candlewood pines

4.17.20 ~ Candlewood Ridge, Groton, Connecticut

On Friday we tried the new-to-us park again and this time there was noone in sight at the trailhead – yay! This property was acquired in 2013. After crossing a little bridge over a brook we climbed up to Candlewood Ridge and enjoyed looking up and down the ravine on the other side. We followed the trails for over an hour. Tim’s legs and back did much better and I’m wondering if walking on the earth is better for him than walking on hard surfaces like pavement and concrete.

4.17.20 ~ crossing a stream, skunk cabbage

Candlewood Ridge is part of a critical large block of diverse wildlife habitats highlighted on the State of CT Natural Diversity Database maps: early successional forest, oak-hemlock-hickory upland forest, native shrubby and grassy habitat, forested peatlands, kettle type bogs, tussock sedge, poor fens, multiple seeps, several Tier I vernal pools, and streams.
~ Groton Open Space Association website

4.17.20 ~ almost to the top of the ridge
4.17.20 ~ a very tall bare tree trunk
4.17.20 ~ taken with telephoto lens, a huge boulder across the ravine

The songs of birds filled the air! A chickadee scolded us from a branch so close I could have reached out and touched it. But he flew off before I could lift the camera…

4.17.20 ~ the glacial erratics found here were fewer and more
widely spaced than the ones we saw in Ledyard’s Glacial Park

We followed the trail north along the top of the ridge and then it slowly went downhill until we reached a bridge across another stream. From studying the map it looks like the two unnamed streams join and then eventually merge with Haley Brook.

4.17.20 ~ second bridge on the trail
4.17.20 ~ a squirrel nest
4.17.20 ~ the little stream
4.17.20 ~ vernal pool?

All the green under the water (above) looked to me like drowning princess pines.

4.17.20 ~ taken with telephoto lens across the sand plain
4.17.20 ~ the sand plain with glacial erratic in the distance

We turned around here without crossing the plain and climbing that ridge!

4.17.20 ~ might these be the candlewood pines
(pitch pines) the ridge is named for?
4.17.20 ~ pussy willows
4.17.20 ~ one tree favors moss, the other lichens

Crossing the stream on the return trip, a tiny bright spot of yellow-orange caught my eye. What is it??? I used the telephoto lens to get a picture and tried to identify it when I got home. Hope I got it right. A mushroom.

4.17.20 ~ calostoma cinnabarinum, telephoto lens
(stalked puffball-in-aspic or gelatinous stalked-puffball)

Just before crossing the second stream on the return walk, a garter snake slithered across the path right in front of me. Startled, I then spotted him trying to hide in the leaves. Don’t think I’ve seen a garter snake since I was a child, sunning themselves on the stone walls around the garden.

4.17.20 ~ hiding garter snake

It was a wonderful walk!

4.17.20 ~ beauty in a vernal pool

I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.
~ John Burroughs
(The Gospel of Nature)

8 thoughts on “candlewood pines”

  1. Glacial erratics. I can identify with that. “A glacial erratic is glacially-deposited rock differing from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. “Erratics” take their name from the Latin word errare, and are carried by glacial ice, often over distances of hundreds of kilometres.” Wikipedia I’m so happy you and Tim are getting out and exploring new-to-you places and sharing them with us.

    1. I’d love to find a book about glacial erratics in Connecticut and Rhode Island. There are books about the ones in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. I think I even saw one for New York.

      Do you remember Wolf Rock, our very own glacial erratic in Mansfield? It is now part of Wolf Rock Nature Preserve created by Joshua’s Trust. We scattered Toby’s ashes there, at his request… I’m glad you’re enjoying these posts!

      1. We could walk to Wolf Rock from our house on the Nipmuck Trail, through the woods the entire way. I loved those walks. Wanderers we.

        1. Ah, yes! I used to hike the Nipmuck Trail when I was a teenager, too, but in the northern end of town. Some of my fondest memories… Took Tim on a hike on one of our first “dates.” Wanderers indeed.

  2. Thanks for another lovely post, Barbara. I enjoyed seeing a photo of Tim. That mushroom is so colorful! I’m glad you are getting out for walks and sharing them with us. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying our adventures, Timi. 🙂 That mushroom was so far downstream I never would have spotted it if not for its bright color! I was amazed at what the camera lens revealed. Apparently it has a stalk which was underwater.

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