It felt so good getting out for a long walk in the woods on a cool, crisp autumn day! First we enjoyed the meadows at the entrance to Coogan Farm.
Following a path past the Giving Garden we came to the Gallup Orchard Trail, which winds through the woods before arriving at a forgotten orchard that was recently discovered and is being studied and restored.
Dating back to the original 1654 Gallup homestead and actively farmed by the Greenman brothers during the age of shipbuilding in the 1800s to feed their shipworkers at what is now Mystic Seaport Museum, the orchard contains clues that will help us uncover the history and heritage of the land. ~ Anna Sawin (“Apples and Pears, Oh My!” ~ Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center blog post, March 9, 2020)
The orchard is on a hill. We entered at the top of the hill and when we found our way down to the bottom we found this sign. The bottom entrance is off the Stillman Mansion Trail. We followed that trail back to the parking lot and encountered a cute little song sparrow, who wasn’t singing, only staring at us apprehensively.
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
The promise of 7′ waves from Hurricane Fiona lured us to make a spur-of-the-moment trek out to Napatree Point Friday afternoon. Tim couldn’t keep his hat on the northwest wind was so strong. I tucked his hat inside my hoodie. But the 3′ waves were disappointing, once again.
There was a solitary monarch butterfly lingering on the dunes. Hopefully it will be on its way to Mexico by the end of September!
To get the above picture I climbed up higher on the dune, up off the regular path. (There was no rope or sign to indicate I shouldn’t!) I was delighted with the new vantage point, but then, when I turned around to retrace my steps, found myself sliding down the sandy slope with nothing to hang on to. Somehow I made it without falling. 🙂 The camera was safe, too.
Earlier that day we went to a nursery and found a good pumpkin, an assortment of gourds and a pot full of mums. Stopped by the cider mill and got some more freshly pressed cider for Tim. A lovely way to celebrate the first full day of autumn!
The mind is never so open as such clear days in the fall, when the air has a special tang of flowers and frosty iron, and something flits lightly past you, a memory you can’t recall, a dream forever undreamt and forever far beyond. ~ Inger Hagerup (The Magic of Fjords)
This might be my last post tagged with “pandemic.” It’s been two and a half years! Not that I think we won’t eventually catch covid, but we have gotten our state-of-the-art bivalent booster shot now and we seem to be living in a new world, coexisting with a treatable endemic virus. We’re still masking inside public places but getting more adventurous…
The autumn equinox now seems like a perfect time turn over a new 🍁 and stop focusing on the virus. Yes, the mind is never so open as such clear days in the fall!
We enjoyed a lovely long walk around the pond at the arboretum on Friday. I was in my sweatshirt and enjoying the fresh cool air. The trees are still green for the most part and we wondered what kind of fall color is in store for us in the wake of the drought. There were still some summer tints lingering side by side with hints of autumn hues.
Few men know how to take a walk. The qualifications of a professor are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much. If a man tells me that he has an intense love of nature, I know, of course, that he has none. Good observers have the manners of trees and animals, their patient good sense, and if they add words, ’tis only when words are better than silence. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Later Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson: 1843-1871)
We also took a side path to the Glenn Dreyer Bog which was illuminated with spots of bright sunshine. The light near the equinoxes is amazing, as I often say.
The woods were full of gray catbird calls and we heard them rustling around in the tree branches. Occasionally we spotted one but they were diligently avoiding my camera. This was the summer of the catbird. Not only did we have one singing in our river birch outside our kitchen window, we saw them on almost every walk we took. Back in June, though, they were out in the open and more amenable to being photographed.
How much of beauty — of color, as well as form — on which our eyes daily rest goes unperceived by us! ~ Henry David Thoreau (Journal, August 1, 1860)
Today the humidity is creeping back with higher temperatures but it shouldn’t last for too many days. We plan to go see an outdoor Ibsen play, Peer Gynt, in the park tonight and will bring blankets to keep warm. This was supposed to happen in June but covid got the theater group and they had to postpone. We got our new bivalent booster shots last week but still plan to exercise caution as we try to move forward.
Like Rain it sounded till it curved And then we knew ’twas Wind — It walked as wet as any Wave But swept as dry as Sand — When it had pushed itself away To some remotest Plain A coming as of Hosts was heard That was indeed the Rain — It filled the Wells, it pleased the Pools It warbled in the Road — It pulled the spigot from the Hills And let the Floods abroad — It loosened acres, lifted seas The sites of Centres stirred Then like Elijah rode away Opon a Wheel of Cloud — ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #1245)
We got 1.75″ of rain on Tuesday! Our drought status has moved from severe down to moderate.
Every once in a while a hurricane churning away out in the Atlantic sends some big waves as far as Napatree Point, so we went there to see what Hurricane Earl might be sending our way. The waves weren’t so big after all, about 3′ according to a surfing website. (In 2020 Hurricane Teddy sent 6.5′ waves!) But we still had a good time at this wonderful beach on Saturday, enjoying the September sunshine and sea air.
After walking part way down the beach on the Atlantic side of the Napatree Point peninsula, we crossed over the dune on the indicated path to enjoy beach roses and the views. Rhode Island is still in an extreme drought. Ours is still severe, in spite of the recent rains.
Tim spotted a bird on one of the ropes marking off the path. A new life bird for me!
Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia: Common widespread migratory breeder April to September in brushy thickets of river-edge forest, wetland edges, moist power-line cut segments, and open woodland. ~ Frank Gallo (Birding in Connecticut)
These pictures were taken with the zoom lens and were the best I could do at a distance. The warbler did seem to love flitting about on the brushy beach rose thickets.
North America has more than 50 species of warblers, but few combine brilliant color and easy viewing quite like the Yellow Warbler. In summer, the buttery yellow males sing their sweet whistled song from willows, wet thickets, and roadsides across almost all of North America. The females and immatures aren’t as bright, and lack the male’s rich chestnut streaking, but their overall warm yellow tones, unmarked faces, and prominent black eyes help pick them out. ~ All About Birds webpage
The beach on the bay side of the dune is a little different from the one on the ocean side. Little Narragansett Bay is a small estuary and serves as a harbor for the village of Watch Hill.
We walked for over an hour and felt very refreshed. There is nothing quite like the sounds of crickets and of waves crashing, the smells of salt air and beach roses, the sighting of a new bird and the feel of sunlight warming the skin!
Tim’s 4th-great-grandfather, Aaron Newton Case, son of Aaron and Margaret (Meacham) Case, was born 24 January 1788 in Simsbury (Hartford) Connecticut, and died 14 February 1870 in Cambridge Junction (Lenawee) Michigan. He married, 26 November 1812 in Windsor (Hartford) Connecticut, Laura Amanda Roberts, who was born 17 November 1792 in Bloomfield (Hartford) Connecticut, and died there 15 November 1829, daughter of Lemuel and Roxey (Gillett) Roberts.
Aaron owned a farm in Simsbury [Bloomfield] until 1832, when he was about 44, and after Laura’s death, he moved to Windsor, Ohio where he purchased a new farm. The 1850 census has him living in Windsor with two of his grandsons, William N., age 3, and Martin E., age 0, and a 16-year-old named Robert Adkins. In 1860 he was living there with his son, Galusha, daughter-in-law, and their six sons. He lived there until 1867, when he was about 79, and then moved to Cambridge Township, Michigan. Apparently Aaron remained a widower for 40 years until his death. He lies buried in Cambridge Junction Cemetery. Laura lies buried in Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church Cemetery in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church Cemetery Bloomfield, Connecticut
Cambridge Junction Cemetery Cambridge Township, Michigan
Aaron & Laura were the parents of five children:
1. Luarana Amanda Case, born 9 February 1814 in Bloomfield, died 23 April 1883 in Glenville (Cuyahoga) Ohio. She married 16 July 1836, in Ashtabula (Ashtabula) Ohio, Pharis Wells Cook, who was born 8 March 1813 in East Granby (Hartford) Connecticut, and died 2 July 1882 in Glenville, son of Jesse and Chloë (Phelps) Cook. Laurana & Pharis were the parents of three children.
2. Galusha Aaron Case, born 24 November 1815 in Simsbury, died 29 June 1886 in Detroit (Wayne) Michigan. He married Susan Adeline Bedell, who was born c. 1822 in Schuyler (Herkimer) New York, and died 1 January 1897 in Detroit, daughter of William and Margaretha (Lepper) Bedell. Galusha & Susan were the parents of six sons.
3. Capt. Hermon Roberts Case (Tim’s 3rd-great-grandfather), born 10 April 1818 in Simsbury, died 17 February 1890 in (Lenawee) Michigan. He married (as his first wife) 28 December 1841, Mary Doty, who was born about 1820 in Euclid (Cuyahoga) Ohio, and died 16 March 1845 in East Cleveland (Cuyahoga) Ohio, daughter of Asa Doty. Hermon & Mary were the parents of a daughter. Hermon married (as his second wife), 5 March 1848, Paulina Elizabeth Minor (Tim’s 3rd-great-grandmother), who was born 2 April 1822 in Mendon (Monroe) New York, and died 9 March 1898 in Cambridge (Lenawee) Michigan, daughter of William and Naomi (Reniff) Minor. Hermon & Paulina were the parents of four children.
4. Hiram Newton Case, born 13 October 1822 in Connecticut, died 17 July 1901 in Orwell (Ashtabula) Ohio. He married 12 February 1846 in Ashtabula, Mary Amidon, who was born 12 March 1822 in Ashford (Windham) Connecticut, and died 23 February 1901 in Orwell, daughter of Henry and Clarissa (Roberts) Amidon. Hiram & Mary were the parents of four children.
5. Lemuel Hurley Case, born 4 July 1824 in Connecticut, died 1896. He married 19 November 1850 in (Ashtabula) Ohio, Mary Nye, who was born about 1823 in New York, and died 23 January 1909 in (Cook) Illinois, daughter of Abel and Mary (Stoyell) Nye. Lemuel & Mary were the parents of three children.
Saturday morning we visited Open Air 2022, an outdoor sculpture exhibit hosted by the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art on the beautiful UConn Avery Point campus from July 14-September 29. This idea started in 2020 because of the pandemic, when the gallery had to remain closed. It was so popular with the public that they plan to continue with a new installation every summer.
Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its own focus. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (Experience)
Silent Vanishing was my favorite sculpture, depicting melting icebergs and the snowy owls who breed in the treeless arctic tundra. Where will they go if/when the environment changes too fast for them to adapt?
I stopped by my beach rosebushes to see if the song sparrow was still there but a mockingbird came out to greet me instead. He posed for quite a while and I took many pictures of him.
For an interesting explanation of Pilnik’s crumbling sculpture (above) and a picture of what it looked like when he first created it in July follow this link: Thomas Pilnik
Yesterday the weather was perfect! It was so crisp and cool I had to close my windows overnight because it was so chilly. 🙂 But it wasn’t cold enough yet to immobilize the mosquito population which came after us on our otherwise lovely walk through one of the meadows at Haley Farm. The sunshine on our skin felt so good and there were whispers of autumn everywhere.
Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was, is not, and never again will be; what is, is change. ~ Edwin Way Teale (Circle of the Seasons: The Journal of a Naturalist’s Year)
At the edge of the meadow we took another path into the woods for a short way, until the whining mosquitoes and a growling dog encounter turned us around. I love seeing how the sunlight highlights little spots in the darker woods.
Came home feeling refreshed and renewed! In spite of the covid concerns remaining stubbornly in place. Our positivity rate is 9%. We keep testing our kids and our grandchildren when they come to visit. We keep wearing masks in public places. We patiently wait for our new booster shots to be available. It will be nice to finally go get a haircut…