There was a certain amount sadness for my wife and I as we returned to the North Country two weeks ago. The coronavirus has shut down most of America and New York State was especially hit hard by this pandemic. While we sheltered ourselves waiting for this to pass we realized that we were not restricted from visiting the Red Barn Preserve and taking advantage of the hiking trails. We have the good fortune of living walking distance from the Preserve which made it easy to check it out. To our amazement- we were not alone when we walked the farm site. I estimate we saw on average a half dozen people on each of our visits. The excitement and interest in the Preserve centered around the Blue Heron Rookery. The birds are back and have been there since early March. The viewing stand that was installed last fall provides an excellent view of the Rookery. I estimate there are at least 50 nests and they are completely filled up with pairs of birds. The birds have mated and many of the nests now have eggs in them. If you go to our Facebook page- I have posted plenty of pictures of all of this bird activity.
We also noticed that our large beaver population has been busy. All of the ponds are at high water because these animals have worked hard to patch the areas that drain the ponds. While one of the Gateway Museum’s trustees has visited the property over the winter and early spring to dislodge the debris and keep the water flowing- we are losing the battle to these guys.
I also stopped by the farm house to check on the work progress related to the renovation effort. The place is totally amazing- the kitchen and bathrooms are nearly complete and a new oak wood floor was installed throughout the downstairs area. The work was shut down last month due to the virus. I estimate that we have 2 or three weeks of construction activity left to complete this project.
The trustees for the Gateway Museum have had to cancel the monthly meetings because we are a “nonessential” activity during this pandemic. This has created a period of uncertainty for us. We are not sure when we will be able to open the Museum’s doors to visitors. This uncertainty applies to the other annual activities such as our garage sale, 4th of July parade, yoga classes, and summer concert series.
We hope to get back to business in the near future. In the meantime – our hiking trails remain open at the Red Barn Preserve and we invite all of you to come visit us. Please practice social distancing.
Trustee Gateway Museum
April 10, 2020