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A bright and glorious morning was a special gift for us on this year’s Bird Walk!  For two delightful hours, we traipsed through the Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve to reacquaint ourselves with our fine-feathered friends. Thanks to our wonderful guides Mahlon and Eleanor Hurst, Lydia and Arlene, we were able to see and/or hear 40 different species of birds!

The “cast,” in order of appearance, is as follows:

Yellow Warbler

Red-Winged Blackbird

Blue Jay

American Robin

Grey Catbird

Scarlet Tanager

Downy Woodpecker

American Goldfinch

Common Yellowthroat

Palm Warbler

Ring-billed Gull

Bonaparte’s Gull

Swamp Sparrow

Hairy Woodpecker

Nashville Warbler

Black-throated Warbler

Baltimore Oriole

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher

Song Sparrow

Spotted Sandpiper

Barn Swallow

Warbling Virio

Northern Rough-Winged Swallow

American Crow

Northern Cardinal

Mourning Dove


Northern Flicker

Canada Goose


Tufted Titmouse

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

Blue-headed Virio


Bald Eagle

Double Crested Cormorant

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Caspian Tern



Part of the wonderful thing about the Finger Lakes is the incredible amount of history, both general and personal, that surrounds these beautiful lakes. It is not uncommon to hear from families that have spent generations growing up in a certain house, on a specific lake and that their best memories are tied so closely to the region.

I was blown away by the story for this month's Owasco Lake blog. Submitted by Lisa Lange and Hank Osborne, these  guest bloggers embody what it means to have deep roots in the Finger Lakes.  A beautiful song "Sailor" written by Hank himself, describes the love his father had for sailing on Owasco Lake, as well as for his family. There isn't much more that I can say to do the story justice, so I will share what Hank and Lisa have shared with me. Their words could not be more perfect. Thank you for sharing, Hank and Lisa, and to all of you reading, enjoy! 



There’s a breeze on the water

Sending waves to the shore

Calling out...

April 11, 2019

As a relatively recent transplant from Florida, I was pleasantly surprised by the area that I didn’t know much about when we first made the big cross-country move to the Finger Lakes. We moved to Geneva so I was familiar with Seneca Lake and my husband works in Waterloo so we had some knowledge of Cayuga Lake. But I really didn’t grasp that there were 11 different lakes that make up the region. And who would have known that my best friend of 16 years would have casually mentioned to me shortly before we moved that she grew up on Conesus Lake? She has always told me that we should take a family day trip to Conesus and after looking into it, I know why! With summer right around the corner (I see you peeking through in April, warmer days!) let’s take a dive into the things that Conesus Lake can offer this season, shall we?

Let’s start with background on quaint little Conesus Lake: Conesus Lake is the westernmost of the 11 Finger Lakes and at 8 miles long and 1 mile wide, is considered one...

March 28, 2019

Our focus on the Finger Lakes this month is Cayuga Lake.  Travel the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway, an 87-mile loop around the lake, and you will find will find deep gorges, waterfalls, incredible landscape views, tourist and cultural attractions and more! You will also find several wonderful public access areas where everyone can enjoy the lake! This route boasts two NY State Parks with camping facilities on the west side of the lake, one of the largest inland marinas in New York State at the south end, a 5.5 mile paved multi-use path connecting favorite waterfront destinations, and another NY State Park and village waterfront parks on the east side.

Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to make plans for day trips, a long weekend, or family vacation right here in our beautiful Finger Lakes.  Here are a few ideas to get you started around Cayuga Lake.

Cayuga Lake State Park


2678 Lower Lake Road
Seneca Falls, NY 13148

141 Acres

Campsites, cabin rentals, swimming, showers,  boat launch, picni...

February 15, 2019

On one of the coldest days of the year, I decided it might be prudent to do some indoor exploring near Seneca Lake, our focus lake for February.  I took along my intrepid mother for a museum adventure.  First stop:  Geneva History Museum, run by the Geneva Historical Society.  Located on Main Street in Geneva, the museum “tells the stories of the city’s people and places, ordinary and extraordinary.” [Photo courtesy of Geneva History Museum: https://genevahistoricalsociety.com/visit/geneva-history-museum/]

Along with the library and research room, they had several different exhibits.  Our stand-out favorite was the Discovery Room.  Although we are well outside the target age of 6-12, our inner children made an appearance while exploring the hands-on activities.  An extensive mural covering two walls showed a timeline highlighting events happening in the country and specifically in Geneva.  A trunk full of period clothes and drawings of what children wore in centuries past...

February 4, 2019

The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium (FLM&A) was one of ten applicants to be awarded a Trees for Tribs Grant through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Trees for Tribs Grant Program supports efforts to reforest New York's tributaries, or small creeks and streams, which flow into and feed larger rivers and lakes. The goal of the program is to support communities in planting young trees and shrubs along stream corridors, also known as riparian areas, to prevent erosion, increase flood water retention, improve wildlife and stream habitat, as well as protect water quality.

The FLM&A project, called the Sugar Creek Restoration Project, will improve wildlife habitat, water quality, and climate resiliency along Sugar Creek, a main tributary to Keuka Lake, by planting riparian trees and shrubs on the banks of three neighboring properties, owned by the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, Izaak Walton League, and Branchport/ Keuka Park Fire Department. The FLM&A was gr...

January 17, 2019

As I sit in front of my computer mulling over ideas for our Museum blog I find myself  repeatedly distracted by the activity outside my window.  Here in the Finger Lakes, over the past couple of days, Meteorologists (of the human species) have  been alerting us to an approaching 'significant' snow event.  Have you ever noticed an increase in wildlife activity when there is a storm approaching? I have to say, there is a flurry of wildlife activity in our backyard today.

I love bird watching and have two tube feeders, 2 tray feeders, a suet feeder and a heated birdbath within view of my seat right now.  As a Cornell Lab of Ornithology Project FeederWatch participant for the past 23 years I confess to spending more than a few hours each week, from November to April, sitting right here looking out the window. Today all the feeding stations are busy enough that, at times, there are birds sitting on the railing, on the pulley line, and in the nearby trees, waiting for a chance...

The holiday season always seems to bring a fair amount of nostalgia.  We look back on the past year, or years passed, often with a mix of emotions.  Mrs. Maude Van Duyne, who lived much of her life in Canadice, was a frequent contributor of historical sketches and other material to the Wayland Register.  She wrote the following article in 1942, in which she gives a charming description of what Christmas was like 50 years earlier.

Thanks to Rick Osiecki of the Little Lakes Community Association, and Mrs. Maude Van Duyne, for the following article, which can be found along with others at www.HemlockCanadiceLakes.com.

Christmas 50 Years Ago

Mrs. Maude Van Duyne

From the Wayland Register, 17 December 1942

Looking at the snow-covered landscape on these wintry December days reminds me that the Christmas season is with us once again.

Merry Christmas!

What a wealth of memories these words call to mind.

For some they will bring memories of a happy day at grandfather’s home with all the uncles...

Well, it’s the most wonderfully busy time of the year, and I won’t get to visit Canadice, our Lake of the Month, in December!  So instead, I am whetting my appetite for an adventure in 2019.

As many locals know, Canadice and Hemlock are the only Finger Lakes with undeveloped shorelines.  These lakes serve as the primary source of drinking water for the City of Rochester.  Thus the policy to prevent development of the shoreline is to safeguard the water.  A side benefit is that nature lovers get a chance to see what this region must have looked like a few hundred years ago – perhaps like stepping into a time machine!

The Nature Conservancy (Central and Western New York Chapter) has created a trail to make this happen.  Rob’s Trail was built in memory of former board chair Rob van der Stricht, who passed away in 2006.  He has been described as “an avid birder, canoeist, and fisherman who carried a broad smile and a pair of binoculars everywhere he went” (https://www.nature.o...

November 20, 2018

November was approaching, and I was contemplating the Lake of the Month.  I thought to myself, what could possibly be going on at Hemlock Lake in November?!?  Well, imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled across the Little Lakes Community Association (LLCA) in Hemlock!  Operating in the recently acquired Old Hemlock School, they happened to be hosting a swing dance in the gymnasium of their building.  Great dance music was provided by Hanna and the Blue Hearts, who are well renowned in the Rochester music community.

The Little Lakes include the western-most of the Finger Lakes and the communities surrounding Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice, and Honeoye Lakes.  The LLCA is in the process of rehabilitating the 16,000 square foot school located on Main Street in the Town of Hemlock.  The school was originally built in 1929, and served the community in that capacity for 30 years.  From 1958 until 1975 it was annexed to the Livonia School District, and then was rented by th...

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Day-tripping and More around Cayuga Lake

March 28, 2019

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3369 Guyanoga Road

 Branchport, NY 14418


Tel: 315-595-2200

A Cultural and Natural History Museum