Monday, September 3, 2018

Storm King Art Center

The 500-acre Storm King Art Center in Cornwall, New York, is a leading sculpture park for large outdoor installations. There are current exhibitions and a permanent collection scattered throughout the grounds. I enjoyed my visit in August on a beautiful day that wasn't overly hot, thankfully.

When I come back, I'd love to spend the day walking on the trails and exploring the sculptures both closeup and from a distance. I'll avoid hot summer days though, because there is little shade. But the open landscape makes for wonderful views. The center is closed in the winter which is too bad; I thought it would be a great place for cross-country skiing or showshoeing!

It's amazing to see such huge sculptures just sitting in a field!  This one is by Alexander Calder.

This one is made of wood and metal and must be over 15 ft. tall.

You can see how this structure towers above us. It's by Mark di Suvero.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Thomas & Palmer, Great Barrington

I explored a new BNRC property yesterday, Thomas & Palmer, in Great Barrington. It's not open to the public yet, but hopefully will be by fall. A new parking lot is scheduled to be constructed as is a bridge over the Thomas & Palmer Brook. The brook is inhabited by beavers who have several dams along this section.

Our group, the Berkshire Hikers, got a tour by BNRC Land and Trails Coordinator, Mike Leavitt. We hiked several old roads and logging roads, some of which will become part of the new trail system. We visited a rock feature that Mike has been excitedly talking about for awhile now. He is calling it the Whale Rock.

On top of the ridge is a long section of smoothed rock that resembles the spine of a whale as it travels across the ocean with most of its body below waterline. It's large and impressive. I'm sure that it will be an attraction on the new trails.

Yup, it's a whale of a rock!

Photo by Ellen Whitaker

Friday, March 2, 2018

Full Moon Outing at Upper Spectacle Pond, Otis/Sandisfield

Last night I walked to Upper Spectacle Pond in Otis and Sandisfield with the Berkshire Naturalists Club. How fun it is to be outside in the dark! I must do it more often!

We started at dusk from Rte 23 and walked a mile in on an unplowed dirt road to the lake. The sky was completely covered with clouds (I spied one star for a few minutes) but we did not need our headlamps and flashlights except once in awhile to navigate some ice or mud. It was amazing how, even with the cloud cover, my eyes adjusted and could see quite well.

We separated along the trail, then remained completely still for awhile, listening and looking around for activity. I heard rustlings in the leaf litter but nothing identifiable. Interesting how my mind creates images. It one point I could hear a small gust of wind coming in behind me. I also heard a loud noise which my mind saw as a herd something huge. However in a second I saw it was four dried leaves tumbling down the road! Yikes!

The moon was visible through the clouds but barely cast a shadow. It's amazing to share the woods with the nocturnal life. 

Upper Spectacle Pond was still covered with ice but we did not go out on it
as it had been so warm for the past week.

The moon provided some light (and atmosphere!) through the cloud cover.