2016 Daily Photos – August 18: Robin Hill Nature Preserve Adventure

Today’s photo of the day is my favorite photo from a little adventure I went on this evening. That story and more photos will follow the Daily Photo.

So, here is today’s Daily Photo:


081816_The Pump House_Robin Hill Nature Preserve

“The Pump House”

Robin Hill Nature Preserve, 11556 Platten Road, Lyndonville, NY


The Adventure:

So……I saw that there was a Wine Walk event at the Robin Hill Nature Preserve in Lyndonville. I’ve wanted to check this place out for some time, so I thought this would be a lovely opportunity to do so. It consisted of an evening walk through the grounds of the estate, starting at 5:00 pm, and was sponsored by the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce. The $5.00 fee for the event goes to the Robin Hill Foundation to help with the costs of preserving the Robin Hill Nature Preserve as an educational resource. There were two local wineries – Leonard Oakes Estate Winery and 810 Meadworks, both of Medina and both serving tastings of two of their most popular beverages. But, it was the Nature Preserve that I went to see – yes, I had a sip of three of the four wines, but I was really there to get photos, enjoy the beauty, and conjure up some wonderful old memories from my childhood (more on that later).

Robin Hill is a 40 acre arboretum. Taken from their web site (for more info, click here for their web site and click here for a 2013 article on the Orleans Hub): “William A. Smith planted over 250 varieties of trees on the land he called Robin Hill. He and his wife Mary, son George and daughter Marion built the manor house on the hill. Marion Smith lived there for most of her 90 years, tending the gardens, watching the birds, and welcoming guests. Now the next generation is developing Robin Hill as a place where people can come to learn, enjoy the trees, conduct research, and appreciate nature.”

The reason it conjures up memories for me is this: When my brother and I were young children, our mother would take us to a pond in Lyndonville to feed the swans. We loved to go there and would take a loaf of bread we would let go stale specifically to take with us to the pond on Sunday afternoons a few times during the summers. I have wonderful memories of standing on the banks of the pond throwing chunks of bread into the water to feed the beautiful swans and watch them gracefully glide across the water. It was a really special treat! I was disappointed when I returned home after my years in NC to find it was no longer a place to go to see the swans! But, recently, the grandson of the original owners has returned and established a foundation to restore and maintain the preserve. It is now open to the public – also taken from their web site: “The Smith family always welcomed visitors, and that has not changed. Anyone who respects this wonderful place is welcome to enjoy it whenever they like. We ask that you park only in paved areas, and leave everything as you found it; some of the plants and trees are fragile, and many of them are rare or exotic. As our plans progress, more information on the plants of Robin Hill will be available.”

Once I heard it was again open for visitors, I knew at some point I had to check it out. There are no swans in the pond, now…..but, the grounds are so lovely and peaceful and I was able to venture off the beaten path established for the wine walk (I wasn’t the only one) and go sit by the pond for a while……remembering a time long ago when there were swans and a little girl, her brother, and their Mom were there feeding them. It was a wonderful evening – the weather was perfect and the memories were cherished.

Here are the rest of the photos from the evening:






















  • Just beyond this courtyard is the path to the pond – not officially part of the wine walk, but the greeters said we could go wherever we wanted and directed me “off the beaten path” – literally – it was somewhat overgrown to walk through. The others in this photo also took the pond path. By the pond was the old pump house (see the photo of the day above and the first several photos below) and an old fireplace.










  • The people who were ahead of me also sat by the pond for a while. When they left, I went to get a photo of the bench they were sitting on and noticed they left their cell phone. I caught up to them a little further down the path to return it.





I really enjoyed my walk down memory lane and through nature’s beauty! Hope you got a sense of how stunning it is through my photos!

4 Comments on “2016 Daily Photos – August 18: Robin Hill Nature Preserve Adventure

  1. A number of years ago we went to Robin Hill. Mrs. Smith was alive at the time and gave us a tour of grounds. Mr. Smith made a selection of Amelanchier, which he named “Robin Hill” that is available in the nursery trade. As I remember the stone work on the house is gorgeous. Thanks for the tour.

  2. I lived in the Lyndonville area for 11 years and going to Marion Smith’s garden was a highlight of our Springtime. We loved to go when azalaes and rhodadendrons were blooming.At first ,when Marion was still in good health she would share fascinating and poignant stories of building and growing up in the lovely stone house.After we heard how her father had brought the seeds for their Dawn Redwood trees from a mountain expedition in a foreign country(was it Japan?) we were inspired to plant a Dawn Redwood in front of our house.It is now a large tree!
    Thank you for sharing your memories and photos!Abigail

    • Thank you for your kind words – glad I could bring up some fond memories for you. I hope you’ll visit my blog, again.

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