Category Archives: Nature Study

Fall Foliage Family Nature Hike

Saturday October 3, 10 am-12 p.m

Join Naturalist Tom Estill as we explore the natural history of Pine Hill Park at the height of the fall foliage season. This easy-moderate hike is designed for hikers of all ages. There will be lots of opportunities to take photos of our spectacular fall foliage and an opportunity to see Muddy Pond covered with hundreds of migrating waterfowl. Bring binoculars, something to drink, and a small snack. FREE

Plant of the day…

…or maybe plant of the month is a better title.

If you visit the park in the next few days or weeks there is one plant you will not miss, even if you try! And that plant is the Canada-mayflower, also called false lily-of-the-valley.

I shot these on a run up Sisyphus this afternoon and thought I’d pass ’em along. They’re not in bloom yet, but just the sight of all that green finally covering the forest floor will make you smile.

They will bloom in couple weeks with a cluster of white feathery flowers that will eventually turn into red berries, which are a very important source of food for birds in the park.

Yep, they’re common as heck‚ÄĒbut their timing is impeccable in my opinion ūüôā

More info:

Warblers are Here !

Spring in the park is so awesome.

Just at the time we are all back biking and running and hiking, back come all the birds and other furry critters to say “hi” for the new season.

This is a few days old, but I recorded this on my¬†Sunday a.m. (5/3) run on Stegosaurus. For those of you curious about some of the sounds from the trees you are hearing when you’re in the park, I thought ¬†this might be interesting. (Unedited 30 second clip recorded with my phone:)

Back for 2015 are:

  • Black-throated blue¬†warbler (2 sec mark)
  • Black & White Warbler,¬†aka “the squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease bird (8 sec. mark)
  • Ovenbird singing its unmistakable “teacher, teacher,teacher!” (15 sec mark) You’ll be hearing that one ALL summer long!
  • Black-throated¬†blue¬†warbler again (17sec mark)
  • Black & White Warbler¬†again (20 sec mark)
  • Black-throated¬†blue¬†warbler again (29 sec mark)

In the background for most of the clip are very faint Chickadee “fee-bee” songs… ¬†and my heavy breathing from just coming up the hill… sorry !

Here are some links to the birds mentioned above:

Black-throated Blue Warbler (photo above)

Black-and-white Warbler     blww

Ovenbird     Ovenbird_RWD

Black-capped Chickadee

Want to learn more? Come to the park this Saturday at 7:00am for a bird walk with naturalist Tom Estill.

Spring on the Carriage Trail

Conditions on the Carriage Trail as of April 17th are still pretty wet in spots. Good for frogs — but for bikes, not so much. Good news though, is that it looks to me like the work VYCC did last year in the wet areas is really helping to drain the trail faster.

View of low spot on the Power Line that crosses the Carriage Trail.
Low spot on the Power Line that crosses the Carriage Trail.