May 30, 2008 – Allegany Nature Pilgrimage – Down Time
Just as the fish program was finishing up, I got a call on my cell phone. Expecting it to be my daughter, who was due to arrive later that day, I answered… I was surprised to find it wasn’t Emily, but instead my friend Terry – in the Park – wondering where to find me.
We had a very pleasant walk down one of the Park’s back roads, despite the gnats that pestered us if we slowed our pace. We stopped at one of the many beaver ponds along the road and watched a beaver swim, eventually slapping its tail at us.
We visited a fine stand of Pink Ladies’ Slippers, listed as “Exploitably Vulnerable” and therefore protected in New York State. I was glad to see them still looking so healthy. May they always be so!
My “vacation” would soon be over. The Audubon teens would soon arrive and I would take on the role of mother hen. I tried to talk my friend into staying. The thought of so many people with marshmallow sticks around a fire seemed to frighten him and he opted to go home. It was wonderful to take an unstructured walk in such a beautiful place with such a good friend.
By 6pm, the kids had all arrived. We got ourselves registered and headed out to our campsite where we spent the evening popping corn and toasting marshmallows. In the morning, when we would hear stories about how funny the Tent Program was, we would kick ourselves for not going… It’s hard to take advantage of everything that the Pilgrimage offers!