15 Mar

Click here for sketch map of outing.

(Pictures relating to the text appear at the end of the notes.)

keywords: Alan Devoe, John Cowper Powys, Nat Snare, Bald Eagle, Chickadees, Arthur Ficke


The small creek that runs west along Hickory Hill Road. According to Ruth, at least one previous owner called it "Rock Rill".


The remains of an old apple orchard just northwest of the former Nat Snare farmhouse. According to Ruth, the large trees located on the left hand side of the picture, are Ben Davis apples, a cider making variety.


One of Nat Snare's barns. This is a post & beam barn probably made in the early 1800s. According to Ruth, Nat kept young calves here. The extension on the left suggests a former life sheltering sheep. During Powys' day, this was the Curtis Farm.


Claudia spotted this Bald Eagle soaring across the farmland. There have been numerous reports this winter of Bald Eagles around Hawthorne Valley and along the Taconic State Parkway.


The flat-topped, grass-covered hill in the middle of the photograph is, according to Ruth, a "kame". Kames are features of glacial geology apparently caused as gravel and rocks accumulate along under-ice creeks.


The heart of a kame. Kames, drumlins and the like are frequently mined for their gravel.


The old Nat Snare fields are dotted with Little Bluestem clumps. This native grass was apparently OK as pasture but lousy as hay. Also, given its late-season (or so-called "warm season") growth pattern, it may only be suitable for a limited portion of the grazing season.


Vole work. Creating their tunnels beneath the snow, Meadow Voles probably made this network of holes and paths in the thatch.


The former Nat Snare farm looking south along Harlemville Road. She apparently had the cattle barn on the left built during her operation of the farm. The old post and beam barn of a previous photograph is on the right. The cattle barn apparently housed Jerseys and provided enough milk money to allow the purchase of a few adjacent farmland parcels.


Memorial to poet Arthur Ficke and his wife along Phudd Hill Road. Although little-known today, Ficke was a well-respected American poet of the first part of the 20th century. He was a friend of Powys, Millay and other prominent writers of his day.


To end on a spring note, these Canada Geese (actually photographed March 14th in the swamp that connects to Acker Pond) are probably looking for a nest site, if they haven't already found one.


Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Nature


2 responses to “

  1. Dustin Oliver

    August 27, 2014 at 4:18 am

    I’m very interested in the exact location of the Arthur Davison Ficke grave site. He was a member of a very prominent family in Davenport, Iowa, and I’m a bit of an amateur local historian here. This is the only picture I’ve seen of the grave.

    • hvfarmscape

      August 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Sure, we’d be glad to help you. It is located on private property along the south side of Phudd Hill Road, just west of his former house in the northwest corner of the town of Hillsdale NY. It is currently forest-enclosed, but may have been more open at the time of the burial. Please email me (conrad “at” if you want more details.


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