finger lake

On a map, the long, narrow, and roughly parallel troughs of the lakes of western New York look as though they might have been gouged by giant hands reaching south from Lake Ontario. These are the imaginatively named Finger Lakes, of which Seneca and Cayuga are the largest. The gouging agent, however, was not a pair of hands but a series of massive glaciers that dug U-shaped valleys in the underlying bedrock. Today finger lake is applied to any body of water occupying a similarly shaped valley.

William deBuys