over the footbridge.

Quaker Pond runoff

A long straight run through the woodsy part of the Quaker Pond trail.

Long ski run through the woods

Don’t these tufts of snow look like cotton puff balls?

Cotton ball snow

Looking across Quaker Pond through the cattails.

Cattails around Quaker Pond

And then in a flash, the snow was gone again – all of it! A few days ago there was just enough snow to get some reasonable animal track pictures. The first one is a deer track – notice the cloven hoof pattern.

Deer track


This next one is a little house cat that has been wandering around. We have lots of little vole runways so I hope the kitty is taking care of them!

House Cat track


Ah yes, the dastardly squirrel! The squirrel has four toes on the front feet and five on the hind feet with the hind foot more elongated than the front foot. The front foot also has two pads at the rear – very clearly shown in the picture.

Squirrel track


I’m not sure about this one. We have seen Mr. Bunny out there checking things out so it could be. Triangular shaped foot patterns with rather indistinct toe patterns.

Possible rabbit tracks

Rabbit tracks?

Pretty sure this is Brer Fox. He tends to slink along the side of the garage where this was found – a five toe pad pattern all about the same size. A dog has a similar pattern, but the rear pad is larger. Plus, dogs are not allowed off leash in our area.

Fox track


This is another pattern with four toes on the front foot and five toes on the back like the squirrel, but the hind foot does not seem to be elongated. Can this be Mr. Woodchuck peeping out to see if spring has arrived?

Woodchuck tracks?

Woodchuck tracks?

If you are interested, a graphic of animal tracks is here or another post with animal track pictures from last year is here.

And a reminder that the Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up on Feb 17-20. Stay tuned!

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