Poison Ivy Quiz | The Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac Site

Learn to identify poison ivy in a fun way at: Poison Ivy Quiz

Click yellow buttons under each photo to see the answers. It’s not really a quiz … it doesn’t keep score.  But it’s a great educational exercise, even for people who can already spot poison ivy.

Early May Late Day in the Woods

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What is it about a situation like this that seems to
put something like vacuum pressure on the soul?

The situation, the experience, the moment, not the picture.  The picture is a good reminder of what it was like, but as pictures go, it’s just an interesting snapshot of an arboreal skyscraper (I’ll keep the copyright just the same, thanks).  The picture is also a reminder to keep looking up for scenery too often missed.

Backed by a twilight sky and the moon, the beech tree showed up at roadside at the end of a late afternoon’s short hike in a massive new parcel of state land enveloping Ellenburg Mountain in Ellenburg, NY.

Below are a few other things entertaining me that day in the woods, where boredom is impossible, mood problems go into remission, and from which bio-psycho-social health benefits continue into the future.  Yes, there are social health benefits even if you’re out there alone.  Think about it.

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Coming Home on a Forest Ghost Road

Coming-Home-coverpageIf you love the land, especially if you have family roots in a special place, read this heartwarming little article, Coming Home to Jadwin Forest by Gary Brown in the October 2013 issue of the New York State Conservationist, a magazine I enjoy and highly recommend.     Continue reading

Rivers

Like addicts, in our weakness for the allure of rivers we risk everything to live on their banks.

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Photo 1: At the first official campsite created in the Saranac River Public Use Area of the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement, Goldsmith, NY

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A Short Hike at Debar Pond in Duane, NY

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Debar Pond, a public natural resource in Duane, NY

Each phase of nature, while not invisible, is yet not too distinct and obtrusive. It is there to be found when we look for it, but not demanding our attention. It is like a silent but sympathizing companion in whose company we retain most of the advantages of solitude … –Henry David Thoreau, Journal, November 8, 1858

Warning: this article is 3,200 words; not a bloggism; a blogASM.
I warned you.  Now enjoy.

As the beautiful old song from The Sound of Music says:  “Climb every mountain / ford every stream / follow every rainbow / ’til you find your” swamp.

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Moose Scat

Now this is what I’m talking about, when it comes to really good scat identification technique.

I’ve never seen one, but I hear there are some bobcats in our area.  But there are lots of things I’ve never seen, which is good, because there’s always something new.

As to scat flavor, I think I’d prefer vegetarian pellets, such as this moose scat I found during a hike on April 30, 2013, scattered in several piles within a five minute walk.  Either there was one very prolific pooper on the route, or a whole family.

These are large pellets, roughly half the size of a walnut.  A few of them would be a mouthful for anybody.  I wasn’t hungry enough.  (Click on any picture to get even more up close and personal with these darlings.)

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