Home > Nature > A Cool Creek and a Giant Caterpillar

A Cool Creek and a Giant Caterpillar

A few days ago the kids and I discovered (or re-discovered, in my case) a really cool place to take a hike. It’s located in Penfield, New York off Route 441, a little east of Rochester, at a place I knew years ago as Linear Park, but is now called Channing Philbrick Park. I discovered it about twenty years ago when I lived nearby, but I hadn’t been back there in a long time. I forgot how beautiful this place is!

I probably never would have gone there, but Fiona is taking some summer dance classes nearby in the village  of Penfield; so after her class on Thursday we had  a picnic lunch at the park. We then took a lovely hike along Irondequoit Creek which runs through the park. The creek still has a lot of water flowing through it, but you could see it had been much higher in early spring. There are tons of rocks strew all over the place and numerous rapids and small waterfalls along the lower part of the trail. There was a mill here long ago, and you can still see some overgrown foundations covered by trees. (I love ruins!) It’s shady and cool and the roar of the water was wonderfully relaxing. Two days before, Arthur and I had checked it out briefly, and there was a guy instructing a small class of five or six adults in oil landscape painting. What a great place to paint! It made me a little jealous that I didn’t have time to set up an easel along the bank, too!

The lower trail is wide and well-used. As we walked further the trail goes higher up and becomes more narrow and wilder. There are a few spots where a wooden bridge spans the inlets from other smaller streams. And there were several places where the trail goes down close to the creek again where the kids could play in the water. Here the water is calmer and not as rocky. We met a lady with two dogs who were fetching sticks from the water, and she let the kids throw some, too. It was quite idyllic! Even though we weren’t too far from houses and roads (I discovered when I checked a map later) it feels like you’re in the Adirondacks or someplace wild and natural. It was just what I needed!

Here is a link to a website with some great photos of the creek: Channing H. Philbrick Park (Linear Park)

And another blog link with photos taken in winter: Finger Lakes trail Mix

So if you’re in the Rochester area check out Linear Channing H. Philbrick Park. It’s a nice hike, and we didn’t even make it all the way to the end.

Moving on now to a somewhat bizarre discovery of natural interest; Arthur came to me a couple of hours ago holding a gigantic brown caterpillar. And he said he found it on the back of our couch!!

At first I thought it was a joke; it looked like a rubber caterpillar. But no, it moved! It’s real! I can’t imagine, though, how it ended up on our couch! (We now think it came in on a blanket from the back yard). But turns out it’s an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar and it seems to be in its last stage (instar) of molting before it becomes a butterfly. It’s really cool!

Here’s the little bugger in Arthur’s hand. You actually can’t see it’s head in the photo; but those ‘eye spots’ are pretty groovy, eh? It’s now residing in our terrarium with lots of leaves and sticks waiting to hopefully become a butterfly. Life is just so full of unexpected learning opportunities! The kids are thrilled and I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Here’s a link with a photo of our little beast further down on the right side: Eastern Swallowtail

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