Monday, March 27, 2023

Girl Scout Troop 71837 Points the Way at Herrontown Woods

Girl Scout Troop 71837 has returned this spring to Herrontown Woods to build on their good works two years back

This time, the project was to design and paint arrows that will point towards significant places in the history and legacy of Oswald and Elizabeth Veblen--the couple who donated Herrontown Woods for public use 66 years ago. 

The colorful arrows will be attached to a tall pole. Points of interest are Veblen House, Veblen Cottage, the Barden, the Institute for Advanced Study (where Oswald was a founder and first faculty member), Old Fine Hall (now called Jones Hall, which Oswald designed), Iowa (where Oswald grew up), Valdres in Norway (where Oswald's ancestors came from), England (where Elizabeth came from), and Einstein's house (from whence Einstein would travel to visit Herrontown Woods). 

The signs were made using a special kind of pen writing on a special kind of paint. We generate lots of fun ideas at Herrontown Woods. Thanks to the scouts and their leaders, Danielle Rollmann and Heather Harnley, for making these signs a reality. 

Postscript: One of the girl scouts' projects two years ago--birdhouses--got cleaned a few weeks ago and are ready for another season.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Boy Scout Troop 43 Helps Out at Herrontown Woods

Thanks to Leone Robbins and his fellow members of Scout Troop 43 for joining us at our weekly workday at Herrontown Woods this past Sunday. 
They along with some family members helped with a number of tasks that we had long wanted to get done. They raised our boardwalk higher so that turtles and other wildlife will be able to pass underneath, 
and cleared a better spot for our picnic table. That's our caretaker Andrew doing some followup.
For the morning's final finale, they carried a very long and heavy pallet from the boardwalk area
over to where it can serve as the base for a new gathering spot at the lower end of the Barden. 

Days later, it occurred to me that Scout Troop 43 sounded familiar. Sure enough, the troop had been active twenty years ago at Autumn Hill Reservation, which FOHW also takes care of. 

Birdwalks and May's Cafe Draw a Crowd

Thanks goes to many people for our birdwalk and May's Cafe event at Herrontown Woods on Feb. 19, which drew about 70 people in all. To Fairfax Hutter and MaryJoan Gaynor for helping lead the birdwalks; to the Princeton Public Library for helping to promote this event, 

and to Nicole Bergman and Joanna Poniz for organizing and hosting February's May's Cafe the same morning. 
These muffins were a highlight, and the 45 participants for the three walks were happy to discover the cafe still open and offering warm drinks and baked goods when they emerged from the woods.

The event was timed to coincide with the Great Backyard Birdcount. Fairfax documented what birds her and MaryJoan's groups saw. The "bird of the day" was a hermit thrush "with solid brown upper parts, rusty tail, and spotted breast observed hover gleaning berries in vines above stream edge of utility ROW."

Many of us lingered long in the Barden afterwards, enjoying the day and the company.