After a week of wind, rain, and more seasonal temperatures in the Finger Lakes, I tried to retrace my steps to see how the scene along Canandaigua Lake has changed. We are now well past the peak for color in the forests, but the fields and meadows help to supply a nice contrast to the more muted reds, yellows, and greens of the leaves still left on the trees.
It’s a stark reminder that one can only walk a particular path just once, and returning to the same place at a different time is not the same. The beautiful red maple in Vine Valley that awed me with its brilliant red leaves just a week ago now stands just a plain old leafless tree. All of its leaves have fallen to the ground and most have been blown away by the wind. Nearby, a birch tree still hangs on to its leaves, having weathered many a storm along the shores of Canandaigua Lake. A stiff breeze was coming across the lake, creating some small white-caps in the water.
I took south Vine Valley road to return to the main road. The browns of the ripening corn contrasted with the greens of the hay fields. Circling in the air was a flock of turkey buzzards, looking for breakfast. They were riding on the winds which were sweeping up the hill from Canandaigua Lake in the valley below. The color of the trees on Bare Hill had toned down from a week ago with the greens of the pines starting to stand out.
I couldn’t see what the buzzards were feasting on, but they too are a part of the plan as they keep the fields and forests clear of carrion.