John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge’s Wild Saturday Series continues on June 2nd, 2018 at 1pm at Woodchuck Lodge, with a talk by naturalist Bill Cutler.
Bill will share his knowledge of amphibians, reptiles, critters and plants found on the lodge property, and discuss their importance to the Catskills and impacts on increasingly fragmented habitats in New York State. Kids will love this presentation. Bill is a former National Park Service Ranger, Field Research Associate in Trinidad and Environmental Consultant.
Presently, he is Vice President of the Sullivan County Audubon Society, volunteers for the Basha Kill Area Association and works as Sullivan County’s Recycling Co-ordinator.
This event takes place at Woodchuck Lodge, 1633 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY 12474 at 1pm on June 2nd, 2018. All are welcome.
Free, guided tours of Woodchuck Lodge are offered the first weekend of the month, May to October, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 3pm.
March 27th was an auspicious day. Ryan Trapani of the Catskill Forest Association led a team who pruned the old apple trees in the orchard at Woodchuck Lodge. Overhead flew a buzzard with wings like long feathered fingers.
As far as we can gather, the trees have never been pruned, so Woodchuck Lodge will participate in the CFA’s tree pruning program that will take place annually over the course of the next three years at least. All the dead applewood was removed into a pile the size of a small truck. The one tree closest to the road, (pictured immediately below) was in the worst shape and less than half the boughs on its gnarly bark remain.
The resultant pruned tree, looking rather like the house of a fairytale character or mythical creature, is one of our historical natural landmarks. When these trees were planted, there would have been no trees in the area and Burroughs would have enjoyed sweeping views of the Catskill Mountains in south, east and westerly directions. Some apple trees had to be felled because they were in too much of that shade.
Last year’s apples were abundant and board members picked them and used them in pies. In two years, we will consider grafting the trees to cultivate a new apple, but firstly the trees will given some time to stabilize. “Pruning is a shock,” says board member Patti Rudge.
Structural pruning of the trees will increase air circulation and sunlight through the tree, which reduces the chance of insects and diseases. The improved structure will enhance the tree’s ability to create fruit buds, withstand fruit load or wind load and the weight of bears.
Woodchuck Lodge’s Wild Saturdays have been hugely popular with locals and visitors alike. Our last Wild Saturday on July 1st entitled Wildlife Near Home with Mairead Mulhern received 35 visitors, even on a day on which rain was forecast!
Paul Misko, founder of THE CATSKILL 4000 CLUB gives talks and writes articles on Catskill history, John Burroughs, and hiking. His talk on August 5th beginning at 1pm is called “Observational Hiking”, something John Burroughs encouraged whenever outdoors. There’s plenty to discover in the forests of the Catskills in terms of wildlife, natural history and the environment. Paul provides a multi-media presentation of his hiking discoveries enhanced by his relevant anecdotes. All events take place at 1633 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY 12474. Children are welcome.
Upstate Dispatch has published a post on reading John Burroughs’ storied collection of Atlantic Monthly magazines and his Encyclopaedia Britannica. Though aging and withered, it’s an invaluable insight into the world, as it was seen by journalists, one hundred years ago.