Kathy Schillemat

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Two Weekends of Work and Fun

by on October 24, 2013 in Hikes and Nature, Home Page

Nelson TrailsThe Nelson Trails committee has been busy over  two recent weekends, building bridges and improving trails for your walking pleasure.   September 21 dawned cool and comfortable: a perfect day to put in a bridge over Bailey Brook in order to begin trail work on the new trail to Kulish Ledges.  Dave Birchenough had designed the bridge and pre-cut all the materials, and the crew of Dave Birchenough, Dave Patek, Tom Murray, Rick Church, Maury Collins, and Maury’s friend, Elk, were raring to go.  The hardest part of the project was getting the telephone pole stringers in place, but apparently, it went perfectly, with the stringers falling into place like legos.  By the time I arrived to do some trail clearing at 2 pm, the stringers were in place and almost completely bolted down.

An hour later, when I returned, the decking was down.  The crew was really moving along!  In addition to the bridge building team, Al Stoops, Anita and Harry Flanagan, and Linda Cates helped out with trail clearing above the beaver dam and pond.  A good day’s work.  Two days later, the bridge crew returned to install the railing and the steps.  The bridge is complete and offers a beautiful way to safely cross Bailey Brook.  Continue Reading »

Inaugural Hike on Murdough Hill Meander

by on November 14, 2012 in Hikes and Nature, Recreation

by Kathy Schillemat

Murdough Hill Hike

Harry Flanagan tells the group of hikers the story of the bobcat and the goose.

Saturday, November 10 was a warm November morning.  Folks assembled in Duane and Kathy Schillemat’s driveway to begin the first official hike on the Murdough Hill Meander.  Young and old gathered, including two families who have just moved into the area.  Al Stoops took a count—twenty people!  After a brief introduction, Kathy led the group into the woods.  The hikers stopped at the site of a mill, which Rick Church said had been a grist mill and a saw mill in the early 19th century.  Half of the massive mill stone lay in the raceway of the mill, broken, Rick believes, when the mill was destroyed by fire.

The group moved away from the mill site and followed the stream which flows out of Granite Lake into a wetland abutting Granite Lake Road.  Continue Reading »

Off the Beaten Path

The Great Meadow, June 13, 2011
by Kathy Schillemat

“Express the heart too full to speak in one exultant hymn.”

Sometimes, words are wholly inadequate to describe the experience or the feelings of a day.  Such was the case with our adventure on the Great Meadow which flows over the border between Nelson and Harrisville.

Al Stoops and I set out in the morning from the outlet of Nubanusit Lake behind Dave Birchenough’s house.    We explored the upstream channels before going with the downstream flow.  In the shallows, we found numerous cone-shaped “nets,” made apparently from some gelatinous material and coated with silt.  These seemed to be some means of catching small aquatic creatures, but we could not look closely at the structures as they flattened out into silty slime when we attempted to take them out of the water.  Our first mystery of the day: what creatures create these “nets” and what is their intended prey? Continue Reading »

Off the Beaten Path: Beyond Silver Lake

by on June 18, 2011 in Life in Nelson, Wildlife

We weren't quick enough to get a picture of the heron, so we borrowed this one. The other pictures in the article were taken on this trip.

“No matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows, one can never learn all the salient facts about any one of them.”  Aldo Leopold

Since December, Al Stoops and I have chosen to follow our whims rather than the established trails in Nelson to discover the hidden flora and fauna and beauty of our precious hill town.  Our latest exploration began on Silver Lake at the boat landing in Harrisville.

We traveled by canoe along the eastern shoreline.  Our first wildlife sighting was a great blue heron perched on the stone steps of someone’s lakefront.

Our next sighting was an early highlight: a bald eagle!  We supposed that it was either one of the pair of eagles from Nubanusit Lake or that it might be from some previous year’s brood: perhaps a new eagle trying to establish a nesting site on Silver Lake.  I thought that I saw some sort of nesting material in its beak as it landed in one of the taller pine trees along the shore.  The eagle was well camouflaged  in the foliage and impossible to find again until it flew away. Continue Reading »

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