Monday, August 15, 2011

Cummings Nature Center

On Saturday, a friend and I went to Cummings Nature Center.  This is a lovely place, South of Rochester.  It's associated with the Rochester Museum and Science Center.  It was my first time there, and I really enjoyed myself.
We decided to hike to the Beaver Pond.  The day was warm, and the sun was shining.  On the way to the trail, we walked through the grounds.  It's a perfect place for kids.
They have a leapfrog pond, showing the progression from tadpole to frog that kids can play on.
And, the trees have critters sculpted around them.

From there, we passed to the trails, themselves.  They are wide, and well kept.  The avenue of pines at the beginning is breathtaking.

Once beyond the pines, you enter deciduous woods.  It's not old growth, this whole area was farmland, around the turn of the 20th century.  But, it's full of lovely open spots, mossy knolls and little streams.

 This little stream had fresh critter prints, probably raccoon, beside it.

Ferns were everywhere, and of many different kinds, including
Common, or Rock Polypody
And, Maidenhair Fern
This tree started its life growing on a stump.  Over time, the stump rotted, leaving the tree looking like it was growing on stilts, or walking along the forest floor.
It was a lovely walk to the beaver pond, and a nice reward when we got there.  There is a little shelter there, where we sat and ate our lunch.  There are no beaver in the pond any more.  They left in 1996, after eating all of the young alder trees that grew there.  The sign said that they moved further up the creek.  But, the pond remains, filling in around the edges.

And, occupied by the requisite muskrat house.
The white water lilies were blooming.  This one had a bee visiting it.
And, there were sedges everywhere, heavy with ripening seed pods. 
We saw kingfishers, and hawks, but the only critter I managed to photograph was this little leopard frog, sitting among the sedge.
And, everywhere, there were the flowers of late summer.
Joe Pye Weed(one of my favorites)

White Snakeroot
And, these two, that I had to struggle to identify.  I am pretty sure that this is Indian Tobacco, a member of the Lobelia family.
And, this, I think, is Great Blue Lobelia.  I was standing on a bridge, and it was quite far away.  I was going back and forth between Great Blue Lobelia and Spiked Lobelia, but I decided to go with Great Blue because Newcomb's says that grows in wet areas, while the Spiked grows in meadows, and I was definitely looking at a wet area here.
This is a lovely resource for Western New York and we were very much surprised at how few people were there.  When we got there, there was only one other car, and we met only one family on our walk in.  There were a few others by the time we left, but I would think that with a place this beautiful, and a gorgeous day, there would have been many more people there.  After all, who can resist sights like this.

After we left there, we went to a place just down the road called the Wesley Hill Reserve.  However, this is getting long, so I'll save that story for tomorrow.


Samantha said...

That looks like a fantastic place to beautiful!

Sharon said...

It looks so cool and shady and like a great place to walk and sit, whatever, and enjoy the peace in the trees. Sigh...

TexWisGirl said...

gorgeous! the pines and the ferns would surely lure me in...

Gary said...

You confirmed the Joe Pye Weed for me.Think the butterfly is pale from the sun. Great post. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Upupaepops said...

Ah what a nice place. Year round too. I see those pines and their understory, the moss and think

humm these are good orchid habitat. The Beaver Pond too, bog orchis potential.

I love the Joe Pye every time you mention it.

If I remember there was a famous horse ( nationally, locally? ) named Joe Pye.

BlueRidge Boomer said...

Beautiful pictures...!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful place. I love the rabbit on the tree and the leap frogs are a great idea.

Woodswalker said...

Really nice photos of a great place! I hope it's OK if I offer a few corrections. Your "sedge" is actually Branching Bur Reed (not a sedge), and your "Great Lobelia" is more likely Monkey Flower. Wouldn't it be nice if they'd put labels on all these plants?

Madi and Mom said...

Oh my goodness what a lovely trail and such beauty along the way. The avenue of pines was spectacular. You are very knowledgable about wild flowers we have learned a lot from your blog.
Hugs Madi and Mom

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Look at all the great things to eat! Tee hee! That looks like a wonderful place to walk! Lovely photos!


Louise -- well, I got to take two tours of your area this evening. First -- your town -- charming. I absolutely love old towns and their architecture. The field stone cobblestone with the brick quoins was of an unusual design. Perhaps there was a builder in the early 1800s that specialized in that design.

And your reserve -- absolutely beautiful. To think that it was farm land at the turn of the century. You would think that more folks would be there. Do we have nature deficit folks roaming our hills these days.

Fun to get the feel of western New York. I have been through there once in my life and thought it was lovely.

Thanks -- barbara

Tina said...

Reminds me of Sunday afternoon walks as a child. Thanks for the beautiful reminder!

Leontien said...

oh that looks like a wonderful relaxing walk. Woudn't mind walking down that path with you.

And yes i am sure that if we had a brush like that with the horses they would freak out! haha


Terry said...

What a special place! I wish I could tele-port there for a few hours.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

How beautiful!

Ellen Rathbone said...

What a great beaver pond. I'd double check that "muskrat lodge," though. I've never known a muskrat to build with wood - they usually use cattails. Looks more like a beaver lodge.