Home & Garden

Pyramid Mountain Hosts “Reptiles and Amphibians Day”

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Naturalist Stephanie Quieirolo brings out Snuffles, Pyramid Mountain’s corn snake, as Veronica Struck and other participants look on. Credits: Melissa Benno
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Pyramid Mountain Senior Teacher Naturalist Douglas Vorolieff (center, gray hat) helps the participants at the park's Reptile and Amphibian Day roll over a tree trunk to look for amphibians. Credits: Melissa Benno
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MONTVILLE, NJ - Little voices gasp as Naturalist Stephanie Quieirolo brings out Snuffles, Pyramid Mountain’s corn snake. They watch as the snake wraps itself around her arm.

“She’s not strong enough to hurt me, though,” Quieirolo assures the kids.

Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area hosted its “Reptiles and Amphibians Day” on Tuesday, April 21, when families could come and learn about these animals and the role they play in nature.

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Quieirolo explained about the corn snake and its endangered species status, and what it means to be cold-blooded. She also showed the kids a snake skin.

“Do we have to shed our entire skin every time we grow?” she teased the kids.

The children colored paper-plate snakes, crafted pretend frog egg clusters out of bubble wrap, and played reptile- and amphibian-inspired teaching games. Then Senior Teacher Naturalist Douglas Vorolieff took the kids and their parents on an easy walk to show them the critters in the park, including shining a flashlight into a woodpecker hole to view a tree frog.

“We have year-round programs for all ages,” stated Vorolieff, later. 

Most of the park’s programs are less than $5, and many involve an indoor learning craft combined with a small, age-appropriate hike. The park has programs designed for adults, children, and families.

A new program at the park is called “Trail Explorations.”  Designed for adults ages 18 and up, the series is designed for adult hikers to explore “every bit of trail on both Pyramid and Turkey Mountains,” and will follow a different trail every month.

Pyramid Mountain is located on Boonton Avenue (Route 511) in Montville Township, near Mars Court. Visitors who would like to hike can consult this link: Trails. General information about the park can be found here:  Pyramid Mountain

Upcoming events and programs are:

Saturday, April 25th

Lil’ Critters Story Time

Ages 3 – 6 with an adult

Hear engaging nature stories read aloud.  Take part in fun activities, such as crafts, games, or walks that build on the stories’ themes.

Time: 11 a.m. - 12 noon.

Cost: $3 per child.*

 

Wednesdays, April 29th through June 3rd

Nature’s Little Explorers

Ages 2 & 3 with adult

Discover the wonders of nature together through six weeks of walks, activities, and crafts.

Time: 10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Cost: $55 per child.*

 

Tuesday, May 5th

Toddler Trek: Tree Time

Ages 2 & 3 with an adult

Discover the amazing world of trees with a story read aloud and a guided walk.

Time:  10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Cost:  $5 per child.*

 

Tuesday May 5th, Tuesday, June 2nd

Trail Explorations

Ages 18 and up

Enjoy this new naturalist-guided series designed for adult hikers to explore every bit of trail on both Pyramid and Turkey Mountains.  Every month, these ‘moderate’ hikes follow a different trail.

Time:  1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Cost:  $2 per person*

 

Thursday, May 7th and Saturday, May 9th

Morning Bird Walk:  Moderate

Ages 12 and up

Many colorful songbirds are migrating through New Jersey at this time of year, and Pyramid Mountain is a wonderful place to spot them.  Bring binoculars or borrow a pair of ours.

Time:  8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Cost:  $1 per person*

 

Sunday, May 10th

Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk:  Easy

All ages.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a family trail walk discovering wildflowers.

Time:  10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Cost: $2 per person age 3 and up*

 

Monday, May 11th and Monday, June 8th

Hike for Health:  Moderate

Ages 18 and up

Enjoy a brisk morning walk before work to start your week on the right foot!  Heavy rain cancels the event.

Time:  7 a.m. – 8 a.m.

Cost:  $2 per person*

 

Tuesday, May 12th

Pre-School Walk:  Who lives in Trees?

Ages 4 and 5 with adult

Explore the trails and discover which animals use trees to survive.  Enjoy creating a tree-themed craft.

Time:  10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Cost:  $5 per child*

 

Friday, May 15th

Bugs in the Night

Ages 7 and up

Why are insects attracted to lights?

Discover one possible answer, and see how many different, interesting insects we can actually attract.  Waterproof boots are suggested, since we will be starting at the brook to look for the juvenile stages of the flying insects that are attracted to light.

Time:  7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Cost:   $5 per person*

 

Saturday, May 16th

Weekend Family Walk:  Easy

All ages.

During these guided walks designed for families, stroll the wooded trails to discover unique animals and plants.

Time:  11 a.m. – 12 noon

Cost:  $2 per person ages 3 and up*

 

Monday, May 18th

 Lil’ Critters Story Time

Ages 3 – 6 with an adult

Hear engaging nature stories read aloud.  Take part in fun activities, such as crafts, games, or walks that build on the stories’ themes.

Time:  2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Cost:  $3 per child.*

 

Tuesday, May 19th

Family Science Day:  Lenape Life

All ages with an adult

There’s so much to learn about New Jersey’s Native Americans.  Discover the culture and tools of the Lenape while rotating through hands-on activity stations designed to challenge families to work together and make new discoveries.

Times:  either 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Cost:  $8 per child age 5 and up*

 

Wednesday, May 20th and Wednesday, June 17th

Awesome Animal Artists

Ages 5 – 9

Budding young artists mix nature and art in this indoor/outdoor program.  Each class features a different NJ wild animal to learn about and draw.  Parents are welcome to stay and participate.

Times:  3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Cost:  $5 per child.*

 

Saturday, May 23rd

 Lil’ Critters Story Time

Ages 3 – 6 with an adult

Hear engaging nature stories read aloud.  Take part in fun activities, such as crafts, games, or walks that build on the stories’ themes.

Time:  11 a.m. – 12 noon

Cost:  $3 per child.*

 

Saturday, May 30th

Hardy Laurel Hike:  moderate

Ages 7 and up

Walk with a naturalist to see the beautiful display of blooming mountain laurel along the ridge.

Time:  10 a.m. – 12 noon

Cost:  $1 per person*

 

Tuesday, June 2nd

Toddler Trek: Summer Scavenger Hunt

Ages 2 & 3 with an adult

Discover the amazing world of trees with a story read aloud and a guided walk while looking for the animals and plants that love the warm weather.

Time:  10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Cost:  $5 per child.*

 

Sunday, June 7th and Tuesday, June 9th

Family Science Day:  Insects

All ages with an adult

Learn about insects while rotating through hands-on activity stations designed to challenge families to work together and make new discoveries.

Times:  either 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Cost:  $8 per child age 5 and up*

 

Tuesday, June 9th

Pre-School Walk:  Buggy bugs

Ages 4 and 5 with adult

Search for the littlest critters of the woods and discover the reasons they are so amazing.  Enjoy creating a bug-themed craft.

Time:  10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Cost:  $5 per child*

 

Monday, June 15th

 Lil’ Critters Story Time

Ages 3 – 6 with an adult

Hear engaging nature stories read aloud.  Take part in fun activities, such as crafts, games, or walks that build on the stories’ themes.

Time: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Cost:  $3 per child.*

 

Saturday, June 20th

Weekend Family Walk:  Easy

All ages.

During these guided walks designed for families, stroll the wooded trails to discover unique animals and plants.

Time:  11 a.m. – 12 noon

Cost:  $2 per person ages 3 and up*

 

Wednesday June 24th to Friday, June 26th

Mini Summer Camp:  Woodsy Walkers

Ages 2-4 with adult

Introduce your kids to the nature camp experience.  Little campers explore trails and a variety of natural history topics with stories, games, walks, and activities.

Time:  10 a.m, to 11:30 a.m.

Cost:  $30 per adult

 

Saturday, June 27th

Wildflower Walk:  Moderate

Ages 9 and up

The wildflowers of Pyramid Mountain are in full bloom this time of year.  Walk with a naturalist to search the trails for their beautiful summer colors.

Time:  10 a.m – 12 noon

Cost:  $1 per person*

 

Tuesday, June 30th

Baby and Me Hike

Put your baby in a backpack and explore one of many wonderful Morris County area trails. All adults are welcome.

Time:  9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Cost: $2 per adult.*

 

 (*Call 973-334-3130 for more information about any program.)

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