Friday, March 20, 2015

Get out and check it out!

It is getting nicer out, and those of us who are sick of being cooped up inside are ready to get out and be active again. The snow is starting to melt, making it easier to walk around at the Clifton Park open spaces. Go walk around at some of the parks, you will be glad you did! I went for a walk this week at Garnsey Park on Route 146, and I had a great walk. The birds are just starting to come back, and I even saw a bluebird, which just shows that all of the bluebird boxes installed in the park and doing their job to bring back bluebirds year after year. Go out to the parks and see what you can find!

Photos from my walk:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Look who's been busy...

Yesterday seemed like a good day to get out of the house and go for a morning walk at the Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve.  We parked at the Whipple Bridge and took the trail that runs along the canal toward Vischer Ferry.  
About a quarter mile from the bridge I spotted these tree stumps.  They were freshly cut by a busy beaver.  I would guess they had been chewed up a day or two ago, based on the wood shavings on top of the snow and ice.  

A few yards from the stumps there was a path leading into the canal that looked like a beaver slide.  You can see the part of the grass that is covered with packed snow in the picture below.
Keep your eyes open for more signs of the beaver(s) as it is definitely active right now.  There was also a flock of Canada Geese enjoying the ice and cold water at the Preserve.  
Despite the cold, the wildlife is out there and active.  There are lots of chances to see it if you just bundle up and get out there to look for it.  Stay warm and keep your eyes open!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Looky, but no touchy

A couple of plants are now beginning to bloom and it's important that you learn to recognize each.

Poison Ivy

Wild Parsnip

Once you know how to recognize them, please be aware of each while you are out and about enjoying nature over the next few months.

For more info, please read my recent posting on my blog, Curious By Nature.

Hope this helps.  Happy trails!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

An Obscure Find

The trail through the Mooney Carrese Forest at Veterans Memorial Park continues to surprise and delight me with each visit.  This beautiful and serene woodland is a worthy destination for nature observation.  In addition to the variety of deciduous trees accompanying the white pine and eastern hemlock, there is a continuing parade of blooming wildflowers dotting and, at times, carpeting the forest floor.  Several interesting water features also crisscross the woodland trail.  I routinely hear or see wood ducks and mallards during my visits.

I am conducting a wildflower inventory at this property.  During my visit Thursday afternoon, I spied a small gathering of these -

Wild Calla has the scientific name of Calla palustris, which means "obscure, of marshes."  I was very pleased to come across this obscure find!  This beautiful plant is coming into full bloom now.

Happy trails!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2014 Nature & Open Space Photo Contest

The Town of Clifton Park is conducting a 2014 Nature & Open Space Photo Contest open to all now through Saturday, June 14, 2014 at midnight.  Up to four separate entries are allowed per person. The four eligible categories are: Wildlife; Landscape; Plants & Flowers; and People Enjoying Nature & the Outdoors.  Photos must be taken within the Town of Clifton Park at one of the eight following nature preserves and parks (see the location Map of 8 Great Places ):  Ushers Road State Forest; North Woods Nature Preserve; Kinns Road Park; Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve; Veterans Memorial Park & Mooney Carrese Forest; Garnsey Park; Mohawk Landing Nature Preserve; and Vischer Ferry Nature & Historic Preserve.
Spur of the Dwaas Kill near the Cooley Kill, Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve, north of Kinns Road, May 29, 2014.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Guided Walks in Nature Preserves on May 17, 2014

Celebrate Open Space & Nature Day!

The Town of Clifton Park and the Open Space, Trails & Riverfront Committee is hosting an inaugural Celebration of Open Space & Nature Day by offering guided, one-hour-long, nature walks at eight locations, at 10 to 11 a.m., and later the same day, from 2 to 3 p.m.  These walks offer a great opportunity to get to know a nearby park or nature preserve that you may not have visited before.

These family-friendly walks will be held at: Ushers Road State Forest, North Woods Nature Preserve, Kinns Road Park, Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve, Veterans Memorial Park & Mooney Carrese Forest, Garnsey Park, Mohawk Landing Nature Preserve and Vischer Ferry Nature & Historic Preserve.

A mid-day community celebration and open house will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Historic Grooms Tavern, at the Grooms Road intersection with Sugar Hill Road.  Community groups such as the Friends of Grooms Tavern, Friends of Clifton Park Open Space, Saratoga P.L.A.N. and the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition will be joining the Town of Clifton Park Open Space, Trails & Riverfront Committee with special displays and exhibits that day.  Light refreshments, hot dogs and hamburgers, and trail mix snacks will be available.

Town officials will make a brief presentation about the Open Space Program at 12:30 p.m., also at Historic Grooms Tavern. 

All are welcome to participate in the day's activities.

Members of the Open Space, Trails & Riverfront Committee and additional volunteers from the community will be helping to lead the walks, and be present at the open house. 

For more information visit the Town website at or call 518-371-6054.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Spring at Garnsey Park

Spring is really starting to show at Garnsey Park. The birds are loud and the leaves are starting to pop out on some of the trees. I was very happy to see a pair of bluebirds flying around the park. Last year I installed 5 bluebird houses, and I am happy to see that they are getting used.
 Bluebird houses
 Leaves popping on the trees
 Another bluebird