My interest in opening my home was to share Graylag with people from around the world who appreciate the simple pleasures of nature. When we first cut hiking trails into the woods, the idea was to get people to experience being in the forest.
But it was not until we blazed the trails with a color code which corresponded to a map that more people started to use the trails. Two years ago, we posted identification tags on some trees. But knowing the names of individual trees does not capture the sense of a place. So we hired a very knowledgeable ecologist, Ellen Snyder, to develop an Ecological Assessment/Stewardship Report for Graylag.
The report describes the geology, the woodlands and the wildlife habitats of Graylag and the variety of animals that use them. It explains why the woodlands and habitats occur where they do and provides suggestions on how we can help to improve them. We got a very positive response from the guests who saw this report. Copies of it will be in the cabins this summer and it will soon be available on our website. I hope that the next time you are here, this report will enhance your stay at Graylag.
The July 24, 2008 tornado swept through Graylag and left a very different landscape. Instead of the thick woodland entrance, you will find a sparse, almost plains-like entrance. We optimistically see this natural disturbance as an opportunity for the forest to open up to create new and different habitats for wildlife. In fact, a new hiking trail appeared, following the path of the loggers skidder as they cleaned up some of the fallen trees. We have left acres of uprooted trees by Shinglemill Brook in full tornado attire, to break down on their own and provide shelter for the many creatures that live there. We have also left one tree at the entrance to Graylag as a sculpture to remind us of the power and fury of that extraordinary storm.