Friday, September 5, 2014

Up the creek with good company

In the town of Milton in Saratoga County, NY, there is a 100 acre parcel of land which has been made into the Boice Family Park. Volunteers from conservation groups like “Friends of the Kayaderosseras” and local scouts have created a 3 mile network of blazed trails along Kayaderosseras Creek.

As I did yesterday, I have walked there before with the Thursday Naturalists. There was also a great force of town employees there yesterday, mowing, weed-whacking, and clearing brush, but that didn't interfere with our walk.

On this visit, we walked upstream, which is a more forested trail. When one walks with skilled naturalists, there is always much to see and learn.

I didn't take as many notes and photos this time. I felt more like just walking quietly, listening to the creek gurgle, noticing small things like tiny mushrooms and caterpillars.

I know almost nothing about fungi, so I can't tell you the name of the mushroom pictured above. But the other photos show closed gentians (blue), pale leaf sunflower, partridgeberry, and white snakeroot.

After each week's outing someone, usually Ed Miller, emails out field notes about what we saw that day.  I have pasted Ed's notes from yesterday, below.

Ed will be 90 next month. He has just finished writing a small book about ferns native to New York State, to be illustrated with photos by his friend Nan. Ed is an active volunteer at the Landis Arboretum. His book will be available soon both through the Arboretum and through ECOS in Niskayuna, as well as electronically.

Ed told me yesterday that he has just ordered his season pass for skiing in Vermont this coming winter.

I can't tell you how much I admire this man. Ed is as bright-eyed and spry as many people half his age. He loves life, loves learning new things, loves to share his knowledge of the natural world. Ed has an easy chuckle; I've never seen him grumpy. He is a good raconteur.

Ed told me that he hopes  the group will do the Thursday walk nearest his birthday at the Landis Arboretum.

"Maybe we will have a cake or something," Ed said hopefully.

I think that could be arranged.


Ed Miller's Field Notes Boice Preserve Sept 4, 2014 TN  
In bloom;  white snakeroot, silverod, blue stem GR,  canada goldenrod, zig zag GR, grass lvd GR, Wood, Lowries, calico, heart leaf asters , pale leaf sunfloer, jump seed,  closed gentian, cardinel flr, dog violet, agrimony, lettuce (prenanthus), joe-pye-weed, steeple bush, a bidens, 

In fruit, Horse balm (Collinsonia), sweet fern, enchanters nightshade (on  my socks)

Ferns NY. lady, ostrich, sensetive, interupted, intermediate, Christmass, ostrich, cinnamon, oak, hay scented, royal, maiden-hair,  Lycopodium complanatum, (ground cedar)

Grasses Long awned wood grass, Deer tongue
Roadside weeds QAL, Heal all,  

Comments We did the upstream segment of the red trail. We saw fewer plants in bloom or fruit than last years walk about the same date when we went downstream. But we saw more fern species today. We saw some interesting fungi, coral, russela, toothed (one that otherwise  looks like old man of woods, a jelly tooth, a pretty puffball

[My notes regarding the above: GR =goldenrod, QAL = Queen Anne's lace, TN = Thursday Naturalists.]