Curious things abound

at Teatown, the 1,000-acre nature preserve in the Lower Hudson Valley, which is a good place to check out the region’s final splash of fall color. I used to live down the road. Lucky me.

Teatown is a great destination. But first we had to stop at Fable Farm, where Geoff is now selling the heirloom apples his cider mill is known for. He has four growers who get him cultivars you’ve never heard of. We like the ones with the venerable pedigree, such as like Ashmead’s Kernal, named after a doctor when it was first raised in 1750. Mustard-yellow, it has sandpapery skin and flesh with a perfumey bouquet.

Geoff himself recommends the Winecrisp.

A good substitute to the Honeycrisp, a lab rat apple patented in 1988, which everyone loves so much but has a tendency to easily bruise.

Teatown is a good place if you like rustic seating.

Ancient fallen logs. I’m sure something furry had just skipped out when I peeked in.

A lake trail just next to the glimmering water. Teatown trails are open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. What this says to me is that the teenagers that man the cash register for Geoff’s apples have a fantastic party location and the cops probably won’t run them off the way they did my friends and I in a wooded town back when.

Teatown also has some volunteers kind enough to warn you off the trail you should definitely not be on.

It’s interesting. Teatown’s woods are bursting at the seams now, a phenomenon courtesy of the pandemic, they say. The parking lots hold dozens of shiny new cars. But we asked ourselves, if Teatown was always here and always this beautiful, why was it never this crowded before?

Its burning bush (or some twin plant) has always been here in November.

The authorities have always tried to fend off marauding deer.

When we lived down the road the different factions in Ossining nearly came to blows over a plant to have sharpshooters in Teatown’s woods by night to cull the herd. There is now a small bow hunting program in place. Yet apparently the deer survive, from the looks of the saplings along the shore that have been planted in acrylic tubes. Good luck with that, Teatown.

What they need is a strongman to keep things in order.

Lovely was a word invented to describe Teatown.

I want to hear the wind whooshing in the fall branches again soon. And discover a new favorite. This time, with no one around, I admired a tree and stone so involved in their kiss they didn’t care who was taking the trails.

Something curious but not unexpected at Teatown.

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