It’s deer old turkey time

The holiday season is upon us in the Hudson Valley

Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010

I was riding my bicycle home from work not long ago when a young buck, maybe six or eight point, bounded across the road about fifty feet in front of me. It's mating season, and he was on the move. In the town of Newburgh the previous weekend, a flock of young turkeys hurried single file from one side of Fostertown road to the other as I approached.

Also spotted from the saddle the past couple weeks were a large skunk, an even larger raccoon, a hedgehoggy possumy thing, innumerable squirrels, and, during a nature break on a rural road in Ulster County, a fox out of the corner of my eye. On a regular loop I do among the orchards in Marlboro, a riding partner and I came across a turtle with a shiny blackish brown shell, about eight inches long. I gave him/her a hand getting across the road. Helping a turtle cross the road always makes me feel like a Boy Scout and a True Friend of Nature.

Back in the larger mammal category, an October headline in the Poughkeepsie Journal read "Police: Moose on the loose in Beacon." The article starts: "Police are scrambling to secure traffic after a moose was sighted running loose this afternoon." This confused me. Was the moose somebody's pet?

This time of year many species are more active. Like us, our animal friends are getting ready for the approach of winter, doing their equivalent of hanging the storm windows and running out for deals on Black Friday. Before you go into hibernation, we've provided a guide to explore the wilder side of Beacon. Don't worry though, we keep civilization within reach by including directions from each site to the nearest cup of coffee.

To complement the outdoor adventure, our Home and Garden article takes you to a few local stores where you'll find goods to dress your table for the season. And if you are looking for a one of a kind gift for someone this year, check out our profile of Ulster County jeweler Connie Verrusio. In the spirit of giving thanks, heads up for our fellow Valley denizens when out on the roads during these pre-winter days and nights.

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