In background, the abandoned Terrence Building, site of the former Rochester Psychiatric Center. [Photos: David Kramer, 12/2/20] See Terrence Tower Without Diagnosis: A Photographic Montage of the Old Rochester Psychiatric Center
As seen in First November snowfall at the Highland Crossing in Brighton, (BELOW) we’ve trekked to the Highland Crossing Trail to capture snowfalls of various hues: some minuscule, some wintery, some sunlit.
Today, Brightonians woke up to a dank morning with some snow swirling and the appearance of an inch or two or three of accumulation, making the retrieval of the morning paper in its blue plastic bag a harbinger of blue, harsh snowfalls to come.
I did trek to the Highland Crossing. There, I re-discovered how weather affects mood. After several weeks of bounteous late fall pleasantry, it was difficult for me not to see the Trail through a forlorn and maybe a dismal lens.
When entering the Trail on the Westfall Road side, the signs were already pocketed with snow. In this part of the Trail to the left is the the Monroe County Juvenile Detention Center and in the background is the abandoned Terrence Building, site of the former Rochester Psychiatric Center. The landscape felt Dickensian, conjuring socially realistic images of poor boys in penitentiaries and the mentally challenged locked in asylums.
As I entered the Westfall Road entrance, I saw to the right of the Trail dilapidated and abandoned buildings, now snow covered. A couple of years ago, I met a man who was working to clear out some of the buildings. While I can’t now recall everything the man said, he explained that, supposedly, in the ruins previously had lived a secluded, almost hermetic family. They even maintained farm animals making the scene look more like Appalachia than leafy, suburban Brighton. Apparently, the eccentric family had — but rejected — offers to buy their anachronistic farm.
In an early December snowfall, the abandoned structures reminded me of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome (1911), her story of early 20th century impoverished New England farmers where a reckless sledding excursion in a snowstorm becomes the doom of its characters.
From there the Trail can be seen industrial debris from a bygone era. I don’t know the history of the various leftover objects, but they seem to look something from an extensive factory or construction site. In a mood of the first winter snow — and with it a sense of frozen time — the relics reminded me of post-industrial Rochester where old Kodak buildings rust away in Rochester winters — the human activity that once animated the site in a long hibernation.
Not to be gloomy, once I returned home the snow was on its way to melting. Our next update on Highland Crossing snow will be more ebullient!
In late October, we received a dusting of overnight snowfall. Today, we got our first daylight squall. For about half an hour, the snow fell on the Trail, melting away in about fifteen minutes when the sun reappeared.On the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton after an early March snowfall (BELOW), I trekked the Highland Crossing Trail.
As you know, this has been an unusually cool, at times record breaking, spring. For every measurable snowfall in April, I returned to the Trail for updates, three times. I did not anticipate a fourth update, in May. If it snows tomorrow, look for a fifth.
UPDATE I: 4/16/20 After a mid-April snowfall, I saw deer, blue jays and ducks. My fox ran away too quickly for its photo op. SEE On the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton after an early March snowfall
UPDATE II: 4/21/20 It’s mid-to-late April and still snowing
UPDATE III: The morning of April 22nd, 2020 and it’s still snowing.
The Highland Crossing Trail project is located in the southeast quadrant of Monroe County along the west side of the Town of Brighton and southeast quadrant of the City of Rochester. The project begins at Brighton Town Park, located southeast of Sawgrass Drive, and terminates at the Genesee Riverway Trail near the intersection of McLean Street and Wilson Boulevard for a total project length of 3.3 miles.The Trail location is in an archaeologically sensitive area, with eleven prehistoric and historic sites and six National Register listed or eligible properties or districts within one mile of the project location. In addition, the trail provides access via a raised boardwalk system to a state wetland that represents the headwaters of Buckland Creek. The trail has been designed to preserve the existing wetland area.
Today, after an overnight snowfall and under clear skies, I was alone on my walk between the Elmwood Avenue and Westfall Road entrances, except for wild turkeys and squirrels, but no fox or deer who also make the trail their home.