Good Morning Branchport!

I just LOVE the Finger Lakes! While I have never lived on a lake, I was born and raised at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake and now live just minutes north of Keuka Lake. While not every Finger Lake has expanses of public areas to roam around, Cayuga and Keuka do, giving someone like me plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy the beauty our 11 lakes have to offer. So, when I found myself up before the birds this morning, I decided to take the short drive down to Branchport, on the west branch of Keuka Lake, to take a stroll along Sugar Creek through the Verdi Burtch Memorial Bird Sanctuary and out to the lake.

Verdi Burtch (1868-1945) was a Branchport general store proprietor. The Burtch brothers constructed the present building at the corners in 1901 and ran it for decades. Now known as the Crooked Lake Mercantile, the store still operates today. Burtch was also a wildlife photographer, a musician, lecturer, nature writer, and amateur ornithologist who loved birding so much he named his only daughter Vireo Cerula Burtch!

While the path out to the lake at the Verdi Burtch Memorial Sanctuary is a bit rough, especially after a hard rain, I think Mr. Burtch would be pleased to see all the birds and wildlife making their home in the marsh today. If you go, be sure to bring proper footwear. It's quite muddy out there right now. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these pictures from this morning's sunrise on Sugar Creek and Keuka Lake.

You can read more about Verdi Burtch here:

This sanctuary is managed by the Izaak Walton League:

Crooked Lake Mercantile:

Photos by Helen Heizyk

Note: The last picture in this series, taken from the Verdi Burtch Memorial Sanctuary, is of the sun shining through the Museum's own Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve across the creek. A work in progress!

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Sailor - Hank Osborne
00:00 / 00:00

3369 Guyanoga Road

 Branchport, NY 14418

Tel: 315-595-2200

A Cultural and Natural History Museum