Charlie has spent many an hour logging bird and butterfly sightings in various locations in the FLNF and he’ll lead the group to some of the best spots for doing so. Oh, and we’ll see some plants, too! This will be a moderate walk on forest trails.Meet at the Ballard Pond parking area on Searsburg Road, West of T-burg at 10, or at CCE at 9 am to carpool.
If you ever get a chance to walk in the Finger Lakes National Forest with Charlie Smith, jump to be there! He has studied the FLNF for decades and can recite the history, and natural history of the land and "read" the history in the landscape.
We visited Ballard Pond, and then moved on to Teeter Pond. We went to see an isolated woodlot that is almost entirely hickories, rather unusual. It's within a pasture just West of Teeter Pond, so it's a grazed woodlot. There were shagbark and red hickories, and little else, and seemed to be the same age. Charlie and Robert Wesley suggested that it might be the result of selective logging to remove the more valuable oaks. The views were spectacular across the meadows into the Seneca valley, and the day was just perfect. A list of the birds and amphibians we saw is below, and the full plant list can be seen by clicking this link (plant list).
One spectacular plant was an 'old rose", "Harison's Yellow", blooming prolifically in an old house foundation. According to Robert, Harison's Yellow was bred in the 1800's (1830) by (George) Harison, a New York City rose fancier. It is thought to be the offspring of Rosa spinosissima x R. foetida. It is prized for its cold tolerance, and received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Also called the "Pioneer Rose", it traveled with settlers throughout the country. It is said to be the famous "Yellow Rose of Texas". (more on Harison's Yellow) Charlie says that several heritage roses are found at old homesteads in the National Forest.
Birds seen or heard on the walk:
Canada Geese & goslings
Great Blue Heron
Reptiles & Amphibians seen or heard:
Green frog (heard)
American toad (scrunched into the 'cave' of a deep horse footprint)
Butterflies and Odonates seen:
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Bluets (Enallagma spp.)