strong as a great oak

3.3.21 ~ Great Oak Park, Ledyard, Connecticut

After a bitter cold snap we managed to get out for a good walk on Wednesday. Another new place for us. This time I brought my father’s cane to use as a walking stick so I wouldn’t have to find one in the woods. It fit perfectly and had a good energy! Papa was very fond of his cane because his father had carved it and used it. (A couple of pictures of him with it here.)

photo by Tim

Our daughter-in-law mailed us our old camera a couple of weeks ago so I could see how it compares to the one I’ve been using for several years now. But so far I haven’t felt inclined to pick it up so Tim took it along on this outing. It was fun with both of us having a good camera.

beautiful blue sky
still a bit of ice and snow in places

We were looking for the remains of a famous huge oak tree in the woods here. Before long we spotted the sign and were saddened to see just how very little was left of it.

During the summer of 1969, the gypsy moth defoliated an estimated 260,000 acres of trees in northeastern woodlands — more than triple the defoliated acreage of 1968.
~ Ralph L. Snodsmith
(The New York Times, April 19, 1970)

image credit: Ledyard Historical Society
The Ledyard Oak, c. 1910

The famous oak didn’t survive the gypsy moth assault in 1969. Fifty-one years later this is all that is left of it:

decomposing
devastation from an invasive species

My feet will tread soft as a deer in the forest. My mind will be clear as water from the sacred well. My heart will be strong as a great oak. My spirit will spread an eagle’s wings, and fly forth.
~ Juliet Marillier
(Daughter of the Forest)

This little oak was planted beside the original in 2009.
Maybe 400 years from now…

We continued walking and found a historical cemetery.

interesting roots
Lester family cemetery, early 1800s
In memory of Solomon Lester who died Dec. 4, 1840 aged 69
Miss Lucy Lester died Apr. 18, 1814 in her 70th year
unused fence post and its shadow on a tree
some kind of moss or lichen
a huge rooster
a hen (?) and said rooster

Within this park are more trails and the Nathan Lester House & Farm Tool Museum, presumably the home of the chickens. We will have to wait to explore when the pandemic is over.

Delorma Brown Hubbard & Emma Pridmore

Tim’s 2nd-great-grandfather, Delorma Brown “DB” Hubbard, son of John and Lydia (Randolph) Hubbard, was born 8 May 1842 in Albion (Orleans) New York, and died there 21 March 1915. He married in 1866, Emma Pridmore, who was born 11 January 1844 in Great Dalby (Leicestershire) England, and died 7 April 1917 in Batavia (Genesee) New York, daughter of William and Ann (Sturgess) Pridmore.

Delorma Brown “DB” Hubbard
(1842-1915)

The following is from the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, New York, 22 March 1915, page 9:

Albion, March 21.—The death of Delorma B. Hubbard, a retired business man, occured this morning in his home, West Bank and Liberty streets, aged 72 years. He was born in Albion May 8, 1842, and had always lived here. Mr. Hubbard was an expert accountant. He was engaged for some time in the grocery business with Robert Wilkins. Later he engaged in the wholesale produce business with Charles Vandekar, and continued later with the late mayor, Eugene English.

Mr. Hubbard bore a striking likeness to the portraits of “Uncle Sam” and on several occasions participated in large parades representing that distinguished character. He has lived a retired life in recent years. He leaves his wife, Mrs. Emma Pridmore Hubbard, and one daughter, Mrs. Charles Hamilton, both of Batavia: also one sister, Mrs. Starkweather, who lives in the eastern part of the state. The funeral will be held from Mount Albion chapel Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock, Rev. W. J. Ford, pastor of the Albion Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be in Mount Albion cemetery.

According to his son-in-law, Charles A. Hamilton:

The following is from Charles Amos Hamilton, An Autobiography, “The Memory of the Just is Blessed”, (Batavia, New York: Privately printed, 1941)

My father-in-law [Delorma] was a great believer in Luck. He would quote instance after instance of young men of his acquaintance who had gotten their start in a successful career through marriage with a rich man’s daughter, through inheritance of an established business, through association with some prominent man, etc.

According to his great-granddaughter and namesake, Delorma (Rodgers) Morton, Delorma disliked the feminine sound of his name, and so always went by his initials, DB.

DB & Emma married the year after the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Emma was a homemaker. She came to America in 1857 with her father, when she was about 16 years old, but it is not known if her mother died in England, or perhaps at sea, as no death record has been found for her thus far on either side of the Atlantic. According to her son-in-law, Charles A. Hamilton:

Mother [Emma] made her home with us, where she was supremely welcome.  She was the only real mother that I ever had, and we loved each other devotedly.

Emma Pridmore (1844-1917)

The following is from The Buffalo Times, Buffalo, New York, 9 April 1917, page 6:

BATAVIA, April 9—Mrs. Emma P. Hubbard, aged 73 years, died at the New York State Institute for the Blind on Saturday, following a long illness. She is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Gertrude M. Hamilton, wife of the superintendent of the State school, and two brothers, Reuben Pridmore of Albion and George Pridmore of South Bend, Ind. Burial will take place at Mt. Albion cemetery, Albion.

Emma died of cancer and is buried with DB at Lot #955, Clematis Path, Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion, New York. [The stone in the center of this plot has four surnames: HUBBARD, HAMILTON, PRIDMORE, RODGERS. The adjoining plot has a center stone with one surname, STARKWEATHER, a family DB’s sister married into.]

Delorma & Emma were the parents of three children, all born in Albion. Sadly, the two older children predeceased their parents:

i. John Delorma Hubbard, born 16 July 1867, died 25 July 1883, age 16. John is buried with his parents at Lot #955, Clematis Path, Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion, New York.

ii. Mary Estelle “Mamie” Hubbard, born 13 March 1869, died 22 May 1892 in Rochester (Monroe) New York, age 23, of Bright’s disease. Mamie was engaged to Charles Hamilton when she died, and he later married her younger sister. Mamie is buried with her parents at Lot #955, Clematis Path, Mt. Albion Cemetery, Albion, New York. Mamie’s niece Allegra Estelle (Hamilton) (Rodgers) Lloyd, was named in her honor.

The following are from undated newspaper clippings:

Miss Mamie Estelle Hubbard, daughter of DB Hubbard, a popular teacher in the Grammar school, died in Rochester Sunday evening last, after an illness of several months, aged twenty-three years. The funeral services took place at the Baptist church, of which deceased was a member, yesterday afternoon. ?Animean may 26 1892?

A Loved One Gone: The hearts of very many in Albion were saddened when the news reached this village of the death of Mamie Estelle Hubbard, which occurred in Rochester Sunday last, May 22d.

For some time past Miss Hubbard had been in poor health, and was in Rochester undergoing medical treatment, but it was only a few days before her death that the seriousness of her case was realized. The tenderest care and highest medical skill could do naught to prolong her life, and she passed away surrounded by those who were dear and near to her.

She was the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. DB Hubbard, of this village, being twenty-three years of age. She graduated from the Albion High School in 1886, being the youngest member of the class, and she is the first one to pass away. For four years she has been engaged as a teacher in the schools of our village.

Since the early age of eleven years she has been a member of the Baptist church and has been faithful in attendance and participation in its services; also exemplifying in her daily life the teachings of Him whom she had chosen to follow.

The funeral services were held at the Baptist church Wednesday at 2 pm, conducted by Rev AC Barrell, assisted by Rev EH Rudd. The public schools were all closed and the teachers attended in a body. A large delegation of the members of the Albion Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workmen attended, and acted as escort, thus showing, in a marked manner, the high respect in which the daughter of an honored member of the Order was held. The high esteem in which the deceased was held was testified to by the profusion of flowers with which the casket and pulpit were decked, which had been presented by her former teachers, schoolmates, pupils and friends.

By the death of Miss Hubbard the community loses one of its loveliest and purest characters. All who knew her, even slightly, were impressed with her sunny disposition and equanimity of temperament, and those who, bound to her in the dearest relationships of life, have felt the inspiration and sympathy of her presence, and the grand wealth of her affection, while deeply mourning her loss, feel that, in respect to her, ”Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.’

Her influence for good will long be felt in the character and habits of those under her instruction, and all her companions will be elevated and purified by the remembrance and example of her upright Christian life.

Thrice blest whose lives are faithful prayer,
Whose loves in Higher love endure,
What souls possess themselves so pure,
Or is there blessedness like theirs?

iii. Gertrude Mabel Hubbard (Tim’s great-grandmother), born 9 December 1874, died 31 May 1965 in Marlboro (Monmouth) New Jersey. She married 30 June 1897 in Albion, Charles Amos Hamilton, who was born 19 March 1866 in Hinsdale (Cattaraugus) New York, and died 28 October 1943 in Batavia, son of Charles Munson and Eliza Ann (Devoe) Hamilton. Gertrude & Charles were the parents of a daughter.

tipping rock

2.24.21 ~ Hewitt Farm, North Stonington, Connecticut

Because of the winter storms we hadn’t had a real walk in the woods in over a month. “Get out there!” my favorite TV weatherman advised on Wednesday morning. We opened the door and the birds were singing and it felt like a spring day at 45°F (7°C). Most of the snow had melted. So we headed out to a new park for us, the Hewitt Farm in North Stonington.

This 104-acre park and recreation area was purchased by the Town of North Stonington in 2008 for the enjoyment of its residents and visitors to the region. The property consists of forests, fields, wetlands and streams; more than a mile of hiking trails, including the town’s Bicentennial Trail; the Shunock River; 3.5-acre Lower Hewitt Pond and dam; and several structures. The dam originally provided water-power to John Dean Gallup’s woolen mill located nearby.
~ Hewitt Farm Trail Map

a preview of the bigger rock to come

We took the Bicentennial Trail. It felt so good to be outside with a just a sweatshirt and no gloves needed! We walked for an hour and a half, up a hill to Tipping Rock, a huge glacier erratic that didn’t disappoint. From the top of the hill we could see the wooded landscape 360° all around us. But there was also lots to see along the way.

moss texture
another glacial erratic with a different energy
interesting root formation

For most of us knowledge comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, “What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?”
~ Rachel Carson
(The Sense of Wonder)

perhaps the largest burl we’ve encountered

Not sure how long the trail would be we were thinking of turning back but then we saw the sign. So we pressed on up the hill…

first glimpse (telephoto lens)
what? could that be a ladder?
yes, indeed
no, we do not “do” ladders!
photo by Tim

After much oohing and aahing we headed back down the hill. It was a lot easier and faster than climbing up, but we still paused to see a lot of nature’s delights.

pincushion moss, I think
another interesting root formation

About half way down we heard the delighful sounds of excited children approaching. Two mothers with two babies and four little ones between them were coming up the trail so we took our usual six-feet-off-the-trail position as they passed. We exchanged pleasant greetings. They were wondering about the ladder…

remnants of autumn and winter

We were so happy to be out and about, as much as is possible, during the pandemic. Tim got his first shot on the 17th. Next one scheduled for March 17. My age group opens up on Monday but it may take a while to get an appointment because there are a lot more people in my age group than there are in Tim’s.

the comfort of a poem

image credit: pixabay

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

~ Mary Oliver
(Mysteries, Yes)

even the smallest thing

2.19.21 ~ white-throated sparrow, Birch Plain Creek

One can only hide from the cold for so long. One’s mind needs to be outdoors! One’s spirit needs simple things. It snowed most of the day on Thursday and Friday and when I woke up at 4 a.m. Saturday morning there were still flurries dancing around. We went for a walk in the scattered snow showers on Friday, with about five inches of the white stuff on the ground. Not wanting to drive anywhere, we walked in the woods and along the creek behind our condo complex.

I spotted a new bird, for me, a white-throated sparrow! She was not cooperating about posing very much but I was happy to get the above picture. One musn’t be greedy. I wonder what she was eating.

left over from a city-wide Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt
mourning dove

A mourning dove landed on a branch and eyed me. I thanked her for letting me see the coloring under her tail. Another new thing for me to see. And then she knocked some snow off the branch — yes dear little dove, I did see you do that. 😉

mourning dove knocking snow off the branch
waiting for spring

The creek was mostly frozen over. Tim spotted three gulls out on the ice. Two waiting for an opportunity and one devouring a fish. One always wonders who stole it from who…

great black-backed gull, first winter
it looks cold out there on the ice
winter survival

How surely gravity’s law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing —
each stone, blossom, child —
is held in place. …

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke
(Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)

somebody’s tracks
Birch Plain Creek

My mood improved 100% by the time we returned home. Pretty flurries just continued floating through the sky all morning and afternoon, until dark, still there every time I looked up from my book. I have finished reading The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and have started on The Girl in the Tower, the second book in the Winternight trilogy. Perfect books for winter.

Birch Plain Creek

on the existence of atoms

“Young Girl Seated” by Amedeo Modigliani

It troubled me as once I was —
For I was once a Child —
Concluding how an Atom — fell —
And yet the Heavens — held —

The Heavens weighed the most — by far —
Yet Blue — and solid — stood —
Without a Bolt — that I could prove —
Would Giants — understand?

Life set me larger — problems —
Some I shall keep — to solve
Till Algebra is easier —
Or simpler proved — above —

Then — too — be comprehended —
What sorer — puzzled me —
Why Heaven did not break away —
And tumble — Blue — on me —

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #516)

Elijah Rodgers & Zipporah Ann Horton

Elijah Rodgers (1834-1925) & Zipporah Ann Horton (1838-1920)
of Guysborough, Nova Scotia & Provincetown, Massachusetts

Tim’s 2nd-great-grandfather, Elijah Rodgers, son of Jacob and Mahala (Bedford) Rodgers, was born 4 October 1834 in Guysborough (Guysborough) Nova Scotia, and died 19 June 1925 in Provincetown (Barnstable) Massachusetts. He married 15 December 1863 in Toby Cove (Guysborough) Nova Scotia, Zipporah Ann Horton, who was born 22 February 1838 in Cook’s Cove (Guysborough) Nova Scotia, and died 6 March 1920 in Provincetown, daughter of Charles and Eliza (—) Horton.

Elijah was a fisherman and Zipporah was a homemaker. In the spring of 1873 Elijah may have been part of the rescue efforts to assist the passengers of the shipwrecked RMS Atlantic, which ran onto rocks off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Quite remarkably, Zipporah was 50 years old when she gave birth to her last child. A couple of years later, about 1891, the couple and their younger children emigrated from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod, joining Elijah’s younger brother Neadom, who had arrived in Provincetown many years earlier, in 1858, and their oldest son George, who had joined his uncle Neadom in 1883. Elijah & Zipporah resided at 72B Commercial Street in Provincetown.

In the summer of 1911, Elijah & Zipporah survived a deadly heatwave that killed more than 2,000 people in the northeastern states.

Elijah & Zipporah lie buried together, along with their son Charles, and with their daughter-in-law Adelaide (Williams) Rodgers, wife of their son Neadom, in Gifford Cemetery in Provincetown. Elijah died of heart disease.

Gifford Cemetery, Provincetown, Massachusetts

Elijah & Zipporah were the parents of eight children, all born in Guysborough:

i. Alice Rodgers, born about 1864, died 2 July 1870, age 6. Buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Guysborough, next to her grandmother, Mahala (Bedford) Rodgers.

ii. George Lincoln Rodgers (Tim’s great-grandfather), born 1 January 1865, died 16 July 1939 in Fall River (Bristol) Massachusetts. He married (as his first wife) 18 February 1891 in Provincetown, his first cousin, Mary Jane Rodgers, who was born 7 June 1867 in Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts, and died 10 July 1916 in Somerville (Middlesex) Massachusetts, daughter of Neadom and Hanorah (O’Brien) Rodgers. George & Mary Jane were the parents of a son. George married (as his second wife) about 1918, Mary Etta (Cushing) Simmons, who was born about 1867, and died 21 January 1938, daughter of John Walter and Deborah (Sampson) Cushing and widow of Mark L. Simmons. George lies buried with his second wife and her first husband in Mayflower Cemetery in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

iii. Harvey Rodgers, born 24 November 1872, died 16 November 1952 in Port Madison (Kitsap) Washington. He married 24 November 1914 in Seattle (King) Washington, Bertha Nyman, who was born in 1874 in California, and died 31 May 1945 in Seabold (Kitsap) Washington, daughter of Frank and Elizabeth (O’Rourke) Nyman. Harvey & Bertha had no children.

iv. Charles Edward Rodgers, born 12 November 1873, died 6 May 1893 in Provincetown, age 19.

v. Neadom Oscar Rodgers, born 20 January 1876, died in 1953 in Provincetown. He married (as his first wife) 8 October 1908 in Provincetown, Adelaide Williams, who was born there 20 September 1875, and died there 24 October 1918, daughter of John & Marian (Campbell) Williams. Addie died of pneumonia, probably a victim of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Neadom & Addie were the parents of a son. Neadom married (as his second wife and as her second husband) 11 December 1923 in Wellfleet (Barnstable) Massachusetts, his brother’s widow, Lillian Udavilla (Stanley) Rodgers, who was born 23 January 1885 in Grand Manan (Charlotte) New Brunswick, and died 18 September 1979 in Provincetown, daughter of Job and Catherine (—) Stanley, and widow of William Rodgers. Neadom & Lil had no children.

vi. William Rodgers, born in December 1878, died 13 January 1920 in Provincetown. He married (as his first wife) 24 January 1900 in Provincetown, Lizzie Ellsworth Newcomb, who was born there 5 November 1883, and died before 1906, daughter of John O. and Christina (McKinnon) Newcomb. William & Lizzie were the parents of a son. William married (as his second wife and as her first husband) Lillian Udavilla (Stanley) Rodgers, who was born 23 January 1885 in Grand Manan (Charlotte) New Brunswick, and died 18 September 1979 in Provincetown, daughter of Job and Catherine (—) Stanley. William & Lil were the parents of two daughters.

vii. Edna Elizabeth Rodgers, born 5 November 1884, died 15 October 1967 in Provincetown. She married 22 November 1904 in Provincetown, Samuel Thomas Rich, who was born there 6 September 1882, and died 2 August 1979 in Hyannis (Barnstable) Massachusetts, son of Caleb and Julia Ann (Freeman) Rich. Edna & Samuel had no children.

vii. Osela Charles Rodgers, born 20 June 1888, died 20 June 1968 in Philadelphia (Philadelphia) Pennsylvania. He married 22 August 1917 in Portland (Cumberland) Maine, Sylvia Frymire, who was born 8 July 1894 in Williamsport (Lycoming) Pennsylvania, and died in January 1983 in Bethlehem (Northampton) Pennsylvania. Osela & Sylvia were the parents of a son.

cabin fever countermeasure

2.9.21 ~ solitary birch, Birch Plain Creek

I bundled up and braved the cold again. We decided to stay in our neighborhood for a walk in the snow. It’s been snowing a lot so far this month, and sticking around for a few days. I took fewer pictures this time out in order to keep my fingers tucked into my thinsulate gloves. We drive by this gorgeous birch tree often, but since it’s wedged between a busy road and a creek it never feels safe enough to park, get out of the car, and get a picture. So I finally walked down and got one after living here for 27 years!

red-bellied woodpecker

We heard this woodpecker calling and looked way up in the trees and at last spotted him. Not sure what he was up to but it was fun to see another being out in the frigid weather. I’ve always loved walking in the snow but it must be that getting older is making me much more sensitive to the cold. I’m torn between wanting to get out there and not wanting to feel frozen!

It was the kind of snow that brought children running out their doors, made them turn their faces skyward, and spin in circles with their arms outstretched.
~ Eowyn Ivey
(The Snow Child)

Birch Plain Creek, snow covered ice

This folding chair (below) has been sitting by the creek for years, but I’ve never seen anyone sitting on it. Sometimes it gets knocked over but most of the time we find it upright, ready and waiting for someone…

The bare trees are that smoky-lavender, gray and withdrawn. … I know a little more how much a simple thing like a snowfall can mean to a person.
~ Sylvia Plath
(The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)

One last picture before the camera battery died… Time to get back indoors! After we came inside it started snowing again. 💙

snow bunting

snow bunting by Georg Wietschorke (pixabay)

When winter storms sweep across the land these birds blow in like true snowflakes and settle down on wind-blown hillsides and benchlands to feed upon the weed stalks that rise above the snow. They are usually found in large flocks which start up from the ground, as one bird, at the slightest noise.
~ Chester A. Reed
(Carroll County Times, February 9, 2014)

I’ve never seen a snow bunting — yet. People in my area have been posting pictures of them on Facebook so I’m hoping my luck will change. (Last year I spotted quite a few birds I had never noticed before.) The nonbreeding female (above) is especially pretty. They are larger than sparrows but smaller than robins…