Thursday, October 27, 2011

The DC Women's Hiking Group will be hiking Tues., Nov. 8th and Thurs., Nov. 10th at Hemlock Hills.
Please meet at Lake Windwing at 9:30am.
Take Bennetts Farm Road to South Shore Drive.
Turn left into the ballfield and Lake Windwing parking area.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike on Tues., Oct. 25th at Pine Mountain.
Take Pine Mountain Rd. to near end.
Parking area on right side of Rd.
Meet at 9:30am.
The Group will not be hiking on Thurs., Oct. 27th.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

CT's Cougar - A Real Wanderer

The cougar killed on the Wilbur Cross Highway in June turned out to be on a long journey. After extensive research, CT DEEP has just published its report in the Connecticut Wildlife Magazine (September/October 2011 issue). Our cougar started its adventure in South Dakota, traveled to Wisconsin, probably continued though southern Ontario and into upper New York State before its untimely demise in Milford – approximately 1,200 miles. This was determined through DNA samples of scat and hair taken by authorities in SD, WI, and NY. It was a young male, 2 – 5 years old who was probably looking for love. Young males are known to disperse fairly long distances looking for a mate and will continue to move along until they find one. But as far as wildlife experts are concerned, our cougar wins first prize. Second prize goes to another South Dakota male that traveled 640 miles to Oklahoma. Young cougar females don’t disperse as far as their brothers. They tend to wander only 12 – 40 miles away from their mother’s territory. Because of this, wildlife experts don’t think New England will see the development of its own cougar population. For a young female to disperse this far and begin reproducing is less probable. But, nature always provides us with wonderful surprises.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Women's Hiking - Oct 18th & 20th

The DC Women's Hiking Group will hike Tues.,Oct. 18th and Thurs.Oct.20th at Tarrywile Park in Danbury.
Take 84 to the Airport Exit.
Take a right at the light at end of ramp.
Follow road to stop sign and make sharp right turn onto Southern Blvd.
Stay on Southern Blvd. There will be signs for Tarrywile Park.
Follow signs and make a right to Tarrywile.
Immaculate H.S. will be on the left and the parking lot for Tarrywile will be on the right side.
Meet at 9:30am.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Women's Hiking Group - Oct 13th only

The DC Women's Group will hike Thursday, Oct. 13th at Weir Farm.
No school on Tues. the 11th.
Please meet at Ancona's on Branchville Road at 9:25am and then carpool to Weir Farm because of limited parking on site.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Bit of Ridgefield History - Joshua King

The final Jeopardy question: “During the Revolutionary War, in 1780 he was executed in NYC. His body was later moved to Westminster Abbey”. The answer: British Major John Andre who was capture carrying suspicious papers which later turned out to be Benedict Arnold’s plans for the capture of West Point. During Major Andre’s imprisonment, trial (picture) and execution as a British spy, Patriot Lt. Joshua King was in charge of his safekeeping. They became so close that King remorsefully escorted Andre to the gallows. In 1817 King wrote a letter describing his time with Andre which is now considered to be the most accurate account of the event. What connection does this have to Ridgefield? Joshua King met one Anne Ingersoll, daughter of Ridgefield’s Rev. Ingersoll, during his early days in the Sheldon’s Dragoons. He was so infatuated with her, after the war he came back to Ridgefield where in 1783 he married her. He went on to be a prominent and wealthy member of the community. He served as First Selectman 9 times, represented the town in the State Legislature 10 times and was a Delegate from Ridgefield to the CT Constitutional Convention. His wealth allowed him to build an elegant house. Upon his death, the street where it stood was renamed King’s Lane – the same King’s Lane of today! (To learn more about Joshua King go to The Ghosts of Ridgefield program description and click learn more about the ghosts.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Liberty Tea" - The Goldenrod

Nothing says fall like the blooms of goldenrods. These plants are found just about everywhere, are easy to grow and come in about 160 varieties. Their reputation has been marred by the rumor that they cause hay fever. Not true! It is the nondescript ragweed that frequently grows near it which is the real culprit. Goldenrod is in fact a very versatile plant. It is a great source of pollen for late honey making and parts of some species are edible. The Native Americans called it “sun medicine” and used it to treat everything from wounds and fevers to rheumatism and toothache. Modern herbalists use it to counter inflammation and irritation caused by bacterial infections or kidney stones. Outside of the medicine cabinet it is still used as a dye. After the Boston Tea Party in 1773, colonist combined it with other herbs to create a tea substitute – “Liberty Tea”. With its ability to grow in a variety of places, it became a cash crop. Sweet Goldenrod was cut, dried and baled, then shipped to England as an apothecary shop item. It even was sent to China as a high priced tea substitute. In the garden and wild it is an important food source for a wide variety of beneficial insects. In Europe it has long been prized as a garden plant. So as you walk through the woods, meadow or garden, admire the plant for what it is – An American Treasure.