Amherst State Park

Happy Winter!

It seems as though I have been looking forward to this season – wool sweater season – for weeks now. Yesteray my dad, brother, and I celebrated its official arrival with a short walk at Amherst State Park. The land that makes up this park once belonged to the Franciscan Sisters’ convent, and became a State Park in 2001.DSC_0419c

Walking down the small hill from the Mother House (now apartments), we reached the old orchard of apple and pear trees. These trees have not been pruned in a long time, though the famous October Storm of 2006 did cut them back considerably. Some years, my mom picked apples for applesauce, but most of the time we visit just to take a walk and to watch the neighborhood dogs playing in the old field.DSC_0418_01

On the far side of the old orchard, there is a bridge that crosses Ellicott Creek…DSC_0423dand paths travel both banks. DSC_0420_01 DSC_0421c

The muddy trails were flooded in several areas, and we had a few precarious crossings.DSC_0431_01

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(Wearing my Icelandic wool sweater – the most wonderful Goodwill find)

The woods were gray and the only birdlife was a lone sparrow, but the creek was lovely. Along the undercut banks, hundreds of icicles were hanging.DSC_0426_01

DSC_0425_01 Here in the flat towns north of Buffalo, we don’t have scenic vistas, or epic landscapes, but these small and unexpected finds make each walk worthwhile!

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