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Chimney Bluffs State Park

>> Sunday, July 15, 2012

For some reason, Chimney Bluffs State Park recently came up in a conversation among my Dad, my husband and me.  I think we'd been discussing the geology there because my Dad had just taken a course on glaciers.  

I like Chimney Bluffs - it's a neat place - though I tend to forget about it when I'm looking for a place to go for a walk.  Since we'd discussed it recently, when I found myself (briefly) at loose ends on Saturday I decided to take a quick trip out there.  Mind you, I have been wanting to take my husband there since he's never been and the discussion about it had piqued his interest, but he was unfortunately working Saturday and still hasn't experienced the place.  Oh well - an excuse to go back again soon!

I had partially chosen to go for a walk up by Lake Ontario because Saturday was blisteringly hot and humid.  I thought, gee, it will be cooler up by the lake, there will be a nice breeze.  Not so much.  Instead, it was still 92 degrees and suffocatingly humid up there, and all that heat was just making the Lake stink to high heaven.  Lucky for you, my readers, odors don't come through on blog posts, so you're spared the reek of giant dead carp and rotting seaweed.  Frankly, Lake Ontario is kind of nasty most of the time - there was a ton of garbage on the beach, as always, and a lot of dead things.

Too, it was ridiculously crowded.  I had never seen so many people there.  There were long strings of motor boats tied up together and floating in the bay, and dozens and dozens of people walking on the beach.  It made getting photos of the cliffs difficult since I didn't want random sunburned strangers in my photos.  I'm picky that way.  But despite the crowds, the heat, the stickiness, and the stench, I still got a few cool shots that I like.

The "cliffs" are essentially eroded dirt.  They were formed out of glacial till that was deposited there during the last ice age, and because they are just dirt and small rocks, they are constantly changing and eroding.  The ice on the Lake plays a role in their formation and erosion too, because it breaks up in huge, powerful, churning chunks in the spring.  I am not certain whether the rocks in this embankment are naturally in the embankment and slowly drop out as the dirt around them erodes, or whether the ice and/or waves smashed them into the bank.  Regardless, they're cool.

I liked this section of cliff, too, since you can see such clear striations in it.  

As I strolled along the beach I encountered a small, well-camouflaged friend.  Can you spot him?

Here he is.

He just sat and let me take his portrait without complaint.  I'm not entirely sure how healthy he was - the beach of the Lake doesn't seem like a very frog-friendly spot.  He had little flies walking around all over him, including across the surface of his eyes.  (I kept wanting to tell him to lick himself for a snack!)  But when I finally reached out a finger to touch him, he gave a great healthy leap, so he can't have been too bad off.

Alas, I only had a small window of time for a walk, and had to leave before I got too far down the beach.  It was nice to have a little bit of time there, though, with the blue sky and waves.  I shall leave you with the rest of my photos.


Ellen Rathbone July 17, 2012 at 5:24 PM  

Chimney Bluffs was the very first field trip of my Naturalist Career. It was on the very first day of my very first internship at Beaver Lake. It was a foggy day, and the coast of the lake seemed more the like the Alaskan coast (which I saw about a year and a half later). Large flotillas of gigantic fish swam by in the water below the bluff. We were told they were carp. I don't to this day if they really were or not. I especially enjoyed photographing the driftwood and dead trees that leaned out over the rocky beach and seemed to loom out of the fog. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

biobabbler July 17, 2012 at 9:42 PM  

omg, love the many photos, but that last one is SO GREAT! Now I'm way thirsty. =)

Grampy July 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM  

My first visit here. As one who takes photos everyday you put me to shame. You make the ordinary extraordinary. Great work.

Anonymous September 13, 2012 at 7:42 PM  

Excellent photos! Grampy was right... we can't all take pics like that! The rocks were likely pushed into the face of the bluff by alcohol and a sense of artistry. The Fish Ellen saw were pre-odiferous carp. It IS a shame about the pollution, although the 70's were worse. Those of us who live here (and grew up here) try to keep it clean. Thanks for taking only photos and leaving only footprints...

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