Monday, November 13, 2017

DEVIL'S WALKING STICK (= HERCULES' CLUB)


DEVIL’S WALKING STICK (= HERCULES’ CLUB) IN NORTH NORWICH

Donald A. Windsor

Devil’s Walking Stick, also known as Hercules’ Club (Aralia spinosa), was found by Pete Bida on Thursday afternoon 9 November 2017 on our Bullthistle hike in the Whaupaunaucau State Forest in North Norwich, growing in a small grove along Trail 13. This member of the Araliacae (Ginseng) Family is native to southern New York State, down to Florida and west to Texas (Symonds).

It has been reported as vouchered (specimens in herbarium collection) from 11 counties in NYS on the New York Flora Association website. The closest are Delaware, Madison, and Oneida.


It grows as a tree or shrub and can attain a height of 35 feet. It is sold for horticultural purposes and the ones Pete found may be escapes.

Now that I have seen this plant I will be more alert for it in the future.

The flower display can be very impressive, as per a photo in Leopold’s book. It blooms in August, so I look forward to seeing it then.

Petrides lists (page 197) a close relative called “Devil’s Club” but in a separate genus and species, Oplopanax horridus, a northwestern plant with simple leaves and slender thorns. The leaf that Pete is holdinging the above photo has doubly compound leaves.

References consulted:

Leopold, Donald J. Aralia spinosa. In: Native Plants of the Northeast. Portland, OR: Timber Press. 2005. Pages 216-217.

New York Flora Association (NYFA) www.nyflora.org

Petrides, George A. Aralia spinosa Hercules-Club. In: A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. 1972. Pages 128, 152-153.

Symonds, George W.D. ; Merwin, A.W. Hercules’ Club. In: The Shrub Identification Book. New York, NY: William Morrow & Co. 1963. Main Plates 92-94, Pages 258-260.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

BIGFOOT HAS A FAMILY!


BIGFOOT NOW HAS A FAMILY!

Donald A. Windsor

A male Bigfoot was spotted this spring in Plymouth. This photo was taken by me on 30 April 2017.



Now, just a week or so ago, his wife and child were spotted in Preston. This photo was snapped by Dave Harvey, who also told me about Mr. Bigfoot.



Apparently, they seem to enjoy Chenango County.

Exact locations of these sightings are not being disclosed because we want to protect the security of the Bigfoot family.

Authentication of the sightings remains elusive. However, here is a hint. If the videos were viewed, they would resemble the still photos.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

SLUGS AS CARNIVORES


SLUGS AS CARNIVORES

Donald A. Windsor

As you watch slugs voraciously devour your garden plants, you probably regard them as herbivores. However, they do have a carnivorous side.

Slugs in the species Limax marginata are occasionally seen feasting on road-killed frogs and toads. On our Bullthistle hike Sunday morning 3 September 2017, we encountered this fest of slugs dining on a road-killed Red Eft (larval stage of the Red-spotted Newt).



The photo was snapped by Maryann Weiss on the Truck Trail through the Whaupaunaucau State Forest in North Norwich.

I have heard of using beer to attract slugs, but perhaps road-kill might work better.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

CHENANGO COUNTY HAS 7 HILLS ABOVE 2000 FEET


CHENANGO COUNTY HAS 7 HILLS ABOVE 2000 FEET

Donald A. Windsor

I knew that Chenango County has 6 hills above 2000 feet: 3 in Afton, 2 in Pharsalia, and 1 in Otselic (1).

However, there are 7. In mid August, 2017, I found one that I had missed.

This “new” one is in Pharsalia, east southeast of the southern sharp bend in Beardsley Road and west of County Road 42. It is on private property just east of the Perkins Pond State Forest.

High points are found by closely examining the United States Geological Survey topographic maps. I missed the 7th point because of the “1980” printed on the 1980 contour line. The 2000 contour line is too small to have its own printed designation.

So, now it is clear; we have 7 hills in Chenango County above 2000 feet. The highest is in Afton with over 2040 feet (2). Actually, there are two points over 2040 feet, but they are close together on the same hill. Thus, to be even more clear, we have 7 hills over 2000 feet, but have 8 points over 2000 feet.

To put it into perspective, all of the five counties surrounding Chenango (Madison, Otsego, Delaware, Broome, and Cortland) also have hills over 2000 feet.

Reference cited:

1. Windsor, Donald A. Souvenirs of Yesteryear. Exploring Chenango County, New York. Norwich, NY: Self published. 2008. Volume 4, pages 28-29.

2. Windsor, Donald A. The highest point in Chenango County. In: Souvenirs of Yesteryear. Exploring Chenango County, New York. Norwich, NY: Self published. 2008. Volume 1, pages 56-57. 

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

BIGFOOT IN CHENANGO COUNTY



BIGFOOT IN CHENANGO COUNTY

Donald A. Windsor

He had to arrive here sooner or later. The photo below was taken south of the Plymouth Reservoir, from the Truck Trail, where it crosses the Perrytown Creek.



It certainly looks authentic, but the giveaway is that Bigfoot does not move.

Bigfoot is really a plywood cutout, mounted on Elmer Harris Road. The man who put it there appears in the photo below.






I took both these photos on Sunday morning 30 April 2017. For more information, see our Bullthistle Hikers Group site on Yahoo.com .

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

NEW JERSEY SCUMBAG



Donald A. Windsor

The unusual message on the sign in this photo has become a local landmark.



A nasty grudge has apparently been going on for 9 years. When the first sign appeared on Stewart Road in Pharsalia I snickered and then ignored it. But it seems to have grown from a small, crudely painted one to the neatly lettered one in the photo. Taken on our Bullthistle hike on Sunday 15 January 2017.

A Google search for “New Jersey Scumbag” turned up nothing. Perhaps my Blogspot posting here will bring one.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

EXPLORING CHENANGO COUNTY BY HIKING - JULY-DECEMBER 2016


EXPLORING CHENANGO COUNTY BY HIKING – JULY - DECEMBER 2016

Donald A. Windsor

We explored 15 towns in the last half of 2016, covering a total of 147 miles. 



The best way to explore Chenango County is to walk it. I lead hikes every Sunday morning, year around, for the Bullthistle Hiking Club and report them on our Yahoo group site. Here is a summary of my reports for July - December 2016. FLT = Finger Lakes Trail.

In the last 6 months of 2016 I led 26 hikes in Chenango County. We were in 15 towns. Some hikes were in two or more towns. I prefer hiking in the woods, so we tend to go to towns where state forests are located. For more information about our hikes visit http://www.bullthistlehiking.org/

Town
Hikes
Miles
Hikers




Columbus
7 Aug = Baker State Forest
5.0
9
German
24 Jul = Buddhist Temple
6.0
8
Lincklaen
4 Sep = Upham & Hyer roads, Lincklaen
State Forest
9 Oct = Joe Road loop, Lincklaen State
Forest

7.4

6.2

6

7
McDonough
17 Jul = McDonough State Forest around
Bowman Lake area
25 Dec = FLT loop Berry Hill south
5.3

5.2
8

5
New Berlin
31 Jul = Hunts Pond State Forest
27 Nov = Button Hollow loop
4.0
6.5
3
5
North Norwich
6 Nov = Whaupaunaucau State Forest
6.3
8
Norwich
20 Nov = Greenway
4 Dec = Ravine roads loop
18 Dec = Greenway
5.7
5.6
2.5
2
7
1
Otselic
10 Jul = Plank Road
18 Sep = FLT, Bucks Brook State Forest
2 Oct = Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area
5.5
6.0
7.7
8
7
8
Oxford
30 Oct = Grog Hollow, Wiley Brook State
Forest

5.1

6
Pharsalia
10 Jul = Plank Road loop
2 Oct = Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area
23 Oct = Camp Pharsalia loop
5.5
7.7
5.1
8
8
6
Pitcher
21 Aug = Pitcher Springs State Forest
5.9
8
Preston
16 Oct = Loop southeast of Bowman Lake
up Griffin Road
11 Dec = Pryde Park loop

6.3
6.3

6
7
Sherburne
11 Sep = Hunts Mountain
5.0
9
Smithville
3 Jul = Ludlow Creek stone piles
24 Jul = Buddhist Temple
28 Aug = Genegantslet State Forest
25 Sep = Genegantslet State Forest
13 Nov = Long Pond State Forest
5.5
6.0
7.2
4.0
5.3
6
8
6
9
6
Smyrna
14 Aug = Beaver Meadow State Forest
6.8
4

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