Field Trip: Doodletown

American carrion beetle, Necrophila americana.

The name “Doodletown” usually gets a quizzical look, but it’s real, or was once. Nestled between Bear Mountain, West Mountain, and Dunderberg Mountain in Bear Mountain State Park, Doodletown was a village founded in the late 18th century. Iron mining, logging, and tanning (using hemlock bark) were local industries early on. The last residents were either bought out, or thrown out via eminent domain, during the 1950s-early 1960s by the Palisades Interstate Parkway Commission. Sites of former homes and businesses are marked along the paths. The two small cemeteries are still open to family members.
Spirobolid millipede, Narceus americanus.
Forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria.

Wisteria now grows wild all over, and it was blooming on Saturday when we walked along the red-blazed 1777W trail towards the reservoir. Worm-eating warblers and American redstarts provided the musical backdrop, with guest appearances by a hooded warbler, ovenbirds, red-eyed vireo, black and white warbler, scarlet tanager, and blue-winged warbler, as well as cat birds. A ruby-throated hummingbird made a very special appearance. Above, a red-tailed hawk, turkey vultures, and a black vulture. Along the highway up, deer both roadkill and live. On the ground, the various invertebrates pictured here.

In the reservoir, we saw several eastern newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), impossible to photograph, and oodles, moodles, bidoodles of what turned out to be American toad (Bufo americanus) tadpoles along the shoreline:
A great day in the woods.

6 Responses to “Field Trip: Doodletown”


  1. 1 amarilla May 12, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    All those dips and trenches (better word choice?)in the beetle’s shell are perfectly articulated by the lighting – it is a joy to see.

  2. 2 GeeGee May 21, 2013 at 1:23 am

    I remember Doodletown fondly….”Lady” Caron Powell, the Junes, the Dogwoods & the view of the hudson river…& our one teacher schoolhouse… No stores nor businesses…just homes on two intersecting roads…. and the 10 foot natural swimming hole.

    It was established in revolutionary days…so beautiful. Only there for 3 years…but it is sharp in my memory.


  1. 1 Tweets that mention Field Trip: Doodletown « Backyard and Beyond -- Topsy.com Trackback on May 11, 2010 at 9:59 am
  2. 2 Frog and toad « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on June 14, 2011 at 9:03 am
  3. 3 Burying Beetles « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on August 17, 2012 at 7:45 am

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