Haley Farm in the Winter

Groton is also home to Haley Farm State Park.  Last year in February Beverly and I took a long walk here, too.  This winter I have not been as interested in getting outdoors, but it’s nice to remember when I had a bit more energy, and blog about last year.  Above is a lovely view of Palmer Cove from Haley Farm.

The backside of Canopy Rock, above.  It seems to be a place for kids to hang out and leave artwork.  We didn’t see any litter, which was thoughtful of them.

In the above side view picture the “canopy” part of the rock is clear.  In the distance is the Amtrak railroad elevation.  In the picture below is a tunnel under the railroad tracks, originally used for livestock – it must have been small livestock – clearance is only 4 feet!  Can’t imagine a cow crawling under there!

If one doesn’t mind crawling through, our map tells us that on the other end of this tunnel are paths connecting to the trails in Bluff Point State Park.  We didn’t attempt it, curious or not, we’re not engineers but we wouldn’t want to be under there if a train should zoom by overhead.  A little close for comfort, too.  At least we could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But, still…  If we turned around now, we could see Race Track Pond, or actually the reeds surrounding it.

We decided to follow a deer trail, figuring they would know the easiest way through the reeds to find the pond for a drink of water.

We did find a spot where the ice had been broken through and guessed that might be where the deer would find their water.

I please myself with the graces of the winter scenery, and believe that we are as much touched by it as by the genial influences of summer.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Nature)

It was beautiful with the long winter shadows of the reeds on the snow-covered ice.  We didn’t know it then, but we were to be inexplicably unable to retrace our steps.  Lost!

When a man named Caleb Haley owned the farm he built a lot of stone walls around his pastures, using an ox drawn stone-puller.  I meant to photograph some of them on our way out, but, we were very cold and had very likely been walking around in circles trying to figure out a badly drawn map.  When we finally saw the entrance (exit!) I quickened my step and fell on an icy spot of snow.  Wrenched my shoulder so badly it still hurts a little even now, a year later.

So perhaps this year, maybe in the spring, I’ll return and try to get some stone wall pictures!

A Long Cold Winter Walk

It was 4°F when I got up this morning. A year ago in January it wasn’t this cold when we had visitors for a weekend, Tim’s youngest cousin and her three children. Allegra is 18 years younger than Tim, who is the oldest in that group of cousins. (The span between the oldest – Nate – and the youngest – Lizzie – second cousins is even greater – 30 years! But they are not part of this particular story.) I hadn’t started By the Sea yet, so I’m remembering this wonderful day here now.

So… on one day of the visit we decided that taking a long cold walk at Bluff Point would be an invigorating way to release some pent-up energy…

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Bluff Point is a 1½ mile long peninsula here in Groton which juts out into Long Island Sound. It is part Connecticut State Park and part Coastal Reserve. The trails meander through the woods and open areas and finally lead to the bluff. The main trail is a four mile loop.

Winter is an etching…
~ Stanley Horowitz

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

The Poquonnock River (above) is on the west side of the peninsula, and on this day we followed the river. Cold as it was there were lots of people out and about, walking dogs, riding horses, and jogging, as well as walking like we were.

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

The winter sun is striking… Families who come outdoors find some satisfaction for the hunger to connect with nature and with each other, in any season.

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

A glimpse of a beach in the distance helps to encourage us forward, in spite of very rosy cheeks!

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We didn’t make it to the bluff because we took a detour to Bluff Point Beach, which faces the sound and stretches into a barrier between the sound and the river, Bushy Point Beach. The Great Hurricane of 1938 (aka the Great New England Hurricane) washed away more than a hundred cottages here, which were never rebuilt. (Mother Nature doesn’t have to tell the typical New Englander twice when rebuilding would be a bad idea!) The storm surge also breached Bushy Point Beach which created an island at its western end.

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We endured the wind a little while to explore the beach, and Allegra found a whelk egg case.

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We were so cold by then that we decided to retrace our steps back to the car. So in the end we walked almost four miles, according to the pedometers. We came home to a round or two of hot cocoa…

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

…Blake, Ariana and Clarice…

Maybe our family will come see us again in a different season, and perhaps then we’ll make it to the bluff – we were so close! – and finish the loop on the other, eastern side of the peninsula!

January 2010 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Each of our lives is a path. To know this requires intuition and trust. If we are true to the steps we take, the travel makes sense and the journey confirms itself.
~ Lin Jensen