Windy morning at Butler Sanctuary

butlerIt was quite windy today as I took a walk in Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary. I guess it had been blowing last night, as there were branches scattered on the road as I drove there. I made sure to look up often when on the trails to spy branches that could be easily knocked loose by the wind, before they could bash my brains in. The wind was really kicking up and there were a lot of large branches on the trails.

Lisa (my wife) and I snowshoed here a couple of weeks ago, and I did a short hike here about a month ago. This time I really wanted to get an idea of what the place was like so I hiked the circumference of the park. It took almost two hours, and got my heart pumping and brow sweating. There’s quite a bit of elevation change (no snickering Coloradans) and quite a bit of scenic variety. The photo above is from “Sunset Ledge.” The park is open from dawn to dusk, so I’m really not sure how anyone is supposed to take advantage of the sunset there. Wishful thinking, I suppose.

I saw about a whitetail deer who scattered as soon as they heard or saw me, their big, puffy tails sticking straight up as they ran.

There is a lot more water here than I expected. There are three or four ponds/swamps, and many little streams feeding them. The streams were all running pretty strong today, as I guess the recent snow-melt is still draining through the ground. I was getting a little thirsty but resisted the temptation to have a sip. I hadn’t brought any water with me. The water in the streams looked nice and clear, but the chance of getting e-coli or giardia wasn’t worth it. Plus, it being pretty chilly, I wasn’t that thirsty.

There are a lot of large boulders and rock outcroppings, mostly on the western (yellow) trail. It’s really something I love about this area.

One negative aspect of this park is that highway 684 runs down its entire eastern side. When on any of the easternmost trails you can hear the traffic. Once up and over the first hill the sound fades away. The more interesting locations are in the western part, so it’s not that big of an issue.

Butler is run by the Nature Conservancy. It sits on 365 acres and is located between Mount Kisco and Bedford.