Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Nature Conservancy's: Limestone Rise.

We waited for the other members of our friends who failed once again to arrive at the Voorhees- ville Public Library until 3:00p.m.

Having surmised that we were on our own proceeded to Altamont via the Voorheesville/Altamont Road (Rte. 156) from Voorheesville. Taking route 146 west out of Altamont Village, we drove about 4.5 miles into Knox until we crossed route 252 (Knox Cave Road). A couple of hundred feet beyond route 252 on the right we came upon Nash Road. and the preserve sign:

After realizing that the supplied map on Page 126 of "Walks in Nature's Empire by Scott Edward Anderson." was slightly upside down to the way we were directed to the site along Route 146,

Map on Page 126 of
the Nature Conservancy's Guide Book.

we concluded that the reason we had missed it the last time we were seeking it out was also due to the fact that the entrance was fairly obscured. Were it not for the description of the landmarks at the entrance to the trail in the trail guidebook we could have driven past it more than the two times we had previously.

I have cropped the trail map and added numbers to a xerox copy with a ballpoint pen to indicate the locations of our photos:

On right hand side of the road was the described painted metal gate to a farm entrance:

Painted Metal Gate. (#1 on map)

On the left hand side of the road is the trail head. The Adventure-bIRD~ shows the way:

Limestone Rise trail head. (#2)

The trail head begins on a glacial ridge through second growth woodland, about 50 ft up the trail is the sign in box. (Please sign in and out on all your treks if possible. It may be the only indication that you are there to searchers if you should have have a mishap. Not all trails have up to date sign in sheets or pens/pencils to sign in with so we tend to bring our own. Volunteers are needed to keep these boxes supplied and we are thinking of making ourselves available to do so in the future.)

Adventure-bIRD~ signs us in. (#3)

The trail slowly descends to parallel a small wetland with open water and it is an easy leisurely walk. The wetland area is located along the right-hand side of route 146 and here are some of our best photos of the area. Adventure~bIRD tried his best to capture a photo of a Red Wing Blackbird but was unsuccessful in doing so. He did however get some wonderfully green saturated shots of Cat-tails:

The word green is closely related
to the Old English verb
growan, “to grow”,
this should be in the dictionary
as part of that definition. (#4)
(I am currently using this as my Desktop background.)

This was my shot. Not as good as bIRD's. (#5)

The trail now takes a slow left turn and approaches the road where you will see this sign:

Obviously this is a left turn. (#6)

The road is on a curve and cars move along at quite a good clip so be careful here:

Where the trail crosses route 146 (#7)

The only real incline on this hike is here at the entrance to the the second part of the preserve on the other side of the road. It s only a few feet up the road on your right and fairly well blended into the surrounding plant life:

The incline at the entrance to the Limestone Habitat area. (#8-a)

As you climb the path into the woods you will notice off to the left the first limestone cliff face.

Limestone cliff face. (#9)

The path works around this the cliff face to the right and then up and over another another small one. Adventure bIRD did it with no problem and I followed thereafter:

The Limestone Rise onto the plateau where the large crevices begin. (#10)

As you ascend onto the Limestone there abounds many species of fern that thrive in the lime rich soil there:

One of the crevices with ferns about the edging. (11-a)




The Crevices in the Limestone are very impressive. If you bring children with you watch them closely as some are quite deep. They actually do break off in W-shaped angles as shown on the map. One can almost imagine the the earth shifting in some long ago time under your feet.

Moss abounds here and seems to cover everything stone and or fallen and organic.

These are some of the dozen or so types of ferns growing abundantly about the area:



This one I know by name: The Christmas fern. (11-g)

As we moved through the habitat from #11 to #12 we came across several interesting finds:

Adventure-bIRD~ found this Pipestem under some low growing fauna.

Here is my close-up.

As I stepped over a log I noticed this bright yellow cottage-cheese like Lichen:

A yellow Lichen on a moss covered log.

From Lichen to Fungus.
Alan took this picture of a Mushroom I found for him
that had just recently popped up from underneath the leaf bed.

We soon reached the stone wall at the boundary of the preserve where I shot these pics of fossil rich limestone used to build the stone field fence:

The Limestone field wall. (12-a)

Fossil leaden limestone. (12-b)

These rocks and their fossils formed during the Devonian period some 350 million years ago. They are similar to those found on the European continent and indicate a link in the geological history's of the two continents separated by the North Atlantic Ocean. Fossils, like many resources are not renewable and should be left where you find them for other's to enjoy as well.

We were getting a little sweaty and the mosquitoes had located us as a result so we decided to rest on a log that had fallen across the path as it looped back upon itself and headed back down the rise.

The log where we rested. (#13)

After our break we bushwhacked a bit looking for anything of interest to the camera. Adventure-bIRD~ found this Newt and snapped this pic of him crawling away.

CAUTION: Slow moving Newt Crossing! (14-a)

I popped this piece of Artist Fungus off of a fallen tree with the intent to bring it home and do some drawing in my "Spare" time. (...It now sits on my shelf and has already begun to collect dust...)

Artist Fungus exposed and resting on a moss covered log. (14-b)

We had been about it for an hour or more and the sky began to darken so we made our way down off of the rise and in the direction of the road:

The Road from the cliff edge (#15)

An interesting root formation on one of the cliffs (#16)

I hung back and took this shot of the exit/entrance slop on the way down and out towards the road:

Exit/entrance to upper habitat (#8-b)

We meandered up the road a bit and I took this picture of the Limestone cliff face from the road:

Limestone Cliff from the road (#17)

I then crossed the road because Adventure-bIRD thought he had seen what may well have been a duck but went undetermined. I tried again at a wetland shot from the other side of the guard- rail:

The wetland from the road.

We backtracked along the wetland path and back over the glacial ridge and through the second growth woodland to the car. Along the path I found yet another spices of fern:

Here it is against the Artist Fungus for contrast. (#18-1)

It was very delicate and grass like so thats probably why I missed it the first time through. After we signed out like good little hikers we reached trails end and took a satisfying, conversation filled ride back to Smith's Tavern just before a major storm blew through.

A quick note here: there were no maps at the trail head some come prepared with a guidebook if you can. Water and trail mix is as always advisable. Compass required if you plan on bushwhacking of just happen to loose the trail God forbid.

Adventure-bIRD~ makes tracks for the car. (18-2)

The Limestone Rise was donated to the Nature Conservancy by Earl and Jane Bucci in 1974 and 1979 and consists of 62 acres in the town of Knox, Albany County. That means this year will mark 30 years as a public trail.

Overall Geezer Difficulty Rating:

1 Geezer for the somewhat steep incline at the beginning of the upper part of the trail.


A note about the first two blogs on this site:

The first two blogs posted on this site were originally posted on my other site "Glebe Homie".

The title of the 2nd blog which is now untitled, was actually: "...I needed a medicinal Nature encounter..."


That having been said:

If you decide use HTML in Blogger, once you post you cannot with out long, frustrating, hair-pulling, hours upon hours of back-door end-run rewriting and reposting, corrections are almost imposable.

I tried when reposting these blogs to make corrections that I was unable to deal with when they were originally posted. Most real problems have been fixed. However some inconsistencies still exist and I apologize for this most humbly.

Believe me, I could fix them any better I would. For now, I feel that I have invested enough time and effort, so I now hereby surrender those mistakes and inconsistencies to the inertia of the transitory.




Casline if you are reading this I hope you took a shower as soon as you got home! I picked two tics off me before I made it to the shower, stripped down, bagged the clothes and scrubbed down.


I was feeling kinda down because of recent family "Stuff" so I E-mailed Alan Casline and asked him if he was interested in doing a short hike up in the Helderburg Mountains just south of here where I live.

I needed a Medicinal Nature Encounter.

So we went looking for a place we had passed by recently on the way to Christman's Preserve called Limestone Rise Preserve.


We ended up finding "Wolf Creek Falls Preserve" in Knox.

View Larger Map


A full scan of "Wolf Creek Preserve"
in case you wish to enlarge it in your Browser.

The Trail Map was kind of upside down to the way you enter The Preserve; but my Boy Scout orienteering kicked in and we quickly determined that although the Red Trail was not yet opened, we could still navigate around the closed areas by doing a stretch of road along 816 Bozenkill.


Enlarged and Cropped Map of Wolf Creek Preserve.
With our route and a legend for the photos.

Alan laid down on the first foot-bridge over the Wolf Creek so he could take his first photo of "Wolf Creek" for his Watershed Archives. He was doing a reclining pose when I looked up, but by the time I got the camera going I caught him standing back up. (even though it looks like he's falling down.)

The Mountain Goat bIRD gets up!
(#1 on the enlarged Map.)


We proceeded in a roundabout manner to the Bird Box. Nothing special, just a Bird box. I was more impressed with the looks of this tree at the opening in the stone wall.

Kinda Spooky Looking!
Reminds me of a Screaming Eagle....
(#2 on the enlarged Map.)

Alan played with the wall and made a Rock Person. I abstained as I realized that the rock formations were the result of years of gradual deterioration that I didn't want to disturb. It was interesting from the standpoint that the wall was originally built with shale and topped with a row of field stone. Almost "Natural Ornate" in its day.


Next we made our way to Bench 1. I must say here that I am not impressed with the placement of the benches in this Preserve. They are Urban in style and design, so they the look very much out of place. Also they do not present any real view, or point of interest. Its quiet, in the woods, but in a man made clearing, with little or no purpose than a resting spot for hikers unaccustomed to hiking, who need frequent rest stops. Not worth a picture.


We headed towards the Wetland to see if it provided any views. Allot of trees under a nice canopy but nothing to film. Pleasant dense new growth forestland.


Then we found what was perhaps the most interesting thing on the trail. A mysterious foundation that we determined to have been the ruins of a "Saw-Mill" (?) that was some how connected to the D&H Railroad line that runs along the lower part of Preserve. It appears that at some point the Creek must have been diverted to power the mill to assist in harvesting wood.

I was so interested in fact I neglected to take a picture! It is indicated as location #4 on the map.

We checked out the D&H line and the made our way back along the Red trail to the Creek.

It was wonderful!
Just what I needed to take my mind off of recent events.


After a pause to drink and admire the Creek I wondered up to Bench 2 and was of course unimpressed once again. At least this one faced a nice Ol' Tree that was pleasing to look at for a brief bit.


At this point we decided to "Bush-Whack" up the Creek bed. It was not for the unexperienced but it was magnificent!

"Wolf Creek Falls"
(#3 on the enlarged Map.)

It was worth the climb and the Hitch-hiking Ticks. Hopefully it will be added to the Trail System and it would make a good location for a Lean to similar to "Christman's Sanctuary".

The ride hope was quick and we ended up in Altamont about 5:30 p.m.

After a "Scrub-Down" and something to eat, all was right with the world again. I'm so glad I work for the Company I work for now. I needed some "My Time" to put me right so I can continue to be there for "My Family". They are ever on my mind and in my heart; but sometimes I need to climb a Creek Wall and forget about them for awhile so I can be me....


Vacation Correspondence:

(This is a reposting of the first "Helder-Hiking" Adventure as it was posted on "Glebe Homie" 16/July/07)

You know that little "automatic E-mail response thing" you get, when someone goes away, and you are still working, because you're not on vacation too?


I hate that, ...don't you?

Well, to all of you who did that to me, guess what....


("...he-he-he, yuk-yuk, snicker, snicker...")


...Poets correspond. The Weaver Poets of County Atrium and Down did it. If they weren't alive when a Poet they were influenced by lived, they eulogized them instead.

In America, in 1957, a year before I was born, Jack Spicer wrote letters to Lorca long after Lorca was moldy.

Alan, or perhaps it was Art, told me that Frost and Christman at least knew of each other, perhaps wrote to each other, and if I remember correctly, visited each other.

Poets gather in groups of like minded individuals to read and grow in their craft. We do that in the EOTNP Group. Some of our most memorable and inspiring times are in the Pub "after-words", and even then, we are corresponding with each other.

Poets need each other.

Poets correspond.

~ ~ ~

Today I went to the W.W. Christman Sanctuary with my kids for my our Summer Vacation. Now that they are older, and have "semi" lives of their own, we take our vacations where we can get them.

Devo signs us in at Christman Sanctuary 09:40 hours.

Last night, when I was having some trouble getting directions via the internet, which I eventually found through, Alan corresponded with me with a follow-up E-mail and sent me a link that said simply:

Which I promptly did. If you can't make this link for some reason paste it into your browser and check it out. It's kinda cool! This is a link to Letterboxing North America .org, and their Homepage states:

LETTERBOXING: is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels.

Basically, you treasure hunt, and collect impressions from rubber stamps, hidden in tupperware and plastic ziplock baggies somewhere along the hiking trail.

This is Devo and saraH, at a passway
in the field wall along the Orange trail loop.

These are the Stamps we collected today.

So, this is what my adult "kids" and I did for our Summer Vacation.

With my own special twist...

I wanted to correspond with Christman too....

Me mailing a letter to Christman...

~ ~ ~

My mom, famous for taking me and my brother Rich, about the countryside, to interesting places, once took me to do a grave-rubbing of Robert Frosts Grave. Gravestone rubbing was a burgeoning hobbie in those days... one of those "Time-Life" "fun things to do with your kids" type hobbies.

Little did I know, the corollary correspondences, that this would make in my life.

Last night I wrote this poem. Today I mailed it by stamping it and adding it to the Letterbox at Christman's.

Correspon' dances:

Mae Muther taen mae tae

Rabbie Frost's grave yin day

quhan A wus boot a ween

sae scho cud doo a rubbin

o hiz ain auld hiedstane

wi' charcoal ona paiper blacken

ana runnybabbits quher oot tae play


A taen mae bairns tae

Christman's Sanctuarie

Frae som clymin aroon

hiz hardscrabble muntin

ana jist hadda sae, Christman,

ye're ae goon naw, bot nae forgottin

ana runnybabbits quher oot tae play.

© obeedude16/july/07

Yeah, thats right!

Even the RunnieBabbits corresponded. They were the first thing we saw when we arrived at the trailhead. They were waiting for us! And somehow last night I knew they would be.

~ ~ ~

...We just got back. My feet are tired. I'm gonna take a nap like my adult "kids" are doing right now as I write this.

I can do this. I'm on Vacation.

...And we take our Vacations where we find them...