Not since the glaciers retreated has Skaneateles been blessed with a new water feature. Please welcome Wirth’s Brook. Now, some might tell you that this is the result of a broken water main that has gone unrepaired for more than a year and a culvert that has filled in over 12 years, but I prefer to think of it as an Act of God.
Here we are just outside the Village’s eastern gates. Note the dry foreground and the sudden appearance of flowing water a bit farther on, water flowing east down the margin of Route 20.
The first stream is joined by a second, as the flow is pumped out of a nearby basement.
See how the brook is eroding Wirth’s driveway, cutting a scenic pathway…
…to a miniature marsh, complete with cattails. Twelve years ago, this was a clean culvert, but with a decade of neglect, it has gradually filled in and no longer drains. I’m told it’s state property, which explains a lot.
And then we get to the second stand of cattails. A family of frogs lives here; I stop and commune with them every morning on my walk to work. Brad Wirth predicts it will soon be a protected wetland. There used to be a drain here, but it has closed up. As you can see, the water rolls on across the driveway and into the lot beyond, turning it into a marsh as well.
It’s like this all day, every day. And did I mention the algae? It’s everywhere, growing lusher as you read.
And wait for the cold weather! Last winter, sheets of ice spread across the driveways of Wirth’s Automotive and 1333 East Genesee and out onto Route 20. I anticipate skating, a footbridge in the spring, trout leaping, a place for every taxpayer to enjoy. After all, we’re paying for the water.