The weather was hot, muggy and threatened rain so we decided to locate a preserve that was close by and promised a short walk. Since a co-worker claimed that she had been unable to locate the Daniel Davis Preserve in Coram we decided to take up the challenge. We found that we did have to drive slowly and really look into the vegetation in order to find this hidden sanctuary. One problem was the directions from the Nature Conservancy website that told us to look for driveway #16 a little more than a tenth of a mile north of route 25. This would have been easy to follow, except for the fact that the number #16 was hidden by the poison ivy growing up over the number. We approached the entrance from the north and located a rather large sign, also covered by the surrounding vegetation, bearing the name of the sanctuary but no entrance. At this point we followed the fence until we located a paved driveway. When we looked down the driveway, we saw that a dirt driveway veered to the right with a preserve sign nailed to a nearby tree. Eureka! We had found the Daniel Davis Preserve. There was a sign requesting that preserve visitors park inside the gate, so we opened the gate, drove through and closed the gate behind us. Once inside the gate,we found a parking lot large enough for about 4 or 5 cars facing a meadow.
The meadow appeared to be going back to forest, as evidenced by the oak trees sprouting up around the field. We noticed that the milkweed, which had been in full bloom when we visited Avalon, was already losing its luster. However, the butterfly weed was in bloom, with more buds ready to open up within the next few days. I found a cluster, near the edge of the meadow, with a rather lazy bee just resting on the bright orange flowers.
I did not take many pictures in this preserve due to the exorbitant number of mosquitoes and other biting insects. We discovered that it was best to just keep moving rather than have these terrors zero in on our location every time we stopped. As a result, many of the photos I did take were a bit out of focus. I found that it is difficult taking a photo while you are still moving or trying to shoot the photo in the shortest amount of time possible. Shoot and run does not work with photography.
We walked around the gate into a woods that primarily consisted of pine and oak trees; a familiar characteristic of pine barren areas on Long Island. Through the trees we could see the occasional sunlit grassy area; areas that seemed out of place here. As we traveled along, the path became mossy for a short time before turning back to the familiar pine needle covered trail. In the middle of the trail, I found Indian Pipes peeking through the pine needles and dead leaves.
As we neared the end of the forest trail, we found a stone that had at one time contained a plague commemorating some unknown function. I did find in the local history journal that the preserve had been dedicated in the 1960s, so perhaps that was the reason for the plaque. Unfortunately, we will never know since the tablet is no longer there; removed by some unknown person a long time ago.
The woodland trail ended at the far end of the meadow. We traversed the two sides of the field back to our car. Due to the insects mentioned earlier that encouraged us to move along, we completed our 1 mile walk in about 25 minutes.