New Year’s Day Walk and get together

Leader: Sue Mackson
Sunday, January 1, 2023

As with the “last day”  there was no rain on Sunday, first day of the year. It was in the 50s, no hat, no gloves needed, often sunny skies.  The group that gets out to the Vassar Campus changes in composition from year to year. Some new faces, some old, some had never walked around the campus, others were quite familiar with its features. The Williams building at the end of College avenue, which at our last NYD walk were still standing, were no more. The area is now surrounded with fabric fencing, construction going on and some vegetation eliminated.  Campus quite, no left over snow. We missed seeing the old observatory with the bust of astronomer Julia Mitchell but did get to view, from the outside, the Tiffany windows of the chapel.  Unfortunately, no rays of light shone through the panes, so the beautiful scenes were not illuminated. We lingered at Sunset Lake where there were geese in abundance,  and saw the Casperkill where it enters the campus and where it flows into Sunset Lake, and the Fonteynkill. The doors to Main Building (and it’s bathrooms) were locked but the 1861 dating the school’s beginnings remain carved in stone near the roof.  The lovely triangular plot of winterberry showed it’s winter display of brilliant red berries—with a welcome predictability.  We exited  through the arched campus entrance, passing the entrance to the Francis Lehman Loeb art center.

The walk provided lots of time to socialize as we stretched out along the campus paths and socializing continued indoors with too hot cider and too cold soup.

  • Sue Mackson

The following piece was written by Annette Caruso and printed in The Hudson Valley Almanac.
“Ten hikers from the Mid-Hudson ADK chapter on our annual New Years Day walk around Vassar College   were walking back along Raymond Ave next to the campus. We noticed just a few feet away to our right between two ancient thick trunked pine trees a large juvenile Red Tail Hawk standing on the ground looking about in all directions.  One young man (Jonathan) in our group had just seen it swoop down in a sideways glide around the tree, as if to catch something,  but come up empty.  We stood there marveling at the bird’s size and proximity, and it kept looking around and finally, likely after seeing we weren’t leaving, flew off.  Just then we saw, on the tree trunk right next to us spread-eagle flat as a pancake not moving a muscle, seemingly holding its breath, a squirrel.  And a very lucky one at that.”
– Annette Caruso