Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring!!




It was an amazing weather weekend in Lockport. That's another reason I love the WNY area. There's nothing like the first days of a season to renew the spirit. I would never want to live somewhere the weather is predictable and the same over and over day after day.

Spent the majority of both days hiking through the Town of Lockport Nature Trail. Saturday I went with my best friend Diane without a camera, and then just had to return on Sunday to take some shots. I was really disappointed in the pics, because the sky just was so incredibly blue, and yet it doesn't show.

The entrance gate is really nice. Especially the owl perched at the top. There used to be an owl with its wings outstretched but unfortunately vandals ruined it.







The first time we hiked this trail, I was gearing up for being bored. The beginning is just a pathway between smaller trees and bushes and I was afraid the whole trail was going to be this way. Luckily, I was wrong! Although this part of the trail isn't very interesting, if you happen to be there when the violets are in bloom (May-June), the scent is awesome-the little blooms line the pathway and their fragrance is just heavenly.





Although parts of the trail can be muddy, the Town maintains them quite nicely with mulch which soaks up alot of the excess water.

The trails wind through rolling hills and there are two enormous trees that I love. There are a few benches here and there, a small waterfall, and great sections of rock popping out. I would call it an easy hike.

Today we decided to take the White trail which winds around to the very back of the Town Property and leads to a fabulous black oak tree.
Woodpecker holes never cease to amaze me. How long does it take for a woodpecker to actually make these?



This old tree is completely hollow - nothing but a shell left. I wonder how much longer it will be standing. There was no fungus growing on it and it seemed really strong, so maybe longer than I think.


There was a hole in the side and with this branch leading up to it, I thought it would be fun to have Kyah go up and look out the hole. Kyah was less than happy about this:



Here is that huge black oak tree. It just dwarfs everything around it.


Hard to tell, but this was a nifty little ravine gorge of sorts that just appeared along the ridge line. We followed it off the trail and it went quite a ways and was full of all sorts of rock formations.




Right about here is when you start to hear the waterfall. The trail splits, but either way will lead you to it. We chose to take the lower trail this time.


I just turned to my left from the same spot above and snapped this picture. It's a pretty good drop off, but the depth doesn't really show up. Getting closer-you can see the stream bed on the left.

Again I just turned to the left and shot. I like hiking when there are no leaves on the trees, because you can really get a feel of the landscape without the foliage blocking the view.
Same spot on the trail, just over a bit from the last shot.

Here's the waterfall. The day before this shot was taken, there were ice curtains underneath the ledge. I was so bummed they weren't there anymore. It was really neat.

For such a small waterfall, the noise was deafening. I didn't even realize Pete had come up behind me while I was daydreaming. Scared the heart out of me when I turned around and saw him there!

video

The last of the ice (hopefully)

The trail continues past the waterfall and loops around, but we were out of time and we headed out. In the distance you can see the other massive tree (not sure if it's a black oak too, because some nit-wit broke the sign).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why I'm Here

After being a blogger for a few months now, I realized how much I wanted to "share" all the beautiful woods I have near my home.


I'm always surprised to see what lies within a stand of trees. And I think most people can't even imagine how beautiful the Western New York area is. The unfortunate part is that my photography skills will most certainly fall short of capturing how incredible the place is.


I am planning on sharing some past hikes and post on current ones too. If you ever want specifics on how to get to a certain trail or things like that, just comment me. Or I'd love to hear your experience on the same trail or recommend me a hike!


I've found that time spent in the woods with my husband Pete is when I am most happy, content, relaxed, focused, peaceful, tranquil, well, you get the picture. Its magic.



Join me and let's get to the woods.......



I have to start our journey at Allegany State Park.

I was introduced to ASP by my best friend Diane about 6 years ago and have been back every year since.

Here's some of our hike up the Three Sisters Trail from July 2008. This trail is right near the Quaker Run administration building.







The first part of of this hike starts out flat but goes uphill at a pretty steep clip, so I preferred to call it the Three B*tches trail. I wasn't enjoying myself too much in the beginning because I was way too hot (and it was probably around 7:30 a.m.), but once we 'crested' the top, it was great. I'd do it again.





Kyah is such a good girl. She always stays with us without a leash (but we do keep her on it when other hikers are near). She loves the woods as much as we do.




I thought these fallen trees looked like a fence line zig zagging their way along. Pretty neat.



On the way down, most of the trail was basically just a rocky trench where the rain must run through in the downpours that tend to burst open in the Park. A walking stick is definitely handy on this part of the trail.