My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Allegany Nature Pilgrimage

Me Talking
Young Naturalist J took this photo of me in the Big Basin

Friday and Saturday was the big Audubon weekend here in Allegany State Park. The Allegany Nature Pilgrimage is sponsored by a few of our local Audubon Societies here in the WNY area (and is my favorite weekend of the year). This was my 13th year attending the pilgrimage and my 10th year as being a group leader. I had the privilege of leading two groups (that turned out to be almost 75 people) into the Big Basin Old Growth area. I just loved having Toni, Jennifer and many other regulars to this blog spend their time with me looking for the big trees!

Star Flower Blueits
Star Flower and Bluets by Young Naturalist J

Friday evening we listened to Dr. Wayne Gall under the big tent doing a humorous slide presentation using some cartoons from Gary Larson’s “Far Side” series (Far Side . . . it was sooo funny). We skipped the Owl Prowl, Night Time Insects, Star Gazing, etc… and went on the “Evening Hike” by our favorite group leader Lon. You have no idea how fun this hike is and below is a short video that I captured on last years hike (sorry Lon . . . . I had to repost this again).

[blip.tv ?posts_id=256542&dest=7863]

For the second year the NIT’s (Naturalist in Training) did their “Nature for Kids by Kids” walk. Young Naturalist C, Young Naturalist E and Young Naturalist J did an amazing job with the walk and I am so proud with the way they worked together in passing their knowledge of nature to the younger kids. I also think it is great that the ANP committee continues to give these kids the opportunity to lead these walks.

Naturalist in Training
Young Naturalist J, C and E doing their walk

Saturday evening was the best part of the day when some of us bloggers spent time together during the chicken BBQ. Such an amazing weekend we had!

Allegany Bloggers
Me, Jeremy, Jen, Linda and Toni


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23 responses

  1. I can see we missed a lot of fun things by not being there Friday and all of Saturday. We really enjoyed the time we did spend there this year. I wish I could have participated in your hike of the old-growth trees. It was a pleasure meeting Jen and Jeremy for the first time and seeing you , YNJ and Toni and Don again. Hopefully this was our first of many pilgrimages. Great pictures and I just love the video. Being on that hike had to be awesome!

    1 June 2008 at 11:51 pm

  2. What a fun time you all must have had!

    2 June 2008 at 6:36 am

  3. I wish we could have spent the whole weekend there.
    Friday’s evening talk sounds like it was better than saturday nights. We took off home after that.
    The day was awesome spending it with everyone and meeting Jen and Jeremy and seeing Linda and Matt again.
    Oh yea and meeting Naturalists J’s parents.

    2 June 2008 at 6:59 am

  4. *sigh*…. wish I could’ve made it. Looks like fun 🙂

    2 June 2008 at 7:39 am

  5. I love the Great Basin Area. Such wonderful, unspoiled forest.

    2 June 2008 at 9:31 am

  6. What a great weekend! After being at work for the last 6 hours I am totally ready to go back to Allegany for good. It’s always good to see all my old friends, and I got to meet some great new friends like Toni and Linda! My only complaint is that it is never long enough. They should have an entire week for us, kind of like an adult summer camp 🙂

    2 June 2008 at 12:17 pm

  7. Kaz

    Sorry I didn’t get to meet you while I was there!
    -Kaz

    2 June 2008 at 2:14 pm

  8. You got some amazing photos close up of the birds. I love the Cedar Waxwing! I want to know how you did all that on the week end and still got up several posts. What a guy!!! Great job.

    2 June 2008 at 2:44 pm

  9. Looks like y’all had so much fun. Right on. 🙂

    2 June 2008 at 5:07 pm

  10. Wow, Tom, this looks like a fantastic weekend! It’s so great the young naturalists get to teach, too!
    P.S. I like your T-shirt! 😉

    2 June 2008 at 7:13 pm

  11. Marg

    Oh that looks like fun! Glad you guys all had such a great time!

    2 June 2008 at 9:05 pm

  12. I wished I lived in your area to join your group – how fun!

    2 June 2008 at 9:47 pm

  13. Grace

    It was a fun weekend. I caught a glimpse of you a couple of times. Loved the Friday program. :-O

    2 June 2008 at 11:55 pm

  14. Well, that must have been a great week-end.

    3 June 2008 at 6:01 am

  15. I just left a comment on Toni’s blog about being sorry about not being able to join you guys. Western NY is only 4-5 hrs away, though getting away from the store and store-work is tough.
    Glad to hear you all had a great time. Keep me posted on future get-togethers in western NY.

    3 June 2008 at 12:23 pm

  16. Looks kinda chilly, but at least it wasn’t raining!
    The happy faces in the last photo show that you guys all had a great day!

    3 June 2008 at 6:05 pm

  17. @ Linda – the nature pilgrimage is for sure a weekend activity! But I am very glad that we were able to spend the time together that we did spend! When your leg is ready we will take a private walk down into the big basin!
    @ Jayne – we sure did! Thanks
    @ Toni – we had a blast and Wayne is a wonderful speaker. Glad you were able to make it!
    @ Nick – should have come . . you missed a good time!
    @ Scienceguy- it is a great place, thanks!
    @ Jeremy – Thanks and I am ready also! LOL and never thought of this being an adult summer camp!
    @ Kaz – you were there? Hey, did I meet some neighbors of yours?
    @ Jalynn – thanks and I love the waxwings also! Thanks and maybe blogging is my life!
    @ Lana – sure was fun, thanks!
    @ Pam – it was and it is about everyone teaching! LOL knew you would like that one 😉
    @ Marg – Thanks and you guys should make it down here for a Pilgrimage.
    @ Shelley – would love to have you join us! It was fun!
    @ Grace – sure was and I never did run into you . . . I did see you at work today! LOL
    @ Birdlady – it sure was, thanks!
    @ Zen, no worries and I understand. Next Pilgrimage is the weekend after memorial weekend!
    @ Ruthie – wasn’t that bad and rain was much better than first expected. We did have a great day!

    3 June 2008 at 7:51 pm

  18. Lisa at Greenbow

    What a wonderful program to get young people involved. It looks like a good time was had by all.

    3 June 2008 at 10:00 pm

  19. Wow–that’s a lot of people on a hike. Sounds like a great way to get young people interested in nature.

    4 June 2008 at 9:47 am

  20. Looks like a great time! The NIT program sounds wonderful – I know I’d have loved it when I was a kid.

    4 June 2008 at 11:46 am

  21. This looks like so much fun – I like seeing you hanging out with your wicked cool blogger friends. We have a similar program over here for the kids. Hopefully falling in love with nature sticks. (p.s. I love watching you inspire nat j… ! oh yeah and how he inspires you right back) You do a hell of a great job Tom. p.s. I completely love his star flower.

    4 June 2008 at 3:14 pm

  22. @ Lisa – thanks and actually this was the doing by young naturalist C and E’s mother. She should get all the credit for it!
    @ Joan – I love big groups but this was a tough hike to take people on!
    @ Adam – thanks and the NIT program is a park thing. But is a wonderful program that I needed to do everything in the book for my bandana.
    @ aullori – thanks and was fun seeing everyone. It is great seeing all the kids working together.

    4 June 2008 at 7:58 pm

  23. Hi,
    it was great to read your post about the Pilgrimage, I am so disappointed I won’t be able to come this year, I’ll be in England! (I’m NOT complaining!)
    Have fun and I look forward to reading new posts about it here.
    You can 5 or so posts I put up from my experience there on my blog…just go to the link on the right column named Allegany Nat. Pilgrimage…and there you are!
    thanks!

    17 February 2009 at 5:19 pm

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