Friday, June 12, 2015

Plein Air Afternoon

On a sunny, late afternoon day, a couple from Great Barrington stopped by the Kellogg Conservation Center (KCC) after everyone but Silvia (myself) was gone.  They asked if it was okay if they painted the barn. 
My first response in a joking manner was, "well we just painted it two years ago, but if the bright blue really offends you then go ahead".  They were delightful to talk to, and I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon.  Someday soon, I hope to sit and paint too.  I invited them to come back and paint again soon.  Perhaps a Jug End sunset is next.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Egremont Walks" on the A.T.

The month of May the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the Egremont Council on Aging begin hosting a series of short hikes along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Egremont area.  The Egremont Walks are part of the State of Massachusetts, Keep Moving program to keep seniors active and fit.  The ATC's Kellogg Conservation Center (KCC) staff also led hikes for this program in 2012. 

So far this year we've hiked the A.T. south from the KCC to Jug End Road (2 miles round trip), from KCC north toward Shay's Rebellion Monument, and from Shay's Rebellion Monument north.  Although we haven't completed all of these sections, we will continue these hikes later in the summer.  The goal of picking the terrain is to have a hike that accommodates everyone's physical interests and time frame.  Luckily in the valley we have terrain that works for most folks, with the exception of some tricky puncheon spots.

This past week, a participant brought her grandson, who was able to get out of school to spend time with his family, and hike the A.T. in South Egremont for the first time. He even knew about the Cornell ornithology website (impressive).

Hiking North from Shays's Rebellion

Initially the walks along the A.T. were a way to prepare Egremont senior for their inter-generational "Go The Distance" event held June 1.  This event is a statewide walk-a-thon that helps promote healthy communities.  It however is also a great hour and a half to share stories, and learn about nature together. We've been doing a fair share of beginner birding and plant identification each walk as well.  What a great time! 

We at the ATC's Kellogg Conservation Center are happy to help keep people outside, and exploring their backyards, which so happen to include a National Scenic Trail !  

The woods south of the Kellogg Center