Monday, April 23, 2012
Big Day for Moreau Lake State Park
There was excitement galore today at Moreau Lake State Park, as many of New York State's top people in parks and recreation gathered to celebrate the opening of the park's new Nature Center addition. Even Mother Nature herself added to the festivities, bringing bright sun and balmy temperatures, despite predictions of rain and cold.
The new addition provides much more space than was available before for educating the public about the many natural wonders and inhabitants native to the vast forested habitat that is Moreau Lake State Park.
In addition to exhibits featuring live reptiles, amphibians, turtles, and fish, the Nature Center also houses the park's extensive collection of animal mounts, allowing visitors a close-up view of creatures they ordinarily would only see at a distance.
Of course, I myself prefer to experience nature directly and out of doors, so when the ceremonies and speeches were over, and after I had partaken of the wonderful lunch that the park provided, I was only too eager to join a few naturalists for a walk around the lake.
Our first destination was a Mallard's nest that one of the naturalists had discovered earlier, such a beautiful creation with the hen's speckled down lining the nest.
We also happened upon a cluster of dragonflies just emerging from their nymph cases.
We also found vivid red Wild Columbines emerging from their buds.
But the most exciting event of our walk was discovering a family of tiny Red Fox kits, who were scampering and tumbling about the bank until they caught sight of us and dashed quickly into the safety of their den beneath this tree. Before they disappeared completely, they peered at us with their darling little foxy faces, and although their fur was a grayish brown, we could tell they were Red Fox, rather than Coyote or Gray Fox, because of the white tips at the ends of their tails.
What a wonderful treasure we have in Moreau Lake State Park! There's always something amazing to see, whether indoors at the newly enlarged Nature Center, or anywhere in the over 4,000 acres of forest and mountains and wetlands.