Land Trust Preserves and Monarch Butterflies

New England aster wildflower, Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve, Finger Lakes Land Trust, near Ithaca, NY in the Town of Dryden

New England aster at the entrance to the Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve near Ithaca, NY.

In episode 58 of Walk in the Park TV, we visit two Finger Lakes Land Trust Nature Preserves: Ellis Hollow Preserve in the Cascadilla Creek watershed east of Ithaca, NY and the Baldwin Tract of the Roy H. Park Preserve in the upper Sixmile Creek watershed between Dryden, NY and Slaterville Springs and next to Hammond Hill. While there, we take a close look at a monarch butterfly and consider its life cycle and reasons for its serious recent decline.

Watch this episode this week on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13 (or 97.3) at the following schedule, or right here online!

Fall Colors in the Finger Lakes

Episode 25 of Walk in the Park TV, “Fall Colors in the Finger Lakes,” is now showing on television and online. It begins Thursday evening at 9:00 p.m. on Ithaca’s public access cable TV channel 13 and continues for the next week according to the schedule below. Meanwhile, you can see “Fall Colors in the Finger Lakes” online.

Cornell University Fall Creek Gorge Cascadilla Ithaca NY Fall Colors aerial photograph

Most of the Cornell campus is bounded on the north and south by gorges: Fall Creek Gorge on the north (left) and Cascadilla Glen on the south (right). Photograph by Bill Hecht

Join me, Tony Ingraham, in this visual trip around the Finger Lakes region, from the ground and in the air, marveling at the fall foliage extravaganza nature has put on for us in October. Visit Taughannock Falls and Buttermilk Falls State Parks, Cascadilla Gorge, Ithaca Falls and Fall Creek Gorge, Cornell University campus, Cayuga Lake, Myers Park and Salmon Creek, Seneca County, Seneca Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Watkins Glen State Park, Sixmile Creek in Ithaca, and more. Photographer Bill Hecht’s views of Taughannock Gorge from the air are incomparable, as are his views of the Cornell campus situated between Fall Creek Gorge and Cascadilla Glen and other aerial vistas around the region. We also visit Cesar Chavez National Monument in California, Fishlake National Forest and Zion National Park in Utah, and Glacier National Park in Montana.

See the show right here!

Or, you can catch the show on Time Warner Cable public access television channel 13 in the Ithaca area:

Thursday,  9:00 p.m.

Saturday, 10:00 a.m.

Sunday,    10:00 a.m.

Tuesday,    8:00 p.m.

It also is shown at other times as the station manager chooses.

Life (and death) is a Beech!

A small American beech tree adds color to the understory of the forest along the Bear Trail in the upper portion of Buttemilk Falls State Park.

A beech sapling lights up the understory along the Bear Trail.

These colorful branches are on a small tree. Can you make out the trunk? It’s not that big tree in back, but the thin trunk before it. Unfortunately, this is an example of the size of beech you are likely to see in our forests these days.

Tragically, the American beech (Fagus grandifolia), a large and stately member of our forest community, has largely succumbed to beech bark disease, caused by the combined effects of an insect and a fungus. Most large trees have fallen, and small trees may emerge for awhile from roots.

A beech tree killed by beech bark disease has fallen across the trail in the Finger Lakes Land Trust''s Sweedler Preserve at Lick Brook in Ithaca. Can you find the broken-off stump?

The beech scale insect was introduced from abroad into Nova Scotia about 1890. This is just another example of the terrible losses of major tree species in our forests from introduced insects and diseases. Learn more about beech bark disease.

Meanwhile, please enjoy our fall colors nonetheless!