Friday, February 15, 2008

"Hiking at Como Lake Park" 2-13-08

"Come Walk with Me"

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, I asked my friend Sue if she wanted to come exploring Como Lake Park with me. Yes, it was cold but we both have a love of the outdoors and Sue isn't afraid of a little snow! I even brought my snowshoes hoping to give her a lesson and get in a little snowshoe time myself, but the trail was too uneven with huge slabs of ice from Cayuga Creek. We drove through the whole park to see what was there, it's pretty much a 'picnicey' type of place, not too many trails, but then we are visiting in winter and need to find out more. We explored one trail labeled "Boy Scout Trail" and I have a picture of the sign here. From the time we started out and returned it was only one hour, we didn't get to do the whole loop, our toes were getting too cold and we started having thoughts of hot cocoa!

There are many views at this park, where I could see I'd like to teach a landscape painting class and my nature sketching classes. The creek is great and reminds me of my walks to the Susquehanna River where I grew up, except that was MUCH larger than this creek!
You can see I'm drawing with my small sketchbook, my bag is slung across my shoulder mailman style so I can get at everything easily. (Sorry the picture is dark). My small camera is attached to the strap, as is my sandpaper block, a compass, and a tiny bottle of pepper spray! Ahhmmm yes ladies, you should be carrying this or something like it when hiking, and try to never hike alone, there are too many weirdos out there, yes I've met some!
You can see on my sketchbook page, I started by drawing a square in the center of the page. I stuck a post it note in the back of my sketchbook to use for tracing a perfect square. It's fun to add some design elements to your pages sometimes. You can then draw whatever you want to highlight in the box, and fill around it with little sketches, notes, tracks etc. I decided to sketch behind it a view of Cayuga creek looking south, you can see this view in the picture of me looking straight across the creek. Remember it's cold, and even wearing flip back mittens (as my friend in England recommended!) I still had to draw very fast. Especially when hiking with a friend, I feel more pressured to 'hurry up'.
I found a Hawthorne tree and noted several birds that I heard. At the end of our walk, I heard a loud woodpecker call, we stopped and watched for awhile and then saw a big Pileated Woodpecker fly out through the high branches! It was exciting! Perhaps the large, fresh woodpecker holes I took pictures of, were from this one? Here's a link for Como Lake Park with how to get there and picnic info etc. (if link doesn't work, I've listed it in my links column to the left, under Buffalo nature links.)


camulus said...

It looks so very cold, burrrr! The river is small but seems to be deep and fast flowing, not one to get close to when ice is on the riverbank.

Glad to see you wearing those mittens Mary.

You were very lucky to get a sight of that woodpecker, they are very easy to hear in the woods but more elusive to see close up.

Did you walk the full length of the trail as far as the Boy Scout shelter and see them in their natural habitat, ha! ha! Not many Boy Scouts out that day or anybody else for that matter I bet.

Mary McAndrew said...

Hi Camulus, Yes it was very cold but I felt refreshed and energetic all day after that one hour spent in nature! It was a nice opportunity to spend time with my friend, as we both get busy and don't often get to go walking.

Your suggestion of the flip top mittens was good, I had a pair that I never thought to use, so until I order a nicer wool pair, I'll use them. Thanks!
We didn't get to walk the whole trail, but it gives me a reason to return and discover more. When it gets warmer, I'll be able to sit and do longer studies, then I'll probably see more birds too.
I hope you "come walking with me" when I do that post too!