These are my experiences in maps, photos, and stories.

New York State - Maps, photos and stories of special places.
Other States - Maps, photos and stories outside of NY.
Topics - Essays, links, and other interesting content.

Google County Maps - State land maps, tracks and waypoints.
Interactive Maps of NY Census - Explore and download KML files.
See the latest Google Maps, Maps and Photos or archived October 2015.

Questions, comments? Feel free to email me at

Map: Skinner Hill State Forest

Map: Skinner Hill State Forest

Skinner Hill State Forest (Chenango Reforestation Area #8), located at the junction of the towns of Sherburne, Columbus, and New Berlin, is an oddly shaped forest located on old farm lands once plowed by its namesake, the Skinner family. Across its 1,666 acres you will find a mixture of Spruce and Pine Plantations, natural growing Hardwoods, open fields, and wetland areas. This diverse landscape provides the ideal opportunity for wildlife habitat, making it popular spot for hunting and wildlife viewing. White-tailed deer, Wild Turkey, and Ruffed Grouse are among a few of the game species to be found here.

Two trout classified streams pass through the forest, both tributaries of Great Brook. In some places, beavers have taken up residence along these streams, creating small ponds and pools. Waterfowl can be found in abundance in these locations. For those people who enjoy trapping, these wetland areas are home to an abundance of small mammals.

Across the length of the forest are remnants of the history of the area. Stone walls, old stone bridges, foundations, and even a Root Cellar used to hide escaped slaves during the time of the Underground Railroad can be found on the property.

Due to its elongated shape, Skinner Hill is also an easily accessible forest to reach, with many local roads crisscrossing the property. A variety of old logging roads, as well as newer skid roads provide pathways for hiking, hunting experience or, for a change of pace, bring your dog out for a walk! Parking can be found along the roadside, or on one of several forest access roads maintained by DEC.

Good morning! Happy Thursday. Sloppy and 33 degrees in North Syracuse. Lots of slop. You could call it call it snow or sleet or rain, but it’s warm enough there isn’t much left except some dusting on the grass. There is a east-southeast breeze at 10 mph. The skies will clear tomorrow around 7 pm. But then real miserable for the weekend, but warmer with temperatures in the low 60s as drizzle comes down throughout.

Exchanged the shirt that didn’t fit properly because I bought the wrong size. I should have read the label. It wasn’t a big deal. I got another set of miniature screw drivers because I left my set at home. I pulled the hard drive from the dead laptop, and now are waiting for the case to arrive. Hopefully I’ll have all my files back to later. I’m really looking forward to getting the new laptop in November, especially with the fast SSD drive. I wasn’t ready to replace my nearly 4 year old laptop yet, but sometimes life doesn’t always go to plan. Also got more windshield washer fluid as the pump has always been leaking, and it always runs low on cold, icy mornings when I use and leak a lot of fluid.

I’m thinking about calling today to drop off my truck to have the brakes done and tires rotated. I really want to get it done before vacation, not because I’m in immediate risk of scoring up the rotators, but because I don’t want to wait. And I’m not volunteering to do my own brakes, especially not in the wet nasty weather of today.

This morning will have some more slop in the form rain and snow, becoming all rain after 11am. Overcast and dreary to max. High of 39 degrees at 4pm. 16 degrees below normal. Even miserable Donald Trump supporters don’t like weather that nasty. Southeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Last year was only slightly more pleasant with mostly cloudy skies with a high around 56. The record high of 79 was set in 1963. There was 1.6 inches of snow back in 2011. Fortunately, we aren’t getting that kind of snow today.

The sun will set at 6:01 pm with dusk around 6:31 pm, which is 1 minutes and 26 seconds earlier than yesterday. Today will have 10 hours and 27 minutes of daylight, a decrease of 2 minutes and 42 seconds over yesterday. Those days are really getting short, and it doesn’t help how truly dreary the weather is today.

Tonight will rain even more, but no snow is expected at least in the Greater Syracuse area. Low of 39 degrees at 6pm. Two degrees above normal. Southeast wind 10 to 14 mph becoming west after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. One year ago, cloudy with a low around 37. The record low of 18 occurred back in 1974.

There are 4 weeks until Thanksgiving when the sun will be setting at 4:33 pm with dusk at 5:04 pm (Standard Time). The average high temperature is 44 degrees, with a record high of 70 in 2014. Looking forward to the turkey and all the sides. November is really a great month even if later October is really dreary. November tends to be cloudy but not really as wet as October.

There are 11 days, 12 hours and 11 minutes until the polls close in NY State on Election Day.

Governor Ronald Reagan in 1964 delivers a speech on behalf of the Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launches his political career and comes to be known as “A Time for Choosing”. I am pretty sure that Ronald Reagan was just as bad back then as he was in 1980s. We are a little over a week and half from election day, so I can be obnoxiously political.

Late October is not known for it’s nice weather in Syracuse. While in the city and lower elevation locations in the suburbs, the trees still have leaves, they will be dropping with cooler temperatures and rain expected. Starting on Saturday through Tuesday, we will have¬† typical weather for the days with modest temperatures in the evenings.

Exceptional temperatures:
Today will be cold. 41 degrees. 56 normal. 78 record (1952). Slight Chance of Sprinkles/Flurries then Partly Sunny.
Tonight will be cool. 29 degrees. 36 normal. 21 record (1950). Increasing Clouds.
Thursday will be cold. 43 degrees. 56 normal. 79 record (1950). Rain/Snow then Rain.
Friday will be cool. 45 degrees. 55 normal. 78 record (1974). Showers is likely then Chance of Showers.
Saturday night will be warm. 45 degrees. 36 normal. 20 record (1969). Chance of Showers.
Halloween evening will be warm. 41 degrees. 35 normal. 22 record (1964). Partly Cloudy.
November 1st will be warm. 61 degrees. 54 normal. 78 record (1964). Chance of Showers.

Tomorrow we have a chance for a dusting of snow with on and off rain and drizzle throughout the week. No real snow accumulations.  Just wet dreary weather. The most rain will come tomorrow with another 3/4rd of an inch expected.

Rain and snow expected:
Wednesday Slight chance of rain and snow from 10 am to 2 pm.
Thursday Slight chance of snow from 6 am to 7 am. Chance of snow from 7 am to 9 am. Snow from 9 am to 10 am. Rain/snow from 10 am to 11 am. Rain from 11 am to midnight. 0.68 inches.
Friday Rain from midnight to 8 am. Chance of rain from 8 am to 8 pm. 0.08 inches.
Saturday Chance of rain from 2 am to midnight. 0.13 inches.
Sunday Chance of rain from midnight to 8 pm. Slight chance of rain from 8 pm to midnight.
Halloween Slight chance of rain from midnight to 8 am.
November 1st Chance of rain from 8 am to 8 pm. Slight chance of rain from 8 pm to midnight.
Wednesday Slight chance of rain from midnight to 8 am.

For the next week, as is common this time of year, we will have mostly cloudy weather for the next week. Enjoy the brief sun we have this afternoon into the evening, as the clouds will prevail later on.

Cloudy periods:
Wednesday Mostly cloudy from noon to 2 pm.
Thursday Mostly cloudy from 1 am to 3 am. Cloudy from 3 am to midnight.
Friday Cloudy from midnight to 9 am. Mostly cloudy from 9 am to 4 pm.
Saturday Mostly cloudy from midnight to 2 pm. Cloudy from 2 pm to 3 pm. Mostly cloudy from 3 pm to midnight.
Sunday Mostly cloudy from midnight to midnight.
Monday Mostly cloudy from midnight to 3 am.
Tuesday Mostly cloudy from 1 pm to 6 pm.
Map: Hill Higher State Forest

Map: Hill Higher State Forest

Hill Higher State Forest (Chautauqua #13) totals 1,156 acres, and is located in the town of Harmony, south of the village of Panama in the south central part of Chautauqua County. This forest provides opportunities for many outdoor recreational activities and is home to a variety of wildlife species.

There are no designated hiking or snowmobile trails on the property. There are three hunting access trails for people with disabilities that follow the gas well road access, however, these are for use by permit only.

October 2016
« Sep