Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rounding out 2011 with a stroll along the Finger Lakes Trail...

My first posting of the new year! I don't have much to say, because the pictures speak for themselves. Wordier posts to come :)

On December 31st, 2011 I got together with some dear lady friends to get outdoors and and enjoy the mild weather. My friend Sasha has a beautiful home in Italy Valley, NY which is in the heartland of the Finger Lakes. The 4 of us met up at Sasha's then headed out for a stroll through the woods.

We took a short drive to a trail head that is on a
Wildlife Management Area.

As you can see, as of NYE, we had no snow in the Finger Lakes. As I write this several days later, that has changed! It's snowing and blowing out there...

 Starting at the bottom left: Banjo, Sasha, Elaina, Patty, Me, & Lucy
 A photo of me searching for porcupines denning..no luck. Thanks Sasha for the picture!

Another Sasha picture: Patty and Elaina...FLCC alum. Patty is now pursuing a BS in Environmental Science from SUNY Brockport, and Elaina is working on her Master's at SUNY ESF!
 Lucy - Yellow English Labrador Retriever (My Aunt's dog whom I love like my own cousins!)

 Banjo - Australian Cattle Dog (Sasha's old man who limped along like a champ)

The dogs and I!

 Lucy and Banjo hanging out in an ICE cold creek

 Christmas fern

 Yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in a pine tree

Mnium moss

 Canid scat

Along the way, we came out to a clearing near some man-made ponds. There was a bluebird box that was leaning. Sasha had been here previously and pointed it out to me, knowing how much I love bears. As you can see in the picture on the left, there is a chunk of woods missing.Right above the number 2 is where the bear bit the birdhouse. The picture on the left is the roof of the birdhouse and claw marks are obvious. Black bears are very social, communicative animals. We believe the bear who did this marking was doing just that: marking. NOT trying to get into the birdhouse. When Sasha visited the birdhouse the first time, there was not a nest in it and no evidence on the ground of a nest. There WAS a wasp nest on the ground, but that didn't seem like "enough" to attract the bear to that birdhouse and to mangle it. Maybe we're wrong.

And that's it folks! I have some camera trap pics to post, and I will do that tomorrow. I hope the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 finds everyone HAPPY, HEALTHY, and raring to go.

Here's to new beginnings!


  1. Cool Photos Bearly! I am completely impressed that you are blogging at the same time you are a student. Shows some ambition! Reminds me of my winter biology course I took in college. Keep it up!
    Fish Cop

    1. Thank you! It is like another courses worth of work sometimes, planning, taking pics, editing, writing, editing..but I've gotten great responses from blogging my adventure, so it's worth it.

      PS Love the kayak in your living room :)

  2. I was google searching for my long lost friend, Sasha, and came across this blog post. We met at a camp in southern Indiana when we were kids, but I haven't seen/heard from her in over a decade. So glad to see she's still enjoying the outdoors with good friends. Please, tell her that Julie Kurrasch (VanHoy) says "hello"! :)


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