Adventures with James & Mom
.... featuring New York area weekend trips with James and his
Mom as they search for fun, excitement and learning adventures!
& Learning - At
the Westmoreland Sanctuary
Identifying poison ivy.
Leaves of three, let it be!
Says : Spring
is when all the trees in our area start to bloom. One of these trees
is the Dogwood tree. Did you know that this very pretty tree got
its name because when it is fresh cut the wood smells like dog poo?
Yeah, me either, but it is kind of funny though.
Did you know
ivy is contagious even if it is not red and shiny? It is only
red and shiny in the spring, green in the summer and different
shades of red, yellow and orange in the fall, but still very catchy
the entire year. It grows on a hairy vine (little rootlets hang
from the vine) with leaves in clumps of three. They say to remember
"leaves of three, let it be". I think it's a good thing
about that oyster
shell mushroom you see sometimes growing on trees, do you
know why it's there? It helps to break down the wood into soil.
SO if you have a tree with mushrooms growing on it, its probably
dead or dying. I learned this when we went to the Westmoreland
We went on
a map skills hike through the sanctuary. We learned how to read
a topographical map and use a real compass. Then we went out and
had to find our way back using what we learned. This was a group
outing and a lot of fun.
has all kinds of activities going on all the time. Besides just
going there to hike on the trails, you can register for activities
like a guided night hike where you explore for nocturnal creatures,
very cool, or a pond study at Bechtel Lake, you use a net to see
what you can find in the pond. You get dirty, but it's fun.
Audubon Society, and the Bedford
Audubon Society sponsor bird watching "Birdathons",
and other animal adventures in the sanctuary. There is a small
museum with a curiosity table, where you can touch stuff native
to the area. There are some displays of stuffed, real animals
from the region and topographical maps and stuff. There are also
some live reptiles and animals like bunnies, turtles and a bearded
dragon named Sam. It's a great place to go and investigate, a
lot of fun.
Says: Westmoreland Sanctuary is located at 260 Chestnut Ridge
Corners, NY, 10549, Tel. 914-234-2934.
is a beautiful, 625 acre nature preserve in Westchester County
with about 8 miles of marked trails. It is open to the public
seven days a week, year-round, from dawn to dusk. The museum is
open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday, 10:30am to 5:00pm on
We went as
part of a prearranged group outing. This activity was good for
ages 6 and up, since kids have to be able to read and follow a
compass. Westmoreland Sanctuary has many scheduled activities
throughout the year. If you are interested in an activity it is
best to call ahead and reserve a space. There are membership discounts
for scheduled activities and most fees are a suggested donation
- and tax deductible.
shoes and bug spray, bring the camera, binoculars and bottled
water. The experience is great for all ages, even the toddlers
who get dirty and love every minute of it. In all, a great fresh
air experience for the whole family, but be prepared for lots
of walking. You can bring food in, but be prepared to carry out
everything you bring in, including your exhausted babies (some
portions of trails are not stroller friendly).
authors: James is the oldest of 4 kids. Mom is their Mother,
a children's writer, educator & photographer. They live in
New York with their Dad and pet dogs, cats, geckos, and turtles.
in Weekend Adventures -> Reptile
Travel -> New
York State Tourist Attractions