August

Which one is not like the others?  1) Hiking at Six Mile Creek, 2) Blueberry picking, 3) Biking to the Lab of Ornithology, 4) Hiking at Buttermilk Falls, and 5) Studying for the GRE.

Obviously, the answer is 2) Blueberry picking, for not starting with an –ing word.  But actually, the story behind studying for the GRE at the end of the summer, right before classes, instead of at the beginning of summer, when I had lots of time at home, is that I had finally decided to apply for grad school.  Yeah, that happened.

But when I wasn’t trying to remember how to read and write, I managed to get in some final adventures of the summer.  My last hike with my summer roommate before she went home for a few weeks was at Six Mile Creek.  I’d forgotten, but I’d been there before with my hiking class.  We extended that hike in both directions, having to walk to get to the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve, then going farther than I had in my hiking class.  (Ironically(?) more than a couple of my summer hikes were longer than I’d walked in my class that was supposed to be devoted to hiking.)  Most of the falls at Six Mile Creek are formed by dams, but it’s still nice.

Businessman's Lunch Falls, near the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve

Businessman’s Lunch Falls, near the Mulholland Wildflower Preserve

 

A couple weeks after that, I was looking for trouble to get into by myself another fun summer activity and decided to bike to and walk around the Lab of Ornithology.  It’s not a bad bike ride, just a lot of uphill, like so much of Ithaca.  I didn’t have a bad walk around either, though I can identify maybe a dozen birds.

Like this one.  Chinstrap penguin.

Like this one. Chinstrap penguin.

 

The blueberry picking occurred after my roommate for the year moved in and we decided that we should do something before I moved into Olin and she started having ten meetings a day.  The year before, we’d been peach picking with a bunch of other people, but this year we settled on blueberry picking with only one other person.  I discovered the difference between farm grown and wild blueberries, then got to eat lots of blueberries and bake blueberry pie.

What was truly the last adventure of the summer happened one or two days before classes started.  My (summer) roommate and I wanted to take our former suitemate for a hike because she hadn’t hiked at any of the state parks yet.  To remedy this egregious situation, we decided on Buttermilk Falls.  Because you can walk there from Walmart.  During the summer, a bus services the nearest state parks, but it had stopped running by the time classes rolled around.  The nearest bus stop/state park combination is Walmart and Buttermilk.  So that’s what we picked.  Let’s just say that our suitemate had quite the experience hiking with my roommate and me for the first time.

Buttermilk Falls State Park

Buttermilk Falls State Park

 

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