Right now I’m sitting by the side of a pool, watching my kids’ swim practice. This is the second year they’ve been involved in a YMCA club program, and I’m starting to associate winter and early spring with the swim season. I really enjoy the sport, even though I don’t have any kind of background in it (the kids can thank their mother for their swimming genes). I appreciate swimming as an activity for kids because everyone on the team has an equal opportunity to perform and improve their own personal best times at the weekly meets.
My children are still a little young to seriously think about college, but you or your kids may be starting the process. A portion of this issue is dedicated to higher education in the Finger Lakes Region (pages 43-46), and is designed to give your search a jumpstart with its comprehensive listing of local colleges and universities. If you’re in the midst of your college decision, you’ll find the practical articles in the supplement especially helpful.
Another aspect of late winter/early spring that I enjoy is maple sugaring. Marathon has a festival every year focused on the delicious, refined sap of maple trees. This festival has more to offer than just maple syrup. Helicopter rides, train rides, wagon rides, games and more await families looking to spend a fun weekend in the eastern part of the Finger Lakes.
Malcom MacKenzie is a maple syrup connoisseur (pages 40-42) who enjoys working with syrup and also enjoys showing others, especially children, how to turn the sap into syrup.
We have an article about bluebells. These little blue flowers are some of the first signs of color in the drab spring woodlands. Where there are large colonies, they blanket the forest floor for acres, and are quite a sight to see. We’ve provided a map on page 36 where you can see bluebells in Farmington at a public access site. You can also see them on the many public lands in the region, especially in low-lying areas where there is more moisture. I just ask that the areas you visit remain pristine. As we say in scouts, always leave the area better and cleaner than you found it.
We’ve been busy in the past several months since the last edition of the magazine. On our website we now have a survey that changes with each issue, and the question on the survey for spring was, “what are the top three things you enjoy doing during the spring season?” The number one, most popular item is walking and hiking. I enjoy the winter as much as anyone who enjoys outdoor winter activities, but when the temperature outside rises and the days get a little longer, the urge to just get outside and walk is a strong one.
We’re always trying new ways to get the word out about the magazine, and we have entered the world of social networking by creating a page on Facebook. This is a great opportunity for you to not only get new information about the magazine on a regular basis, but also a way for you to give us your feedback, upload some great Finger Lakes photos, and become more involved with the magazine and other loyal readers.
Have a great spring, and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.
by Mark Stash