In The Merry, Merry Month of May: Day One

The area around New York City is beautiful in early May: everything seems to be blooming at once. That will not be reflected in this post.

I just got back from my nominally annual trip to NYC to visit my sister for her birthday. We took a hike in a different part of Westchester County each of the three days I was there. On the first day, we went to the Cranberry Lake Preserve. While the gardens and grounds of the homes in that area are beautifully landscaped, not much seemed to be blooming in the woods.

This was one exception:


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Wild Geranium [Geranium maculatum]


A Jack-in-the-pulpit is a Jack-in-the-pulpit, right?

Ha! Apparently, there are three types of Jack-in-the-pulpit, and I didn’t have my book with me to make a positive identification. But this looks like the variety sometimes known as Indian-turnip:


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Northern Jack-in-the-pulpit [Arisaema stewardsonii]


We never did make it to the second lake, because the trail markers for one whole end of the preserve were nonexistent. They ran out at the same place on two different trails: the old quarry left over from the building of the Kensico Dam. The one quarry pond we found was a nice place to have lunch, though.


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Quarry pond at Cranberry Lake Preserve


There was lots of wildlife. At the quarry pond, we spotted a water snake I was too slow to capture with my camera. We also saw what might have been a redheaded woodpecker, although it was too distant for positive ID. Later in the hike, my nephew with the young eyes spotted this guy sunning himself beside the trail:


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Northern Black Racer [Coluber constrictor constrictor]


Despite not getting to see the whole preserve, we had a pretty good outing. Next up: Day Two.

Update: I’ve added a link to the Cranberry Lake Preserve’s website (just click the name of the preserve either here or at the top in the original body of this post). Not including it earlier was an oversight on my part, now corrected.

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7 Responses to “In The Merry, Merry Month of May: Day One”

  1. Joan of Argghh! Says:

    Very nice!

  2. lizardbrain Says:

    Thank you, Joan.

    I’m working on day two right now. I’m not so sanguine about those results. I may continue after a night’s sleep.

  3. Taro Ietaka Says:

    Hi! Thanks for the write-up of Cranberry. I’m the curator there and when I saw your post I finally painted blazes on the top of the quarry – I was reluctant to paint on stone, but oh well…. Hope you enjoy them on your next visit. Next time you come by, stop at the nature lodge and I’ll tell you where to look for some interesting plants. Regards, Taro Ietaka

  4. lizardbrain Says:

    I didn’t mean to push you into defacing the stone (if that’s what it feels like to you), but the experience definitely felt incomplete without the trip to the lower lake. Here in Maine I would’ve just tromped through the woods until I found what I was looking for, but Westchester County’s kind of tightly packed with people justifiably possessive of their privacy. In any event, I look forward to visiting again and completing the hike. And I’ll be sure to stop by the nature lodge to chat. Thanks for the invite, and thanks for letting me know that the trail is completely marked now.

    As a matter of curiosity: this is an obscure blog with a very low traffic volume. How did you find your way here?

  5. Taro Ietaka Says:

    Google Alerts – I try to keep track of Cranberry publicity. No worries about the paint on stone – I should have done it earlier. Nice pictures by the way!

  6. lizardbrain Says:

    Ah. Mystery solved.

    Thanx for stopping by. I’ll see you next time I get to New York.

  7. Bronxblog2 Says:

    BEAUTIFUL pix!! Much better’n mine…they ALWAYS are!

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