This area is made of fields and forest, wetlands and drylands. Stony Brook, the stream that flows along the western boundary, flows along Paffard Woods too. The fields must be mowed every year to keep them from growing into forest. All these different habitats make it easy to see many kinds of plants and animals in one small place. Every season offers something new and different.
Total Hike & Seek Targets: 5
Find the big boulder that seems to be balancing just above the brook. It is a nice place to stop, rest, and listen to the water.
TREES GROWING OUT OF ROCKS
It seems impossible for a tree to grow out of a rock. But look closely along the ledge areas. Look down at the roots of the tree and notice the cracks in the rocks where soil collects, water drips, and seeds grow into trees.
The littlest evergreens. There are many kinds of moss, all very unique kinds of plants. They grow low to the ground and often cover rocks and old logs. Most of the mosses love shady moist areas and they remain green all through the winter. Moss is the most fun to touch! It is often very soft, sometimes even spongy. Few animals eat it though. Even in the hot, dry summer it will hold enough moisture to make a salamander happy.
Fields, leas, meadows, glades; all are names for open areas of land that are full of sun-loving plants, grasses, and flowers. Stand on the trail where you can be at the edge of a meadow. What do you see? In the summer there will be bees and butterflies, in the fall, tall brown stalks with seed pods. In the winter the meadow is cut down to help new plants grow in the spring.