Every year, Claudia and Conrad Vispo from the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program, invite the community to join them in welcoming spring during leisurely nature walks at different locations throughout Columbia County. Participants learn to recognize the common and not so common native spring flowers of different habitats and at different stages of their development, hear about their ecology and lore, observe their insect visitors. All ages are welcome. The walks are free, but space is limited. Please register with Claudia Knab-Vispo (email@example.com or 518-672-7994) to reserve your space and receive directions.
This year's walks offer the opportunity to explore the spring flowers in dry oak forest on a high shore and clay bluff overlooking the Hudson River, in the black locust forest that has sprung up around the ruins of an ice house, and in a moister sugar maple forest at the edge of the tidal marsh at Nutten Hook in Stuyvesant (Friday, April 7, 3-5:30pm); in old fields, post-agricultural forests, and ancient woodlots at the Quaker Intentional Community in Canaan, (Friday, April 14: 3-5:30pm, this walk is co-sponsored by the Quaker Intentional Community, who invites you to stay for a community potluck after the walk); in an ancient floodplain forest along Kinderhook Creek on private land in Chatham (Sunday, April 23, noon-2:30pm); at the base of Phudd Hill at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent (Saturday, May 6, 8:30-10:30am, plan to stay after the walk and watch the students of Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School dance around the may pole); in a post-agricultural floodplain forest along Roeliff Jansen Creek on private land in Ancram (Friday, May 12, 3-5pm, this walk is co-sponsored by the RoeJan Watershed Group); around the limestone outcrops at the shore of No-Bottom-Pond, Beebe Hill State Forest in Austerlitz (Saturday, May 13, 10am-1pm); and in the dry oak forest and oak-heath barrens around Sunset Rock in Taconic State Park, Copake (Saturday, May 20, 10am-1pm).