Chris Keil 10/29/96
College Writing Essay #3
Character of a Place
Final Draft
The Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes Region of western upstate New York possesses natural beauty and characteristics that make it an ideal area for residence and vacation. However, because of New York City, the state\'s defining attribute to many outsiders and locals, the Finger Lakes\' fruits are ignored and shared amongst a relatively small amount of people. In a state that bares the advantages and drawbacks of the World\'s financial capital, a nearby refuge that challenges even remote sections of the country with its untrampled forests and clean lakes, seems appealing but is somehow missed amid the bustle of Wall Street. People who visit the Finger Lakes will quickly realize that New York includes, along with concrete jungles, wilderness on the other end of the spectrum, wilderness created by the forces of our planet.
Glaciers formed the hilly terrain characteristic of the Finger Lakes region, by carving out the lakes and valleys. Lush deciduous forests with an ample amount of pines cover the countryside, providing homes for abundant wildlife. A very popular method of exploring and experiencing the forest is on horseback which gives riders a completely different vantage point on the passing scenery. Crystal clear brooks meander through rugged terrain as they constantly erode away at formations of prehistoric slate and limestone, making it easy to find fossils and rocks shaped and brilliantly colored by these ancient but persistent streams. Waterfalls nestled deep in the woods serve as ideal places for a picnic or simply to reflect upon civilization without being faced with the world\'s ordinary pressures. While driving on the winding rural roads, you will greet many deer with your headlights; hopefully not this other parts of your car. Raccoons can become a nuisance by scavenging through your garbage at night while rabbits can be found nibbling on the grass in your yard. Even in the most developed areas, the forest is no more than a walk away and proves to be an ideal place for recreation or simply to escape the stress of modern life and revert back to simpler times.
Swimming in the abundant bodies of water or even a backyard pool refreshes anyone during the region\'s hot summer days. Fortunately for those who dislike humidity, the air is usually dry and comfortable in comparison to that of coastal areas. Fall is a very beautiful time of the year as the trees turn to their pleasant autumnal shades before shedding their leaves. The typical seasonal traditions are at their heart here, as the area has a rich native American history and the countryside turns out mass amounts of pumpkins, corn, and other defining characteristics of fall. During the harsh winters, the Finger Lakes Region pulls in some of the highest figures in annual snowfall in the Northeast. The enormous lakes are not forgotten by the changing seasons as they freeze over and seem to transform into great barren white deserts. Even the biggest winter enthusiasts welcome springtime which can truly be compared to a rebirth as wildlife and civilization seems to bud out of the melting snow. Lake residents construct their docks and prepare their boats for the upcoming warm weather while farmers till their fields and plan the summertime crop. The local wildlife emerges from hibernation and once again becomes part of this renewed world. This climatic cycle is so distinct in the Finger Lakes, but each season bares a different type of beauty and new way of life and play that is a pleasant change from the previous.
The actual lakes of the Finger Lakes region, like many area towns and counties are named after past Indian tribes of the region. In the 16th century, the famous Iroquois League was centered in this area as it was a prosperous center of eastern Native Americans. Nowadays people are reminded of these tribes only though the names of the lakes and towns, and an occasional Indian trading post. The principal lakes are the Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice, Honeoye, Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles, and Otisco Lakes, varying anywhere in length from 11 to 40 miles long. Glaciers cut these lakes during the Ice age while forcefully expanding through the interconnecting stream valleys of old. Thus, some of lakes