This morning I noticed a fair sized patch of yellow flowers on the site of Florence Rutter’s cottage. Many folks will remember her as being the last inhabitant of Oxbow Road, and of her cottage being burnt to the ground under suspicious circumstances.
On first look, I thought the flowers were a buttercup, but then my Audubon book showed several varieties of buttercup. Looking more carefully at the leaves, my best guess is they are a SWAMP BUTTERCUP, particularly as they are thriving on a low lying, waters edge piece of land.
Swamp Buttercups are an endangered species as per the NYDEC, so I let them know of my find. Apparently there are very few sightings in New York State.
I wonder if I got it right?
The Myrtle patch is looking pretty this time of year.
I’m not sure what this flower is, perhaps a winter geranium?
And among a patch of Pachysandra terminalis, this lone Trillium Grandiflorum stands out.
The giant ferns are now about a foot tall, and the several patches of Lily of the Valley are about to flower. The air will shortly be heavy with their perfume, so take a walk down the Oxbow in the next few days to savor that treat.
One troubling problem is the Japanese Knotweed is spreading. The source seems to be the property boundary (the old pub) along the Erie Crescent end of the trail. This weed is spreading everywhere and is mostly on State land. Several residents have told me they are having problems with the stuff!
This photograph was given to me by Mr and Mrs Stavisky who live in the last house on Old Post Road, right next to the Oxbow. It is framed and hanging on their wall, and they kindly scanned it for me.
It really shows the extent of the cottages around three islands. Somehow, the gap between the second and third was filled in.
If you look carefully at the right side of the cottages, you can see the ‘cut’ of the old canal running by the side of them. Also note the channel in the bottom right corner of the photograph, where it looks like the bank of the canal formed an island.
There’s quite a cluster of cottages by the electricity pylon, which in those days was stood in water, hence the protective bollards around it.
The Oxbow Woods were not in existence, hardly a tree there at this time.
Notice how the canal embankment dam has large areas where there are no trees.
Thanks John and Anne, the photograph is a great historical record that I’m sure everyone will enjoy seeing.
The New York Power Authority (new owners of the Erie Canal Corporation) have risen to the occasion and started to repair the bridge/culvert running under Oxbow Rd. The road is actually the old towpath which runs alongside the old original canal, which can be clearly seen between the playing field and the path.
Here are some photos I took yesterday of the works progression.
The rusty old culvert pipes have been dug up, and replaced with rot proof plastic pipes.
I imagine there are many more culverts along the canal in this poor condition which need replacing. It’s good to see the NYPA jumped on this problem, and has the where-with-all to properly fund these projects. The Canal Corporation’s lack of funding over the years is why these problems exist.
What is concerning is, if steel pipes are commonly used in culverts across The State, then there are many areas where there is considerable danger from this deterioration. Water flowing rapidly through a holed pipe will cause the soil to be sucked out, creating voids for sinkholes, but also makes channels along the pipe where severe erosion can take place.
You can see the general state of these culverts as per previous inspection reports.
Today, Friday 4th May, the NYPA finished the repair and The Oxbow Trail is open for business!
If you approve of the work the NYPA is doing to keep us safe and improve the canal, please sign my petition
SIGN THE PETITION TO SUPPORT VEGETATION REMOVAL and REMEDIATION