Blue Ridge Parkway

From May 25 through June 6, 2017, we will be cablecasting two successive encore episodes of Walk in the Park, Parts 1 & 2 of “Blue Ridge Parkway,” first cablecast in early spring 2013. In Part 1 (episode 43), we celebrate the arrival of the spring equinox and then take a trip from the previous summer (2012) on the Blue Ridge Parkway, from its northern end near Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, to the Peaks of Otter in George Washington National Forest. Finally,  we look at the hazards of entering our Finger Lakes gorges too early in the season. Part 1 will run from Thursday, May 25, 2017 through Wednesday, May 31. You can watch Part 1 below online or on Ithaca, NY cable channel 13 at the following times. Part 2 is farther down this page.

Thursday, May 25, 9:00 PM

Friday, 9:30 PM

Saturday, 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM

Sunday, 10 AM and 4:00 PM

Monday, 8:30 PM

Tuesday, May 30, 8:00 PM

In Part 2, we complete our journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway in this episode (#45) of Walk in the Park TV. We enter North Carolina, stopping at Cumberland Knob, Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, Mount Mitchell (the highest summit in the East!), Craggy Gardens, and many other sites along the way. Then we return to Virginia, visiting Mabry Mill and Rocky Knob before heading home. Hear the melodious song of the winter wren, see wild rhododendrons in bloom, and find out about the exotic insect pests attacking our eastern hemlocks and the fraser firs of the Black Mountains. Tony Ingraham shares his observations about driving the Parkway and camping along the way in this national park that is nearly 500 miles long. Watch Part 2 below online or on Ithaca cable channel 13 at the following times (more times to be added next week):

Thursday, June 1, 9:00 PM

Saturday, 10:00 AM

Saturday, Parts 1 & 2 together, 7:00 PM and 7:30 PM, respectively

Sunday, Part 2, 10:00 AM

Sunday, Parts 1 & 2 together, 7:00 PM and 7:30 PM, respectively

Monday, Parts 1 & 2 together, 9:00 PM and 9:30 PM, respectively

Tuesday, Part 2, June 7, 8:00 PM

Walk in the Park is a weekly public access cable TV series produced at PEGASYS Studio, Spectrum TV, Ithaca, NY, by Tony Ingraham, Owl Gorge Productions.

Hydrilla Report, Florida Panthers

This week’s new Walk in the Park TV episode (#64, recorded 12/18/13) features a report and update on the hydrilla infestation at the south end of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, NY.

Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom hydrilla survey

Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom hydrilla survey

In the second part of our show, we see several short videos of rare footage of endangered Florida panthers in southwest Florida, at Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park in Collier County, Florida.
This week’s episode begins showing at 9:00 p.m. Thursday, 12.19/13, on Ithaca, NY’s public access cable TV channel 13 (or 97.3). Our show will repeat on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and finally next Tuesday, Dec. 24, at 8:00 p.m.

Or you can watch it online right here!

Or you can watch it directly on YouTube.

Iroquois Thanksgiving, Saving Views, Gorge Beauty

Episode 63, recorded on Dec. 11, 2013 of Walk in the Park. This time, we take another brief look at the approach of the emerald ash borer, which threatens to destroy virtually all of our ash trees. Next we enjoy the Iroquois Thanksgiving Address or “The Words that Come before All Else,” as recited by Mohawk storyteller Kay Olan, and illustrated with artwork by Melanie Printup Hope; produced for the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY. (Pleas consider helping the Iroquois Indian Museum with a donation, as they receive no government support.)

Next we learn about Saving Ithaca’s Views, a project of the Town of Ithaca Conservation Board, and the statewide award they received for this initiative.

Finally, we enjoy three “Park Minute” videos: 1) “A Tour of Ithaca’s Views,” 2) “Galaxy Eddy” in Buttermilk Falls State Park, and 3) “Frosty Ithaca Falls.”

This episode of Walk in the Park will air today on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13 (or 97.3) at 10:30 a.m., and finally on Tuesday, December 17, at 8:00 p.m. Or you can watch it right here anytime!

Watch this show directly on Youtube.

Autumn Glory in the Glen

 Don’t forget autumn glory in Watkins Glen State Park! October is one of the best times of year to walk the Gorge Trail and the trails on the rims.

Autumn glow in the Glen

The Glen, though deep is shadow, is lit by the glow of autumn above.

 And watch this short video (90 seconds) for an overview of Watkins Glen State Park, one of the of the finest scenic experiences in the Finger Lakes region.

Goldenrod in our woods?

 

We all like wildflowers. And when we think of wildflowers, we usually think of spring. But there are many kinds of wildflowers that grow their vegetation all season in preparation for putting out fall blossoms. And goldenrod is one of those late summer and fall wildflowers we see around us. Well, actually there are a number of different kinds of goldenrod.

Goldenrods grow in fields, right? Well, not necessarily. There are some species that grow in the woods. And there is seaside goldenrod, and alpine goldenrod, which is rare in New York State with only 13 small populations surviving in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Walking in our Finger Lakes woods this time of year, you may find zigzag goldenrod or blue-stemmed goldenrod.

A bee visits zigzag goldenrod, Solidago flexicaulis, in September along a woodland trail in Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, N.Y. The stem tends to zigzag between the leaves.

Don’t worry. They won’t make you sneeze. If you suffer from pollen allergies this time of year, ragweed could be the cause, as it is wind pollinated. As this picture shows, goldenrods are pollinated by bees. Some wasps, flies, and butterflies may visit the flowers as well. Zigzag goldenrod is one of many fall wildflowers.

Environmental Emergency in Cayuga Inlet!

Extremely Agressive Invasive Species Found

In early August, staff from the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom found hydrilla, a  previously unnoticed plant species growing in the mouth of Cascadilla Creek next to the Ithaca Farmers Market. Cornell plant scientist Robert L. Johnson confirmed with great alarm that it was Hydrilla verticillata, one of the most agressive invasive aquatic plants.  Hydrilla was previously unknown in New York State outside of a few isolated downstate ponds. This is the first record of this rapidly-growing aquatic weed in waterways connected to other waterways in New York, and it poses an ecological and economic threat to the entire region.

An August 29 survey of the Cayuga Inlet area turned up hydrilla growth in the areas indicated by the circles. (Courtesy of Holly Menninger)

If the growth of hydrilla in Cayuga Inlet is not controlled immediately, it will completely clog the Inlet in a year or two, and will likely spread to Cayuga Lake and probably beyond through the canal system. A team of scientists and other experts has come together to take action against this infestation before it would surely rage out of control.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County has more information about the hydrilla invasion on its website at ccetompkins.com.

In addition, we have produced a 15-minute video featuring an on-site explanation of the hydrilla outbreak by Holly Menninger, Coordinator of the New York Invasive Species Research Institute at Cornell. Holly explains the threat hydrilla presents, the urgency of the situation, what should be done to combat it, and what the rest of us can do, particularly if we own boats.

. Click on this photograph to launch the video.

Hydrilla growing in a large mat in the mouth of Cascadilla Creek where it joins Cayuga Inlet by the Ithaca Farmers Market. Picture taken from the Farmers Market pier. (Courtesy of Holly Menninger)

Falling for the Earth

That was the title for our submission to Ithaca Art’s “daily art mission” today, which called for “a unique picture that illustrates attraction.”

View of the Upper Falls at Taughannock Falls State Park from the old railroad trestle across the gorge on the Rim Trail
Many visitors to Taughannock Falls State Park near Trumansburg, NY never discover this second high waterfall about half a mile upstream from the main waterfall, at the head of the Upper Gorge. The falls makes a 90 degree twist on its way down, forced to do so by the natural “architectural jointing” of the rocks that controls the direction of the gorge.

Snagged in the Inlet

Only small branches were visible above the muddy water of Cayuga Inlet where this tree was snagged against the Ithaca Boating Center's pilings in Cayuga Inlet on Sept. 9 after the high water caused by the remants of Tropical Storn Lee.

 On Friday, September 9, during the very high and powerful of flow of water in Cayuga Inlet caused by the heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, a tree was found snagged against the pilings of the marina at the Ithaca Boating Center on Old Taughannock Blvd. in Ithaca. It turned out to be a large tree and Tiohero Tours crew used their tour boat and floating classroom, the MV Haendel, to pull the tree loose and maneuver it into an open slip. The tree was then hauled out of the water, cut up and taken away.

 

Workers prepare the stump of the tree for lifting it out of a boat slip by the Inlet.

 

This large tree probably was ripped from the bank farther upstream and was carried under the Buffalo Street bridge, before getting stuck at the marina. It is a testimony to the enormous power and volume of water roaring down the Inlet during that storm. The water pumped many other objects and debris into Cayuga Lake (including, probably, the  aggressive invasive aquatic plant, Hydrilla, recently discovered in the Inlet), as well as an enormous volume of silt.

 

At last the huge tree is hoisted from the water!

 

 Photos courtesy of Dennis Montgomery, Cayuga Wooden Boatworks.