Greenwood Conservancy

By Carol at 10:30 pm on Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Our group met at the junction of highways 205 and 80, to make the short journey west to the Greenwood Conservancy, established by the Peterson family of Cooperstown, NY. As an ADK group, we had special permission to hike on the 1149 acre property, where two wetlands have been restored, and where carefully controlled bow harvesting of deer has allowed the forest understory to be renewed.

Our walk began at the old farm house, where we followed a road along a meadow, and into the forest. We met Dr. Peterson along the way. He explained some of the wetland restoration efforts, creating habitat for great blue herons, wood ducks and other waterfowl. He mentioned some of the plants that are returning to the area, and some of the diseases that pose a danger for trees like the ash and the beech. Dr. Peterson and his staff were maintaining the meadow today, creating habitat for butterlies, cottontails and other creatures.

meadow

Along the meadow.

As we entered the forest, the lush understory was remarkable. We were able to observe a large variety of wildflowers including jack-in-the-pulpit, star flowers, false solomon’s seal, dwarf ginseng, false hellebore, Canada mayflower, celandine. Mosses and ferns were abundant and varied.

dwarf ginseng

Dwarf ginseng.

In the wet areas we saw extensive beaver dams, and heard the calls of green frogs among the lily pads. As the group ate lunch on a bridge, a pair of great blue herons circled over the water. In front of us were two dead trees, each supporting two heron nests.

beaver den

Beaver den.

knawed stump

Stump, recently created by a beaver.

log felled by beaver

Beavers devoured all of the bark from this tree that fell from the stump above.

large beaver dam

Large beaver dam.

heron nests in dead tree

Two heron nests in a dead tree.

lily pond

Lily pond.

mushroom tree

Mushroom tree.

place for lunch

Bridge where our group had lunch.

The hike was a little longer than usual, over less distinct trails. Our leaders had well researched the area prior to our arrival, guided us to some lovely remote spots, and out again safely.

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Gilbert Lake Wildflower Walk

By Carol at 3:13 pm on Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gilbert Lake

Still waters of Gilbert Lake.

Yellow Lady Slipper orchid in bud

Wild Yellow Lady Slipper orchid in bud.

May Apple

Mayapple with fruit.

Wild sarsaparilla

A stand of Wild Sarsaparilla. (Aralia nudicaulis.)

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Brookfield Trails

By Carol at 3:04 pm on Thursday, May 24, 2007

trail sign

We chose the slower walking group on our hike on the Brookfield trails, in order to closely observe the flora and fauna along the four-mile trek.

Much of the woods is covered in heavy undergrowth of small beech trees and other tree seedlings, ferns and wild flowers, but there are darker areas of evergreens where the pine needle carpet is thick and undergrowth is more sparse.

Green woods

Green woods with rich understory.

Darker, pine woods.

Darker, pine woods.

Forest stream

Forest stream.

red trillium

Purple trillium.

False hellebore or Indian Poke.. (Veratrum viride.)

Foam flower.

Foam flower. (Tiarella cordifolia.)

Group lunch

Our group stops for lunch on a fallen log.

Jack-in-the-pulpit.

Jack-in-the-pulpit. (Arisaema triphyllum.)

Star flower foliage

Indian cucumber root. (Medeola virginiana)

Early meadow rue.

Early meadow rue. (Thalictrum dioicum.)

Marsh marigold

Marsh Marigold or Cowslip. (Caltha palustris.)

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Mt. Utsayantha

By Carol at 10:06 pm on Friday, May 11, 2007

View to the east from summit
View to the east from the summit

The destination for our first spring hike with the local chapter of the Adirondack Mountains club was the summit of Mt. Utsayantha, above the old resort town of Stamford, New York. The mountain is the site of a fire tower, once used to watch for blazes in the forests of the Northern Catskills.

On our one mile ascent, we observed some early wildflowers:
bloodroot

Bloodroot

spring beauty

Spring beauty

coltsfoot

Colts foot

knarled trees in early spring

Knarled trees are still bare, as spring is a little late this year.

fire tower

The old fire tower has been rejuvenated.

view of Stamford, NY

A view of Stamford, New York, to the North.

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