Monday, December 20, 2010
Lake Windwing is located on South Shore Drive across from Ridgebury Elementary School.
Take Bennetts Farm Rd. to South Shore Dr.
The entrance and parking will be on the left.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Not since 1638 has a total lunar eclipse coincided with the Winter Solstice. Tuesday Dec. 21 is our shortest day of the year – the beginning of winter. Between Monday night and Tuesday morning the earth’s shadow will totally engulf the Moon from 2:41AM to 3:53AM EST. Unlike a solar eclipse, it is safe to view a lunar eclipse with the naked eye or binoculars, both work well. All it takes is a good alarm clock and a clear sky. For the 72 minutes of totality, you will notice a second deeper night. Stars that were hidden by moonshine will appear. The moon may take on a reddish glow. This is the result of the reflection onto the moon from the ring of Earth’s sunrises and sunset. The Earth’s atmospheric conditions really are the key to the eclipse’s color. Only on rare occasions will the Moon go black. The next total lunar eclipse to appear in our area is not until April 14-15 2014. If you want more information about this event, go to Sky and Telescope’s website at www.skyandtelescope.com. Picture credit Science NASA News.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Directions: From Rt. 7 take Great Pond Rd. (Martin Park) which turns into Picketts Ridge Rd.. Follow to the end.
At end turn left and follow Rd. around curve then bear left to go through Redding.
Go straight through Redding by the railroad station to Side Cut Rd.
At the end of Side Cut Rd. turn left onto Rt. 53.
Make first right onto Limekiln Rd.
Turn left onto John Todd Way and park at end of Rd.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Our Gingerbread House Workshop carries on a long European tradition. In 992 the Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis started teaching French priests the art of baking with the exotic spice ginger. At first it was used for easing indigestion and religious ceremonies. As the spice became more available, it was discovered ginger had a preservative quality for pastries and cakes. An early European recipe created a paste which was pressed into carved wooden molds. Originally these were like story boards which told through pictures the news of the day. Or they may have reflected the likeness of the ruling royals or been religious symbols (like the one above). Then the finished hard “cookie” might have been iced to bring out the details in the relief. In the 1500s, the English altered the recipe and created a lighter product. Crumbled, it was added to meat to cover up the decaying smell. Queen Elizabeth I is credited with creating the first gingerbread man when she presented some visiting dignitaries with gingerbread biscuits in their likeness.
Gingerbread soon became a popular treat at fairs where "biscuits" were sold in all shapes and sizes.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Directions: Take Rt. 7 to Topstone Rd. to the end.
Turn Right onto Umpawaug.
Turn Left onto Diamond Hill.
Follow Diamond Hill and access road will be on the left side between mailbox # 65 and 73.
Parking will be down road by entrance for Saugatuck Falls trail.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
November means a return of the Leonid Meteor Shower. The shower is caused by material left behind by the relatively small Comet Tempel-Tuttle as it passed the Earth’s orbit during its regular trip through our solar system. When the Earth passes through this debris, the gas and dust flares up in the atmosphere creating meteors. The comet cycles pass us every 33 – 34 years. In years that it is close-by, the displays are spectacular. In 1833 the shower was a storm with the night sky lighting up so brightly that it woke up the most of the people in the eastern USA and promoted research into meteors. In 1966 observers calculated sightings at 144,000 per hour or one every 40 seconds. Perhaps sometime around 2031 this will happen again. But this year’s display will not be close to this rate as the debris trail is not as dense.
Because the meteors come at us from the direction of the constellation Leo, the Lion, they are called Leonid. November 17 & 18th are the best nights to observe. The best times is between moonset (2:39AM) and sunrise. Find an area where there is very little ground light and has a good view of the southeastern sky. Stay warm and get comfortable. Using a lawn chair to recline in saves wear and tear on one’s neck. Lie back and relax as nature puts on its light show. Don’t worry; the world is not coming to an end as some thought in 1833.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Directions: Coming from the north on Route 7 turn left onto Old Redding Rd. (Right before Walpole)
Right after going under RR bear right onto Mountain Rd. Follow Mountain Rd. to end and turn left onto Peaceable St. Parking for the open space will be on the left. If you come to an electrical substation, you went too far.
There is limited parking, so if possible, please carpool.
Monday, November 8, 2010
The quarry operations ended at the turn of the 20th century. But many discarded blocks scattered about the park preserved the workmen’s tool marks. Look for drill holes and chisel marks in the rocks and ledges along the trails. After the quarry closed the area became a residence which is still evident by the preserved foundation and fireplace adjacent to the parking area. The Degener family acquired the property in the late 1920’s and lived here until 1988. With the help of the State of Connecticut Natural Recreation and Heritage Trust Program, Wilton acquired the 33 acres from the Degener family for open space. Although it is owned by the State of Connecticut, it still remains under the town’s jurisdiction. Enjoy your hike!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Directions to Quarry Head:
Take Rt. 35 through downtown Ridgefield to Rt. 33.
Follow Rt. 33 into Wilton.
There will be a brown State of Ct. sign for Quarry Head on the left side of the Rd. In between mailbox #'s 760 and 764.
Turn left and follow Rd. up to parking area up hill on right.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Directions to Tarrywile Park:
Take 84 to Danbury Airport exit at end of ramp light turn right onto Wooster Heights follow to stop sign and make sharp right turn onto Southern Blvd.
Follow road and will see signs to Tarrywile turning right and parking lot will be on the right across street from Immaculate H.S. We will meet in the lower parking lot at 9:30am.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Beware! On Saturday night October 23 ghostly apparitions will once again appear in Ridgefield’s Hemlock Hills. As Samhain or Halloween approaches, the veil between the living and Other-world thins, allowing restless spirits to emerge into the land of the living. Who will appear is up to the wind and the will of the spirits. Some of those restless souls who have traveled across and walked among the living have been Sarah Bishop, heritress ever fearful of fire, little Hezekiah Scott forever looking for his lost cow, and the Leather Man still walking his endless route. Maybe this year a few new spirits may transcend the veil to join those that have walked before. Whoever does emerge will have a story to tell. For those brave morals who wish to listen, sign up now – if you dare. But be prepared for a nighttime walk among the phantoms of Ridgefield’s past in the deep dark woods of Hemlock Hills during the October’s Full Moon.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
This is the time of year that the yearlings are looking to establish new territories where they can claim a den site. Some will travel great distances. Depending on the gender and terrain, a CT black bear’s home range can vary from 5 - 60 square miles. Although ranges can overlap, with the population increasing, the bears are becoming more visible.
Black Bears are not as aggressive as their western grizzly cousins. Except for a mother and cubs, they prefer to forage alone at night. They have keen hearing and normally leave the area once it senses human presence. If you see a bear, enjoy it but from a distance. The CT DEP website contains lots of dos and don’ts about bears, a fact sheet, sighting numbers and even how to report a bear sighting. Just type in “CT DEP bears” into any search engine for the latest information. And now it is time for this blogger to go out and buy another birdfeeder. (Photo courtesy of Memphis zoo)
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
As time progresses less water and nutrients can enter or exit the leaf. This causes a backlog of chemicals. In some plants, these trapped chemicals, plus light causes anthocyanins to form. These create the reds and purples. The brighter the light during this period, the greater number of anthocyanins are produced and the brighter the color. Some plants like sumacs have so much anthocyanins that they mask the caroteniods completely. While others like the sugar maple slowly produce it so that their leaves first turn yellow, orange then red. But some like the birch can't produce it at all.
Dry sunny days followed by cool dry nights enable the above processes to create the brightest colors. The best variety of color comes from hardwood deciduous forests which contain a wide assortment of trees. New England's climate and forests meet both requirements for world class fall foliage.
Monday, September 27, 2010
The Scott family has a long history in Ridgefield. David Scott was one of the original Proprietors and purchased lot 13 on June 3, 1712. The family included a number of Ridgefield patriots, tanners, millers and of course farmers. When Rana Scott married John Barlow Jr. in 1789, this area was already referred to as the Scotand District and was a thriving community. It is the old foundation of the Scott house dating from 1720's that can be seen at the boat launch. Hints of their farming life can be seen in the stonewalls throughout the park and the cellar holes on the northern end of the park. One of these cellar holes was John Barlow's blacksmith shop. What is now Old Barlow Mountain Road was a main thoroughfare into town. General Wooster led his troops along it on his way to meet the British Army in what was to become The Battle of Ridgefield. Scotland & Barlow Mountain Elementary Schools along with Scott's Ridge Middle School bear the legacy of this family. (photo by sdgtx2003 at Panoramio)
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Take Topstone Rd. off of Rt. 7. Follow the road across the railroad tracks staying on Topstone Rd.
It will turn into a dirt road. Continue on road and there will be a parking area on the right.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Meet Tues. and/or Thurs. at 9:30AM at the Aldrich Park parking lot just off New Road. It is not far from the intersection of Farmingville Road.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
This week the Discovery Center Women Hiking Group will begin its twice weekly meetings in Ridgefield's largest open space Bennett's Pond. The 440 acres were acquired by the town via eminent domain in 2001 and conveyed to the State of Connecticut in 2002 to be made into a state park. It is made up of a variety of landscapes from meadows, woodlands, and wetlands to steep ridges. Its most profound feature is the 70-acre pond which is one of the sources of the Saugatuck River. This vital watershed supplies the drinking water for a good portion of lower Fairfield County.
Connecting to Wooster Mountain State Park and Ridgefield's Hemlock Hill/Pine Mountain/Lake Windwing Open Spaces, the area provides a large undeveloped habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Marble underlies portions of the park which creates buffered soils that support some rare plant species. In the spring, numerous vernal pools provide nursery for woodland amphibians.
It contains 5 miles of hiking trails which range from easy to difficult. If this isn't enough, it connects to the Ives Trail an interconnecting greenway from Ridgefield to Bethel, CT. Bennett's Pond is indeed a town and state treasure.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
To view the meteor shower, pick a dark spot away from ground lights and facing the NE. Lie on your back or position yourself so the horizon appears at the edge of your peripheral vision, with star and sky filling out your field of view. Take some time for your eyes to adapt to the dark and avoid lights like flashlights. Bug spray, food, and drinks make the evening more pleasurable. Binoculars are not necessary as your adapted night vision will do just fine. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Directions: Take 116 North (1.9 mikes past Ridgefield High School). Turn left on Hunt Rd, follow .9 mile, Hilltop Rd will be on right, trail head on left.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Travelling South on Rte 7 turn left on Old Redding Rd. Go under RR then bear right onto Mountain Rd, then turn left on Peaceable St. Parking for hiking area is on left. If you pass the electrical substation you have gone too far.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Take exit 5 off I-84. Follow Rte 37 North 2.8 miles past shopping centers and prison. Turn right onto Bear Mountain Road (about .2 miles after prison).
Follow Bear Mountain Road for .5 mile, turn right into Bear Mountain reservation where there is a large paved parking lot and maps at trail head.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Directions: Take Route 7 North, take exit for Danbury Airport. At light at end of ramp, turn right onto Wooster Heights. Go 8/10ths mile and turn right onto Southern Blvd. Go 6/10ths mile and Southern Blvd. will make a sharp right turn. The Park & Mansion entrance is 100 yards beyond this turn on the right.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Take exit 5 off I-84. Follow Rte 37 North past all the shopping centers to more rural part of Danbury. Bear Mountain Rd is 2.8 miles from I-84 on right. Turn right onto Bear Mountain rd and follow for 0.5 mile. Turn right into entrance of bear Mountain Reservation where there is a large paved parking lot. For map click here.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The shape of the spathe plus the plant's heat creates an inviting warm draft which smells like dinner to them. Once they venture inside, the spathe provides a cozy dinning space. For several weeks, this process goes on until the spadix's flowers are pollinated and the blossom begins to wilt. As it starts to wilt, the leave bud - the green point next to the spathe in the picture, begins to unfurl into the largest leaves in the wetlands. By the time the crocuses are blooming, most skunk cabbage blossoms have long passed.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Directions: Take Farmingville Rd to New Rd. Parking area and park entrance are on New Rd.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Similar soil can be found on Earth too. Hawaii's shield volcano Mauna Kea created similar basalt. Its iron rich minerals have oxidized, eroded and accumulated. Now it so closely resembles the Martian landscape that NASA tests off-world technology on it.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Traditionally it is the month when the most snow falls thus making hunting difficult. The new 7 inches of power that fall yesterday is a good example. While it makes places like Dly Golf Course great for skiing or snowshoeing, the local wildlife have to work hard for their dinner. Today tracks on Dly showed a fox hunting and deer browsing on tree bark but hardly any small animal tracks.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
Directions: Take West Mountain Rd. follow and make a right onto Oreneca Rd. At intersection take right on Rippowam Rd. Follow Rippowam .4 miles to parking lot.