A bit prematurely, I closed my last post with great celebration: "The wildflower season is now upon us!" Then wintry weather returned for several days, with 20-degree nights and 30-degree days and even a brief blizzard as an April Fool's Day prank. Thankfully, the snow didn't last, and today the sun shone and the temps rose into the 50s once more. But it sure was a see-saw week, weatherwise. At least I did get out to the woods a few times.
Tuesday, March 30, Lake Bonita at Moreau Lake State Park
The sun was warm but the breeze was chilly the day I joined my friends Sue and Nadine as they checked the Eastern Hemlocks along the shore of Lake Bonita for signs of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Both Sue and Nadine had attended an information session about this significant threat to our northern forests and had been assigned this stretch of state-park lakeshore to look for any signs of infestation. I came along to observe, and to check a few hemlocks myself.
Saturday, April 3, The North Woods at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs
After a stretch of below-freezing days -- and even a snowy one last Thursday! -- it felt great to see a clear blue sky and a bright warm sun that promised to push today's temps up close to 50. My friend Sue came down from Hudson Falls to Saratoga today, seeking more signs of spring down here than she'd been able to find 20 miles north. We met at Skidmore College to explore the marvelous limestone underlaid woods that lies adjacent to the campus. The same geological faults that bring mineral springs to the city of Saratoga Springs have created great rocky ridges throughout these woods. All kinds of fascinating plants -- including some that are truly rare -- can be found tucked in among these rocks. Would we find any today?
Saturday, April 3, Orra Phelps Nature Preserve, Wilton
After Sue and I had explored several trails through the Skidmore woods today, we headed a few miles north to see what we could find at the Orra Phelps Nature Preserve. This is a small (1.8-acre) preserve but a lovely one, with a mixed hardwood/conifer forest covering its rolling terrain and two branches of a tumbling creek rushing over rock-lined courses.
Great find, Sue! What a fun way to cap off our truly wonderful day in the woods!