Monday, October 25, 2010

If anyone is missing a brown glove from the Ghosts program on Sat. night, please call us at 203-438-1063 or e-mail.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike at Tarrywile Park in Danbury, CT on Oct. 26th and 28th.
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

Ghosts of the Full Moon

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

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike at Lake Windwing on Oct. 19th and the 21st.
Lake Windwing is located across from Ridgebury Elementary School on Bennetts Farm Rd. take South Shore Dr. and turn left into the park area.
Meet at 9:30am.

Monday, October 11, 2010

DC Women's Hiking Group

No hike on Tues., Oct. 13th. (No School)
On Thurs., Oct. 15th the DC Women's hiking group will hike at Brewster Farm/Jones Trail.
Parking is on Lounsbury Lane which is off of Florida Hill Rd.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Black Bears in Ridgefield?

Yes but not to worry. Over the past week there have been a couple of black bear sightings in Ridgefield. With Connecticut’s landscape converting back to forest, it has become more and more black bear friendly. Black bears are intelligent animals and very adaptable. Their preferred habitat is deciduous forests with abundance of fruits and nuts. An opportunist omnivore, their diet varies with the seasons and ranges from early spring shoots, carrion and fawns to insects, berries, nuts and roots. This time of year they are bulking up for their winter nap. Seeds from our birdfeeders are a great source of fat and protein and supplement the regular nuts and seeds that are found in the wild. They have a keen sense of smell and can detect food at a great distance. So, odors from grills, outside pet food, birdfeeders, and garbage are like a fast food beacon to them.

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

Why Fall Foliage?

The days are growing shorter and New England comes alive with color. Why such great color here? The answer lies in our mixed deciduous hardwood forests and our climate. First - Why Color? Leaves are the food factory of a plant. During the summer the leaf's green chlorophylls are working hard to produce food for the plant's survival. They are so abundant, they mask out the other pigments in the leaf. But chlorophylls are very unstable and they must be constantly replaced. As the sunlight diminishes, they are replaced at a slower and slower pace. Eventually the other pigments called caroteniods start to become unmasked. These appear yellow or orange or many hues in-between. The birch or beech trees have an abundance of these.

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.