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Natural Heritage


Natural History

At least two vascular plant species, hair grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and lyrate rock-cress (Arabidopsis lyrata), are found only here in the Cayuga Lake drainage.  At least 18 locally rare or scarce species of vascular plants and vertebrates, including mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), pitch pine (Pinus rigida), New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus) and coal skink (Eumeces anthracinus), are found in this unusual dry, warm, rocky habitat.  Whip-poor-wills (Caprimulgus vociferus) once nested here regularly and could be heard from White Church Road after dark, in breeding season, but have not been seen or heard in recent years.


This one of the most dramatic examples in the local region of a valley slope over-steepened by glaciers gouging at the valley-side as they moved down this through-valley.