Thursday, June 24, 2021

It's a Bird! It's a Snake! It's Chimney Bluffs State Park!

This past weekend we visited my Mother-in-Law in Rochester, New York. On Friday we had the day to go exploring and my Mother-in-Law, knowing our affinity for outdoor adventures, suggested we visit Chimney Bluffs State Park. She had me at State Park.

After about an hour of driving we found ourselves at the Western side of the park. We walked the half-mile path to the edge of Lake Ontario and were rewarded with a scenic view. Along the way, I caught a glimpse of a tiny yellow bird fluttering in a clump of nearby bushes. From the low-quality pic I captured, it appears I saw an American Yellow Warbler.

After exploring the beach and part of the Bluff Trail we made our way back to the car and drove to the parking lot located on the East end of the park. After trudging up steps we found ourselves back on the Bluff Trail. With a quarter mile of walking we were richly rewarded with impressive views of the 'chimney' shaped bluffs.

While Shira and I were marveling at the bluff formations, Ron called us over: he'd discovered a small but feisty white and brown snake. The coloring looked far more exotic than snakes I'd seen in the past. According to Google, he (or she?) was an Eastern Milk Snake. Apparently confusing Milk snakes for dangerous species is common, though the Milk Snake is harmless to humans.

In all, I saw a new bird species, a new snake species and had a chance to view unique geological formations. My Mother-in-Law couldn't have been more on point when she suggested Chimney Bluffs State Park.

I was only left with one question: why the heck hadn't we explored this park when I was a kid?

Good times!

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