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Wellesley Island Nature Preserve

Wellesley Island Nature Preserve

Wellesley Island Nature Center / State Park

Cloud reflection in pond, Welleseley Island, NYS

24.9.16 

The Bridge

Yesterday I had an  introduction to the islands, but today I actually set my foot on one!

 To reach Wellseley Island you have to drive on another fabulous grand bridge: Collins Landing Bridge to Wellesley island, NYS

It is forbidden to take a pic while driving on a bridge (some people obviously do...), so one has to find a spot to stop on either side of the bridge to take the pic. Challenging and usually bothersome to other drivers, but…

I knew I wanted to make it to the open performance by the river at 11 am. That did not happen. You can only have a general plan and then hope to be able to shove everything in, but in travelling there are too many unknowns. I underestimated how much I would enjoy this island, the trails, the forest and the Canadian girl I met, plus how long it would take to get there and then drive to Clayton.

Eel Bay Trail

So, here I was on Wellesley Isle at the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center. I headed on to the Eel Bay Trail towards the Narrows.

Trail guide. Wellesley Island Nature Center As is common in preservation parks, there are many signs and informative panels teaching you about the history, geology, biology of the area. There used to be a sea 500 million years ago and today’s sandstone has its origin from sand that was deposited then.

View over river from Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island Nature Center

This pic is a sample of beauty revealed through and among the trees along Eel Bay Trail.

View over river from Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS

You wonder how the rock broke into these jigsaw puzzle pieces. An initial crack, maybe, and then the ice expanding. Nothing like ice has that power.

And, as always, a new environment is formed in between the slabs, with full succession – lichen, moss – soil is created and plants eventually kick in and on top with their unstoppable eternal vigor.

An Eel Bay Trail vista, Wellesley Island Nature Center

Strong forces sheered this rock, Wellesley Island Nature Center

Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS

Finally, a cute little island showed up.

One cute island out of 1000, The Narrows, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS

 To qualify as a countable island, a little islet has to have at least one tree, two other types of plants and it must keep itself above water 365 days a year…

As with the Little Prince’s rose, one island gets one’s attention more easily than a thousand, but a thousand is certainly a nice number…

The Potholes

Down the path there were potholes with long explanations on how they were formed by the glaciers. The last glacier melted 10,000 years ago (yesterday in geological terms), its water flooded the land, and the river was dammed by the glacier to the north:

     Pothole, Eel Bay Trail, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS Pothole foramtion process, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS

The Narrows

Bay Eel Trail converged with the Narrows Trail, leading to the famous Narrows itself, that sea pass between Wellesley and Murray isles. Totally beautiful on this gorgeous day.

A boat crossing Why do I get jealous when I see people down in the boat when I’m up on the hill?And conversely, while on the boat I get jealous of the people looking down from up the cliffs? That darned human psychology…

Underwater life clearly visible from Narrows Trail up the hill, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS

Water lilies indicate this is still a river, not an ocean, Narrows Trail, Wellesley Island Nature Center

Views from the cliff over The Narrows. Sea lilies don’t grow in an ocean, hence this is by definition still a river despite misleading appearances…

Pond Loop Trail and a Free-spirit Canadian

Still in the Wellesley Island Nature Center. Climbing up from The Narrows to the Pond Loop trail I saw some interesting creatures and creatures’ parts:     Caterpillar, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS  Snake slough, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS

By the pond, leaves were already changing colors: 

     Leaves changing colors, Pond Loop Trail, Wellesley Island Nature Center

I was walking in my sweater and jacket, with my backpack and walking stick, while right in front of me came along a beautiful fairy, skipping, jumping and frolicking in the glory of the day: a gorgeous carefree twenty-something Canadian on a few days’ vacation. She had friends in a nearby village that she came to visit, but was on her own today. She wondered if I wanted to kayak.

Truthfully, I would have dumped the jazz festival and went along, but could not see how I could survive for 4 hours on the kayak, neither did it seem worth spending $30 for. I loved her freedom of crossing the border, changing environments and not minding getting lost, no map nor an idea where she was going. She was carrying nothing but her beautiful self.

The endless unfathomable beauty of water’s interaction with sky:

Cloud reflection in water, Pond Loop Trail, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS

I ended my walk in the Nature Center:

Comparative wing spans, Wellesley Island Nature Center, NYS

From here I rushed my way to “catch” the jazz fest at Clayton. 

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