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July 2019
July 2019

July 13, 2019

Geology at Kinderhook Creek Preserve (July 13, 2019 9:00 am - 12:00 pm)

Naturalist Series

Part of our Rensselaer Naturalist Series! Bill Kelly, retired New York State Geologist, will lead us on an approximately 1.5 mile walk to discuss the rocks and landforms of the Preserve, which is located on an outlier of the Rensselaer Plateau.  He will outline the geologic history of the Taconic Mountains and how the rocks of the Preserve fit into that history.    We will walk on trails that are in part quite steep so good boots with non-slip soles are important. 

Meet at the parking lot of the Kinderhook Creek Preserve in East Nassau.

Register in advance here. Questions? Contact David Gaskell at gaskell@nycap.rr.com.Suggested donation of $5.

Resources for this outing are listed below and can also be found here along with learning goals.

Resources:

The Rensselaer Grit Plateau in New York by T. Nelson Dale

The Rise and Fall of the Taconic Mountains: a geological history of eastern New York by Donald Fisher

 

Taconic Crest Trail in One Year (July 13, 2019 9:00 am - 10:00 am)

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Southeast Hollow to Mattison Hollow in Cherry Plain, 7.2 miles.

Leader: Martha Waldman 

A scenic ascent up Southeast Hollow along a woodland stream to the Crest Trail, then ups and downs along the ridge of Misery Mountain, and ending with a steep descent to Mattison Hollow and its waterfalls and streams. This is a strenuous hike with 1500 feet of elevation gain in a couple miles, and another four shorter ascents along Misery Mountain. You must register in advance.

 


Sponsored by RLT, RPA and Taconic Hiking Club

 

We will hike the entire 37 miles of the Taconic Crest Trail over the course of the year in six separate trips. This beautiful ridge-top trail winds through New York, Massachusetts, and a corner of Vermont, from North Petersburg to near New Lebanon, passing by the renowned Snow Hole and over Rensselaer County’s highest peak. With about 7000 feet of both cumulative ascent and cumulative descent, views include the Little Hoosick Valley and Mount Greylock. Join us for one, some or all of the sections. Those who complete the entire trail (with us and/or on their own), can receive a patch from the Taconic Hiking Club.

All hikes have long steep uphill and/or downhill sections over rocky ground. Wear boots or sturdy shoes. Bring lunch, snacks and plenty of water. Prepare for cool and windy conditions. 

All hikes start at 9 am. Free for members, $5 for non-members. Please register here.

Fifth Annual Water Chestnut Pull (July 13, 2019 9:00 am - 3:00 pm)

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Join us in our ongoing effort to keep the boat launch above the dam navigable.  Learn about invasive species first hand!  It is dirty and tiring work, but the path has been getting a bit easier every year.  Both boat based and land crew needed. 

Register online in advance here to receive free lunch.

Date:  Saturday July 13, 9 to 3 Rain or Shine

Location:  Johnsonville, NY

Time:  9-4 – but partial day commitments are also welcome

Place:  Boat Launch on Hoosic River just above the Johnsonville Dam – on River Road.  Those bringing boats should come to the Boat Launch to unload/load, but then may need to move their cars to the Johnsonville Fire station for overflow parking, depending on turnout.  Food and bathrooms will be available at the Fire House about a quarter nil from the launch all day.

Job Description: Hand pull, collect, and prepare for disposal the invasive water chestnut plant that is choking the boat launch. There will be three crews working in tandem – boats, waders/shallows, and shore.  Each crew requires different equipment and skills.

The boat-based crew is asked to supply their own canoe/kayak/rowboat, and life jacket, although there will be a few extra boats and life jackets available and a need for “barge crews”. Hand pulled weeds will be placed into collection baskets and passed to either the shallow water crew or to rowboats/large canoes acting as “barges”.  This task is the most physically demanding, and where the most volunteers are needed.

A limited number of waders will be available for the use of the shallow water crew – those who have their own should bring them.  The seeds of this invasive have sharp thorns and good soles are highly recommended.  The shallow water crew will collect baskets from the boat-based crew to pass to the shore crew (and pass empties back to be refilled), as well as pull shallow weeds.  Youths under age 16 will be required to wear life jackets for this activity.

Shore crew requires footwear with good soles.  Full baskets will be dumped in designated areas and empty ones conveyed to the shallow water/barge crew.

All should wear weather appropriate clothing and expect to get wet and dirty.

Water, lunch, and snacks will be provided to all volunteers.  Any specific dietary needs should be conveyed at registration.  Nitrile gloves, collection baskets, and a boat washing station to prevent the spread of invasive species will be provided.  The job requires average to good fitness and a pleasant disposition.

Starting time is 9AM with check-in and crew assignment, and setting the line for the path clearing.  Partial day commitments are welcome.  This is a big (and multi-year) job.  We have a modest goal of clearing a path to the shore.  We want to know the name of every individual that participates so that we can properly acknowledge and thank them, so registration in advance is strongly encouraged.

Contact/Register:  Kristina Younger, kristinayoungerRLT@gmail.com(preferred) or 518-527-6577.

July 14, 2019

Ferns and Mosses and Lichens at Poestenkill Community Forest (July 14, 2019 10:00 am - 1:00 pm)

Naturalist Series

Part of our Rensselaer Naturalist Series co-sponsored by Rensselaer Land Trust and Rensselaer Plateau Alliance! All are welcome to attend. A carpet of ferns on the forest floor, a blanket of moss on a boulder – among the prettiest sights in the outdoors. Learn the common ferns of the Rensselaer Plateau, and a few mosses, lichens, and ground pines. The non-flowering plants that carpet the forest floor. Tom Phillips, expert bryologist, will lead us through the varied habitats of the Community Forest and show us the diversity of fascinating and beautiful plants. Bring a magnifying loop if you have one.

Meet at the parking lot of the Poestenkill Community Forest in East Poestenkill.

Register in advanceQuestions? Contact Tom Phillips at mossvet@nycap.rr.com. Suggested donation of $5.

Resources for this outing are listed below and can also be found here along with learning goals.

Resources:  Fern Finder: A guide to Native Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America by Hallowell & Hallowell Nature Study Guild Rochester NY.

Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians by McKnight et al, Princeton University Press 

 Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts a Field Guide to Common Bryophytes of the Northeast by Ralph Pope, Comstock Publishing Associates a division of Cornell University Press

 

July 20, 2019

Taconic Crest Trail in One Year (July 20, 2019 9:00 am - 10:00 am)

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Petersbrug Pass to Berlin Mountain and on to Southeast Hollow in Berlin, 7.3 miles.

Due to an extreme heat warning we are cancelling this leg of the TCT hike series. We are working on finding a date to replace this one, likely in September, same meeting place and schedule. 

Leader: Peter Wood

Starting at Petersburg Pass and going south this time, the trail has some steep ascents on the way to the summit of Berlin Mountain, at 2,818 feet New York’s tallest peak outside of the Adirondacks and Catskills. Then through an uncommon spruce-fir forest and over some minor summits, and down Southeast Hollow. 

We will hike the entire 37 miles of the Taconic Crest Trail over the course of the year in six separate trips. This beautiful ridge-top trail winds through New York, Massachusetts, and a corner of Vermont, from North Petersburg to near New Lebanon, passing by the renowned Snow Hole and over Rensselaer County’s highest peak. With about 7000 feet of both cumulative ascent and cumulative descent, views include the Little Hoosick Valley and Mount Greylock. Join us for one, some or all of the sections. Those who complete the entire trail (with us and/or on their own), can receive a patch from the Taconic Hiking Club.

All hikes have long steep uphill and/or downhill sections over rocky ground. Wear boots or sturdy shoes. Bring lunch, snacks and plenty of water. Prepare for cool and windy conditions. 

All hikes start at 9 am. Free for members, $5 for non-members. Please register here.

 

Peatlands and Bogs (July 20, 2019 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm)

Naturalist Series

Part of our Rensselaer Naturalist Series! Bogs and other peatlands are very unusual habitats, with plants that grow nowhere else. Ecologist Dr. David Hunt will show us the plants living here, including insect-eating pitcher plants and sundews, and tell us how peatlands form and work. Wear footwear you can get very wet.

Site to be announced.

Register in advance here. Questions? Contact Fran Egbert at fran.egbert@gmail.com.   Suggested donation of $5.

Part of our Rensselaer Naturalist Series co-sponsored by Rensselaer Land Trust and Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. All are welcome to attend..

Some extra resources for this outing can be found below. Further resources and learning objectives can be found here.

Bogs and Fens. A Guide to the Peatland Plants of the Northeastern United State and Adjacent Canada. Davis, Ronald B. 2016. University Press of New England.

This is a nice introduction to the ecology of bogs and fens and information about 98 of the plants that live there.

Bogs of the Northeast. Johnson, Charles W. 1985. University Press of New England.

A very detailed and fascinating natural history of sphagnum bogs. Very useful to those who plan to or have explored this habitat.

July 27, 2019

Clearwater Sail 8:45am-12pm (July 27, 2019 8:45 am - 12:00 pm)

2011 10 18 14 45 54 659

 

Clearwater sails rain or shine, and so will we!

Departing from Riverfront Park

Please arrive no later than 8:45 am.

Join us aboard an authentic working Tall Ship – the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. This three-hour sail on the beautiful Hudson River will include dockside orientation before departure, Clearwater's history, wildlife observation, education, even a chance at steering the ship. Music by the crew and sing-a-longs. Refreshments available at the dock.
Clearwater is a 106 foot long wooden sailboat, with one 108 foot tall mast. In the 1800's such boats were a common sight on the Hudson and Long Island Sound; now, ships like Clearwater are a rare sight.

This is a benefit for the Rensselaer Land Trust and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
Limited 50 tickets, $150/pp.


Purchase your tickets HERE.

You will help to sail her: raising the mainsail and taking a turn at her tiller. The best way to ensure that your sail is enjoyable is to be prepared for what you'll encounter on a real, working tall ship.

There is also an Afternoon Sail 1:45 - 5.


What to Wear:
Clearwater sails rain or shine with the exception of severe weather, so be sure to check the forecast and dress accordingly.
If there's even a small chance of rain, bring rain gear.
If it's cold wear clothing in layers, with a warm coat, sweater, long pants, scarf, and hat.
If the day is warm, bring a light jacket or windbreaker; it's often colder on the water than on land.
If it's sunny, a brimmed hat, high SPF sunscreen, and sunglasses should be worn.
Wear flat, soft-soled shoes. No clogs, flip flops or high heels should be worn onboard.
In any weather, make sure you wear clothing you can easily move around in and don't mind getting dirty.

What to Bring:
Hydration is extremely important while sailing; we strongly suggest bringing a re-useable water bottle.
You will not eat lunch onboard, but are welcome to bring a snack.
If you'd like to bring a camera, you may. It is important to always be aware of what is going on around you and note that there are appropriate times to take photos.

What NOT to Bring:
We encourage you to leave the following items at home:
For the safety of you and your devices, cell phones, iPods, portable music devices, and tablets should not be taken onboard. They are easily broken and can be distracting.
Headphones prevent passengers from hearing important information or directions from the captain and crew.
Backpacks can be bulky and often get in the way.

Bathrooms:
Many of the docks have facilities available on site and you are encouraged to use them before boarding the boat. Clearwater's head, or boat toilet, is rustic; more like an outhouse than a bathroom. There is a barrel of wash water for hand washing on deck.

Safety:
You are in good hands when onboard! Clearwater's professional crew has been selected to combine the talents of a competent sailing team with those of a trained education staff. It is important to listen closely to the captain, crew and to your teachers, and to always follow the basic safety rules outlined at the beginning of your sail.
For answers to other frequently asked questions visit us at www.Clearwater.org

Clearwater Sail 1:45pm-5pm (July 27, 2019 1:45 pm - 5:00 pm)

2011 10 18 14 45 54 659

 

Clearwater sails rain or shine, and so will we!

Departing from Riverfront Park

Please arrive no later than 1:45 pm.

Join us aboard an authentic working Tall Ship – the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. This three-hour sail on the beautiful Hudson River will include dockside orientation before departure, Clearwater's history, wildlife observation, education, even a chance at steering the ship. Music by the crew and sing-a-longs. Refreshments available at the dock.
Clearwater is a 106 foot long wooden sailboat, with one 108 foot tall mast. In the 1800's such boats were a common sight on the Hudson and Long Island Sound; now, ships like Clearwater are a rare sight.

This is a benefit for the Rensselaer Land Trust and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
Limited 50 tickets, $150/pp.


Purchase your tickets HERE.

You will help to sail her: raising the mainsail and taking a turn at her tiller. The best way to ensure that your sail is enjoyable is to be prepared for what you'll encounter on a real, working tall ship.

There is also a Morning Sail from 8:45-12.


What to Wear:
Clearwater sails rain or shine with the exception of severe weather, so be sure to check the forecast and dress accordingly.
If there's even a small chance of rain, bring rain gear.
If it's cold wear clothing in layers, with a warm coat, sweater, long pants, scarf, and hat.
If the day is warm, bring a light jacket or windbreaker; it's often colder on the water than on land.
If it's sunny, a brimmed hat, high SPF sunscreen, and sunglasses should be worn.
Wear flat, soft-soled shoes. No clogs, flip flops or high heels should be worn onboard.
In any weather, make sure you wear clothing you can easily move around in and don't mind getting dirty.

What to Bring:
Hydration is extremely important while sailing; we strongly suggest bringing a re-useable water bottle.
You will not eat lunch onboard, but are welcome to bring a snack.
If you'd like to bring a camera, you may. It is important to always be aware of what is going on around you and note that there are appropriate times to take photos.

What NOT to Bring:
We encourage you to leave the following items at home:
For the safety of you and your devices, cell phones, iPods, portable music devices, and tablets should not be taken onboard. They are easily broken and can be distracting.
Headphones prevent passengers from hearing important information or directions from the captain and crew.
Backpacks can be bulky and often get in the way.

Bathrooms:
Many of the docks have facilities available on site and you are encouraged to use them before boarding the boat. Clearwater's head, or boat toilet, is rustic; more like an outhouse than a bathroom. There is a barrel of wash water for hand washing on deck.

Safety:
You are in good hands when onboard! Clearwater's professional crew has been selected to combine the talents of a competent sailing team with those of a trained education staff. It is important to listen closely to the captain, crew and to your teachers, and to always follow the basic safety rules outlined at the beginning of your sail.
For answers to other frequently asked questions visit us at www.Clearwater.org

Invasive Species/Peatland Restoration workday at Wyomanock Center for Sustainability (July 27, 2019 9:00 am - 3:00 pm)

Naturalist Series

Help restore the largest and best example of a calcareous peatland in Rensselaer County. The Wyomanock Center is hosting a volunteer "restoration workday" led by Dr. David Hunt. Following a presentation on the ecological significance of the site, the threats posed by invasive species, and how to identify the target invasives, participants will remove as many of the invasive plants as possible from this special wetland. Wear footwear for wet habitats and bring work gloves. Lunch provided.

Meet at the Wyomanock Center for Sustainable Living; park at the dirt parking area on the north side of Wyomanock Road, about .5 mile west of NY Route 22 in Stephentown.

Register online and for questions, contact David Hunt at 518-279-4124. No charge.

Event can be used as credit toward becoming a Rensselaer Naturalist.

Resources for this outing are listed below and can also be found here along with learning goals.

Invasive Species

Identification Guides

Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species. 2nd edition. 2013. Kaufman and Kaufman.
Species Profiles at NY Invasives Species Information
Identification Resources at iMapInvasives
Identification Guides at Capital Mohawk PRISM 
Finger Lakes Invasive Species Field Guide 

Information about Invasive Species

Capital Mohawk PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management)
Invasive & Nuisance Species (Cornell Cooperative Extension Columbia and Greene Counties)
iMapInvasives New York
New York Invasive Species Research Institute including Best Management Practice Guides
NY Invasives Species Information
Online Guide to Aquatic Invasive Species in Northeastern North America

 

 

 

July 28, 2019

Connecting Children to Nature: Botanical Sun-prints (July 28, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am)

Ferns, flowers, sedges, and more! Capture some of summer's fleeting beauty with photographer Kate Lovering, using the sun and the photographic method of cyanotype. Open to all ages: young children should be accompanied by adults.

Location: 1166 Bower Road, Sand Lake, NY 12153 (Kate will send directions in advance of the program.)

Contact Kate Lovering at lovering.katherine@gmail.com (Rain date Saturday August 4, 10am).

Click HERE to register.

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