On September 8, 2021 after the morning trip with Linnaean NY to Rockefeller SP ended we went with our friend Kathleen to Croton Point to possibly see birds and eat lunch. There where so many bees we ate in the car. After a brief stop at the Echo Canoe launch we decided to drive to Cold Springs, New York for coffee. After that we drove up to Stonecrop Gardens nearby STONECROP GARDENS – 81 Stonecrop Lane – Cold Spring New York 10516. It is a drop-dead gorgeous garden and well worth a visit. The view from the hills of the Hudson Highlands is magnificent.
Stonecrop, opened in 1992, began as a private garden. In 1958, Garden Conservancy founder Frank Cabot and his wife, Anne, built their home on sixty hilltop acres of fields and woods outside Cold Spring, New York. The land was a gift from Anne’s grandmother, Evelina Ball Perkins (more history at the website).
On Wednesday, September 8, 2021, we went on a Linnaean NY field trip to Rockefeller State Park Preserve, thirty miles north of New York City. The preserve consists of forested hills and valleys surrounding pastoral fields. The property is the former Pocantico Hills and Rockwood Hall country estates of the John D. Rockefeller family and William Rockefeller. Since 1983, the Rockefellers have donated over 1771 acres to New York State to safeguard these lands for the future. Managed by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, the Preserve is open to the public year-round, sunrise to sunset.
The 45 miles of crushed stone carriage roads designed to complement the landscape where laid out by John D. Rockefeller Sr. and Jr. in the first half of the 20th century. Combinations of trails lead through varied landscapes and past natural and historical features, such as Swan Lake, the Pocantico River with its wood and stone bridges, streams, colonial stone walls, and rock outcroppings. Mapsare available to download and at the Preserve Office.
There are huge oak, tulip poplar, maple, and beech trees in the hardwood forest. Pileated and Red-headed Woodpeckers can be found deep in the woodlands. The forests, fields, streams, and wetlands support resident and migratory birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish and aquatic species, some of which are now uncommon in Westchester County. With 202 recorded species of birds the Preserve draws many birders. Environmental stewardship is underway to promote native biological diversity.
The Japanese Angelica is a food source for the migrating birds. This invasive species’ seeds are spread by the birds. We watched many birds feeding on the Angelica, such as Tennessee Warblers, Black-throated Blue Warblers, Northern Parula, Magnolia Warblers and more.
Rockwood Hall built between 1886 and 1922 has views of the Hudson River and Palisade Cliffs. William Rockefeller’s estate was 1000 acres with a 202-room mansion, a working farm, and a landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. While the house and buildings are now gone, massive rock walls around the site and extensive grassy fields with magnificent trees harken back to the heyday of the estate.
I haven’t been to Central Park in quite a while. We went there on Saturday, September 4 for a morning walk. It was so nice to see so many of my birding friends there. There wasn’t a large number of birds, but the few I found where nice ones. The best was a humming bird and a Bay-breasted Warbler.
I spent a few hours today adding new backgrounds to these in Photoshop.
We had a brief but rewarding trip out to Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, New York on the 15th of August. I added a few new odonates to my life list. I learned the word odonates from my fellow Linnaean NY members. September starts the new Zoom meetings and they are free. You may attend one from anywhere or view a recording of one if the timing isn’t right linnaeannewyork.org. The first one on September 14 will be about Bats.