Meetup in CT over the holidays?

I usually meet up with @charlie in Connecticut over the holidays, but since there are actually some more people in the area these days, I was wondering if others might be interested in a larger meetup, probably on 12/26 or 12/27. @kellyfuerstenberg, @karolina, @mickley, @berkshirenaturalist, @johnpand @jonathan, @benedictgagliardi, @kjhurme, @rmedina, any interest? If we do it somewhere coastal like Hammonasset maybe we could tempt @invertzoo up from NYC! Any other recommendations regarding locations?

Update

Bigelow Hollow State Park
December 27th, 2015
1pm

Posted by kueda kueda, December 12, 2015 11:27 PM

Comments

I'm in, as you know! Definitely for an outdoor explore, not sure if I'd be able to do a happy hour or whatnot, but will be in touch!

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

I'm scheduled to work both days but if you decide on a day and a location, let me know and I'll see if I can get it off.

Posted by berkshirenaturalist over 6 years ago (Flag)

My friend @ctkremer might be interested in this...

Posted by carrieseltzer over 6 years ago (Flag)

Ken-ichi, that sounds like a lot of fun! I would enjoy meeting @charlie as well. I don't think I could manage 12/26, but 12/27 is probably possible.

I'm not sure what taxa people are most interested in, but Bigelow Hollow State Park (http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325066), and James L. Goodwin State Forest (http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=437244) , might be nice places.

For what it's worth, many of us (@karolina @benedictgagliardi , and @rmedina) are conspecifics at the University of Connecticut in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, so we're all in the neighborhood of Storrs, CT. So is @kjhurme, though she'll be in Texas I think.

Posted by mickley over 6 years ago (Flag)

Awesome! Those both look interesting. I will be in the Glastenbury area, but I believe @Kueda will be in the New Haven area so not sure if those northeastern parts of the state make sense for him or not. Just looking at location it seems like the 'Colchester' area is near the center of our locations, but I'm not sure what if anything there is worth a visit. The 27th works for me.

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

Ok, let's settle on December 27th, then. Probably easiest for everyone. I'll be down on the coast but I'm happy to head to wherever. Might be able to lure @maractwin or @cyric if it's in the northeastern part of CT. Let's wait a few more days to see who chimes in and then we can pick a location. Here's hoping the weather holds.

Posted by kueda over 6 years ago (Flag)

I've been watching this discussion. I would like to make it down, but have a tentative social engagement that day. If that falls through, and the weather is not absolutely horrible, I'll probably come.

Posted by maractwin over 6 years ago (Flag)

so far the weather this season has been utter crap, a failed winter with rain alternating with cloudy 40 degree days. At least in Vermont. Maybe in CT it's at least actually warm so there's some upside. here it's still cold but no snow.

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

I could probably make it.

Posted by cyric over 6 years ago (Flag)

I am in, great idea

Posted by rmedina over 6 years ago (Flag)

Hi y'all, sorry I missed the initial discussion. I am potentially interested, but have family holiday obligations in NJ, so I can't commit - maybe if the meetup was in the afternoon on the 27th (perhaps followed by some brews), I could make it. But I don't want to unleash the in-law wrath upon myself... mark me as a "maybe" :)

Posted by karolina over 6 years ago (Flag)

This sounds like a great idea! I believe I'll be available that day. Looking forward to meeting everyone

Posted by benedictgagliardi over 6 years ago (Flag)

Wow, great response! I am excited! Hope the weather isn't too absurd.

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

Afternoon plus libations works for me. Any parks / pubs that could accommodate us, CT folks? Anywhere pubs near Bigelow Hollow? That seems like a good spot for a lot of people who've chimed in, plus there are only a handful of iNat observations, and none of them are trees, so Charlie is sure to have a big impact.

Posted by kueda over 6 years ago (Flag)

I'm in. Got the day off. There are three ponds in the state forest and plenty of trails.

Posted by berkshirenaturalist over 6 years ago (Flag)

So 27th at Bigelow Hollow State Park sounds like the plan. Does 1pm give us enough time to walk around and grab a drink afterward, and can anyone recommend some place to get a drink, or another park / pub combo?

Posted by kueda over 6 years ago (Flag)

1 sounds good because I don't think I could make it too much earlier (of course others could meet up earlier without me!) I don't know the area so will defer to others for places to meet up for a drink or ?

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

Unfortunately, the area around Bigelow Hollow is somewhat devoid of development. I don't think there's much of anything closer than Sturbridge and Southbridge in MA, which are about 20 minutes away. I don't know that area too well, but I will ask Karolina if she knows any places.

The alternative if most of you are coming from the south would be to take I84 east a ways towards Vernon/Manchester/Hartford where there are plenty of options.

Posted by mickley over 6 years ago (Flag)

Hartfordish works for me (maybe not for people coming from MA or RI though). Any place in particular you had in mind?

Posted by kueda over 6 years ago (Flag)

I'll be in the Glastenbury area so it's easy for me to get to Hartford but I'm not sure what sort of outdoor areas there are around there to explore. Myself personally I'm more interested in an afternoon outdoor explore than dinner or drinks this time, since I'm visiting family and would rather be able to see them in the evening. So I'm still OK with Bigelow Hollow or something up that way. But don't let me ruin your fun of course and maybe I'd still stick around for a drink or quick meal.

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

Ok, well let's all plan to meet up at Bigelow at 1pm, and if we have ideas for drinks near Hartford afterward we can decide on it then.

Posted by kueda over 6 years ago (Flag)

Looks like there might be four parking lots... Do you know which one is best? Or maybe the gate will be locked due to off season and we park on the road. Weather for Sunday looks like rain in the morning but not in the afternoon. I think I won't be able to do dinner but am excited for the walk and inaturalisting

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

I can come tomorrow, but will be half and hour to an hour late. Any idea what trail you might head down?

Posted by maractwin over 6 years ago (Flag)

Wow, didn't realize it was so complicated. How about meeting at the southernmost parking area (by the "Park Entrance" arrow at http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/stateparks/maps/big_nipm.pdf) and figuring out a plan from there.

Also, I hate to say this, but there's a distinct chance I might have to bail. I got hit by this weird flu-ish thing on Christmas Day and I've yet to recover. If I'm feeling better tomorrow I'll be there, but will have to play it by ear. Sorry to be so lame.

Posted by kueda over 6 years ago (Flag)

I'm probably gonna head down earlier seeing as how I have the day off. If the gate is open, I'm thinking maybe the third parking lot which puts you at the north end of Bigelow Pond but I'm open to suggestions. Nipmuck State Forest is also adjacent to Bigelow Hollow and appears to have trails throughout both. I have some interest in checking out Mashapaug Pond. Whenever folks start showing up just send me a text. 413-770-4838. Jason. I'll probably stick around the first pond depending on severity of rain. See you all then.

Posted by berkshirenaturalist over 6 years ago (Flag)

I usually park at the 2nd lot near the boat ramp. That's the biggest lot I believe as long as the gate is open. The first is a "free" lot, but since we are in the offseason there shouldn't be a fee I think. But we can meet there to start.

My cell is 717-278-9126, though be forewarned cell service in that area can be rather spotty.

Depends how long of a hike you all would like but breakneck pond is a good spot. Taking the white trail north to the Nipmuck and then back down on blue/orange would capture some good topography.

Ken-ichi, best of luck recovering.

Posted by mickley over 6 years ago (Flag)

Hmm... Let me know Ken-ichi because if you aren't going I may not either. Sorry to be flaky but the planning in between other family stuff is tricky as it is.

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

Sounds good. First lot it is and I'll check back around one but won't wander to far from Bigelow Pond. Maractwin and anyone else running behind, hang on to the numbers and call or text when you're getting close and we can meet up with you or let you know where we'll be. Hope you feel better Kueda.

Posted by berkshirenaturalist over 6 years ago (Flag)

Feeling a bit better, so I'm on my way!

Posted by kueda over 6 years ago (Flag)

Ok I'm gonna try to come for a few hours.

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

Sorry, I am a bit sick with laryngitis, feeling lousy and homebound.

Posted by susanhewitt over 6 years ago (Flag)

Thanks for the invitation @kueda ! I hope it was a success! I'm in Texas now, but will be moving to Berkeley with my husband in August, so hopefully we can meet up there!

Posted by kjhurme over 6 years ago (Flag)

Looking forward to hearing how this went!

Posted by carrieseltzer over 6 years ago (Flag)

It was fun! Well, I got there an hour and a half late, thanks to a previous commitment and a lot of traffic. Cell service was there was so bad it took 30 minutes to exchange a couple of messages to figure out where people were, but I finally ran into the group. Walked about a bit (saw lots of mosses and lichens), then went to a nearby restaurant to hang out for a while and have a snack. Forgot to take a group photo.

Posted by maractwin over 6 years ago (Flag)

Excellent group of people. It was fun to be out in the woods searching for treasures with like minded individuals. I can't wait until the next one especially when the bugs are flying. Only one slug though and it was an introduced species. :o(

Posted by berkshirenaturalist over 6 years ago (Flag)

Hey folks, finally got some headache-free computer time. Just wanted to say I had a great time meeting you all, and making a decent dent in the Bigelow Hollow and Nipmuck State Forest checklists! I was especially impressed with the lichen diversity, and I still have a few I need to try and key out. If you haven't seen it, here's Charlie's shot using his "selfie stick" (aka his incredibly long right arm):

Back from left to right that's @cyric, @mickley, @kueda, and @constance, and in the front from left to right: @charlie, @jessicalodwick, and @berkshirenaturalist. We ran into @maractwin a few minutes later and ate delicious fried things at the totally unexpected Traveler Restaurant, where you get free books with your order.

Anyway, Happy New Year to all, and I hope everyone meets up with more iNat people in 2016!

Posted by kueda over 6 years ago (Flag)

Great meeting you all (or seeing you again in the case of @kueda ! Sorry I missed dinner! If anyone feels like adding me on facebook (where i post about weather more than anything, you have been warned) you can at https://www.facebook.com/charlie.hohn ... and @mickley and @jessicalodwick (or whoever) let me know next time you are in Vermont, perhaps we can meet up! Otherwise see you all next year if it all works out again

Posted by charlie over 6 years ago (Flag)

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