Naturalist, Dave Spier, led today’s nature walk.
Arrived at Montezuma Audubon Center at 10:00 AM. Dave was out by the road sign photographing the flora and fauna. Went inside and registered with Carol, the Center's Education Manager, and met Becky, an AmeriCorps volunteer, who was busy restructuring the Center's terrariums.
Other hikers began to assemble. At precisely 10:30 AM our group of six (Ed from Geneva, Barb from Butler, Dave & Dottie from Auburn, Anita from Port Byron and I) stepped outside. After introductions in the parking lot followed Dave on a path toward the Crusoe Lake outlet.
As we were walking down the path three Great Blue Herons flew overhead. Dave mimicked the their wing movement, showing how one can recognize this bird in flight from afar.
The abundance of wildflowers produced many questions from the group. Using his vast knowledge Dave identified all but I believe one, which was so similar to another of its species he could not positively name it.
Tall Nettle (Urtica procera)
On our way to the pools we passed the maintenance worker cutting the grass paths. After turning south Barb noticed a leopard frog which had not hopped as the mower blade passed. Dave would eventually gather up the creature and place it in a terrarium back at the lodge.
The highlight for me was viewing a snipe in a drained pool. Dave identified several other birds that were using the pool today.
Taking a short cut back to the lodge we put up another Great Blue Heron.
What started out as a another dreary overcasted day became a bright warm walk through nature. Everyone should take the opportunity to experience these informative tours of one of central New York’s jewels. The next Wednesday naturalist summer hike is scheduled for August 12th.
A bonus to my trek. On my way back home discovered two New York State Historical markers.
Plus passing by the Historic Mentz Church a flower caught my eye. So pulled over and photographed it.
What a great day!