Fall foliage at the New York Botanical Garden

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Ben Hider

Fall foliage at the New York Botanical Garden

Autumn visitors to New York City can experience the glories of the fall foliage season without even leaving the city. Starting in late October, The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) offers a brilliant 250-acre display of changing leaves in vibrant orange, crimson and gold just 20 minutes from midtown.

NYBG also highlights foliage season with two event-packed Fall Forest Weekends that welcome tourists and city residents alike to experience the colors. There are guided walks through the 50-acre Thain Family Forest, the largest remaining tract of old-growth forest in New York City. Visitors can take a scenic canoe trip down the Bronx River and spot wildlife that call this woodland home. There are birds of prey demonstrations, guided tours, and Shakespeare performances that make for an unforgettable autumn experience.

Fall Forest Weekends will be held on November 3 & 4 and 10 & 11, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here’s what’s on offer:

Thain Family Forest Tours
November 3 & 4 and 10 & 11

Themed discovery walks take place in the Forest throughout each day. Visitors should meet tour guides at the Forest entrance on Azalea Way and are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and seasonal attire for the weather.

11 a.m.–Birds of the Forest
12:30 p.m.–Natural History of the Thain Family Forest
1:30 p.m.–Forest Forays for Families
2:30 p.m.–Forest Tour
3:30 p.m.–Forest Ecology

Canoe Trips on the Bronx River
November 3 & 4 only
11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Enjoy a short paddle on the Bronx River with the Bronx River Alliance and experience the beauty of this reclaimed local gem, home to an incredible variety of fish, birds, as well as beavers. The Bronx River Alliance serves as a coordinated voice for the river and works in harmonious partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, educational and economic resource for the communities through which the river flows. The Alliance works in close partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to achieve these goals.Limited spaces available; first-come, first-served basis. Weather contingent.

Citizen Science
November 3 & 4 and 10 & 11
11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Ridge Trail

NYBG volunteers have been tracking the tree cycles of leaf, flower, and fruit development for 10 years. They will help visitors look more closely at the trees within the Forest, providing an entirely new perspective from the trails. Visitors can also get help with tree and plant identification so they can explore the trees in their neighborhoods on their own. Learn how to be a part of Citizen Science.

Shakespeare in the Forest
November 3 & 4 and 10 & 11
Noon, 1 p.m. & 2 p.m.
Thain Family Forest

A high-energy troupe of performers, Hamlet Isn’t Dead, transforms the Thain Family Forest into an enchanted Shakespearean woodland, presenting highlights from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Over the course of the afternoon, faeries will plot, lovers will quarrel, and slapstick characters will have visitors in stitches. Follow the narrator, Puck, from place to place and see them all. Experience Shakespeare’s poetic and comic genius in the splendor of the Garden’s autumn landscape.

Birds of Prey Demonstrations
November 3 & 4 and 10 & 11
Noon & 2 p.m.
Wetland Trail

Hawks, owls, and falcons deftly swoop through the air, alert for prey. Their unique design and deadly weapons place them on top of the food chain. Learn how to identify these birds while gaining a greater understanding about their adaptations and habitats. The demonstration are done in conjunction with Volunteers for Wildlife, a nonprofit wildlife hospital and education center founded in 1982. Located in Locust Valley, New York, Volunteers for Wildlife is dedicated to preserving Long Island’s wildlife and natural habitats.

Fiddle Player
November 3 & 4 and 10 & 11
Noon–4 p.m.
Thain Family Forest Bridge

Ian Moore was born in Queens, NY, and most recently lived as a fiddler in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, for almost two decades. During his life he has explored a wide range of acoustic music styles: old timey ballads, blues, bluegrass, rags and reels, hornpipes and hoedowns, polkas, waltzes, gospel, swing jazz, Cajun and Irish tunes, old honkytonk numbers, jug band pieces, rockabilly, and songs about love, trains and chickens. He has also composed music for theatrical productions, short films, and ballet.

Woodcrafting Demonstration
November 4 & 11 only; 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Near the Thain Family Forest entrance on Azalea Way

Watch Ivan Braun create unique wooden bowls from fallen trees of the Garden and learn about the art and value of this craft. Take home one of his unique creations from NYBG Shop. Bronx-based craftsman Ivan Braun has collected wood from felled trees such as yew, red maple, plum, juniper, white oak, cherry, apple, and zelkova (a Japanese elm), crafting them into exquisite bowls and vases. He turns each piece by hand, letting the individual character and form of the tree influence the final shape, making each truly one of a kind. In addition to working with wood all his life, he has worked for several nonprofit social-service organizations.

Tickets for Fall Forest Weekends are in included in the All-Garden Pass. Visit NYBG’s website for more info on Fall Forest Weekends.

Source = The New York Botanical Garden
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