Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 4.096: Passive at Papscanee?

Six miles south of Rensselaer, the sign outlining the preserve regulations in the parking lot at the wonderfully named Papscanee Island Nature Preserve says that it is "Available to the public for passive recreation & historic/ecological intepretation ONLY."

I hope we weren't too active.

Actually our three-generation family group had a great time.  It is a small preserve but even at this generally rather bleak time of year for nature lovers there was plenty to like there.

The first short trail leads to the eastern bank of the Hudson. There is plenty of evidence of higher flood/tide waters and lots of opportunity for stone skimming (and wading in over the depth of the kids boots). Exile #3 was determined to set this piece of driftwood adrift - and so she did.

There was a fairly strong skunk-smell at one place on the beach and we re-encountered it as we headed along the trail parallel to the beach. Only after we got home did it occur to us it could possibly have been skunk cabbage rather than skunk we were smelling.

We were surrounded by the sound of trains while we were there. The road to the 'summer entrance' crosses the Amtrak lines at a gated but rather bumpy level-crossing and the bridge for the freight trains can be seen downstream from the beach.

The interpretative signs are interesting if a little curious since they don't relate to things that are actually there (with the exception of the labels on a few species of tree) but the woodland is unlike most of the woodland around here and rather appealing and the opportunity to get right to the water on the Hudson is always welcome.

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