Do clams have consciousness? Did our clams experience fear? Did they have any awareness of what had befallen them? Did they actually decide what to do? We really don’t know. We suspect that they may well have been equipped with some sort of automatic response system that allowed them to deal with what should have been a scary situation. We guess that we will never know for sure.
There’s a survival reason for their testy tempers: The plastron or underside shell of a snapping turtle doesn’t cover all of its abdomen, leaving plenty of room around the legs for swimming movements. There are thus soft parts exposed that make the animal vulnerable to any large predator that managed to grab onto it.
Human handling damages their skin’s protective mucus covering, leaving the animal exposed to attack by bacteria and other pathogens. That skin also exudes a toxin that deters predators, which partially explains the eft’s casual aplomb in taking a public stroll.
Timber Rattlers can be found in the mountainous areas of the Hudson Valley, including the Catskills and Shawangunks. There have been no recent recorded cases in New York State of human fatalities from a bite from a timber rattler, but symptoms may be severe, including nausea, vomiting, paralysis and tissue damage, and an allergic reaction can certainly be life-threatening. A dog twice bitten in Minnewaska State Park in 2014 succumbed to the venom.
Located at the site of the former Enderly family sawmill, down along the almost painfully picturesque Clove Road, Split Rock has long been one of the Shawangunks’ most popular and even iconic swimming holes – if indeed it can be called a hole. It’s really more of a split. In a rock. It is, you see, fiercely accurate in its name, if unpoetic.
While spotted lanternflies like tree of heaven best, they also like to eat almost everything else. They are known to feed on the sap of more than 70 plant species. Fruit trees and grapevines are being especially hard-hit in Pennsylvania. Hops are also a favored host, as are nut trees. So this creature’s imminent arrival in the Hudson Valley, with its agricultural economy, is cause for serious concern.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, along with a few other companies, are planning to put 12,000 new satellites into low Earth orbit over the next few years. Unlike our existing communications satellites that are parked in geostationary orbits all the way up at 22,300 miles and are utterly invisible, these will definitely appear in the sky.
Citizen scientists of all ages (no special training or experience necessary) will be teamed with scientists and expert naturalists to study the wildlife, plants and biodiversity at the Catskill Center’s Thorn Preserve.
The last glacier, which receded about 12,000 years ago from the Hudson Valley, wiped out all our native earthworms.
Saturday, June 1: This new pedestrian walkway on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge connects the east and west sides of the river as well as the inspirational estates of the two leading painters of the Hudson River School: Thomas Cole and Frederic Church.