bits of color in the woods by the cove

12.2.20 ~ Town’s End, Noank, Connecticut

We found yet another place to walk! This is a very small nature preserve, wedged between houses, a highway and Beebe Cove.

On the east side of Noank Road (Rte. 215) across from Beebe Pond Park. Approximately 0.3 mile of trails beginning behind the grey gate. Mature, mixed hardwood forest, with a narrow tidal marsh extending 900 feet along the edge of Beebe Cove.
~ Avalonia Land Conservancy website

I couldn’t help but be drawn to the little bits of color standing out in the drab woods.

And then we came across a huge glacial erratic! Complete with bench. We didn’t appreciate how big it was until he climbed up and I walked down alongside of it.

Tim bypassed the bench and headed out to the rock on top.
Tim reported that the view over the trees to the cove was “nice.”
I was about half way down to the base.
From the base.

It seemed like I was stopping every ten steps to capture nature’s art. We finally got to the cove.

tidal marsh
Beebe Cove

The type of magical experience that Druidry fosters is … the type of experience you get when you trek out into the wilds of nature and you are overwhelmed with a feeling of awe that has nothing to do with owning or getting anything. When you can look at life, and experience that none of it belongs to you, quite magically and paradoxically you can feel then — in the depths of your being — that you truly belong in the world.
~ Philip Carr-Gomm
(Druid Mysteries: Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century)

oak leaf behind bars
view of the woods as we were leaving

You would never have known there was so much color under those cloudy skies and gray branches! After we got home we had some graupel, even though there was no precipitation in the weather forecast. All pictures were taken with gloves on. A chilly wintry day.

37 thoughts on “bits of color in the woods by the cove”

  1. Cheers to your discovering of a hidden gem. Although the day was wintry and dreary, you captured the subtle beauty of the season. Hooray for the glacial remains – and chuckled what turned out to be a bench on top. Thanks for sharing your wonderful day.

    1. Thank you, Frank. We weren’t expecting to find such an enormous glacial erratic so we were delighted with the encounter. We wondered at the little one sitting on top of it — was it put there by humans or did the glacier abandon it randomly on its way north?

  2. Nice walk through late autumn wood… yes there is always a bit of color and magic always in nature. You did well. Thank you for sharing your hike. That certainly is a big “rock”!

    1. Thank you, Jeff! I’m learning we don’t have to travel far and wide or wait for certain seasons to find bits of color and magic in nature. As long as I wear my hat and gloves… 🙂

    1. Thank you, Peggy. I’m still a little wary of sitting on benches which might harbor the virus, even though they keep telling us we don’t have to worry about surfaces so much any more. But I do hope to go sit on that bench and enjoy the view some day soon!

  3. Hooray for a new spot to explore! It is amazing to think of ice sheet powerful enough to move that enormous erratic. Wow. I love how you zeroed in on the subtle bits of color to be found. To my eye that is more lovely than the candy color red of cultivated trees.

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa! It’s interesting that tectonic forces aren’t the only things that influence geology, but climatic forces, like ice sheets, bring about changes, too. I agree, sometimes gardens feel too formal, too perfect. Loving the understated colors in the woods…

  4. Looks like Tim was able to enjoy the captain’s walk. Up there in the rarified air. 🙂

    I laughed at the oak leaves behind bars. Surely there must be a good pun to define the crime? How about the old chestnut, “Eats, shoots and leaves”?

    1. Tim did enjoy his time up above it all. 🙂 I kind of wish I had joined him but heights make me a bit too nervous. Maybe next time I’ll let curiosity win out over apprehension. Glad you appreciated the behind bars comparison. 🙂

  5. What an eagle eye you have, Barbara — finding all those happy spots of color in what could have appeared to be a drab walk. Just shows how Nature isn’t through blessing us with beauty, even as we think of things dying in Autumn.

    1. Thank you, Debbie. I love how you say Nature isn’t through blessing us with beauty. Makes me think of a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:

      “These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time in them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike.”

      Yes, Nature is beautiful ‘in all moments alike.’

  6. Those bits of color are magical at this time of year. I liked seeing that seaweed, too. Isn’t it wonderful when you discover new places to walk?

    1. Wasn’t that seaweed cool? It was the last thing I ever expected to see there. It seems like every time I try to decide which walk to take again I find a new one we haven’t tried before. Gotta love the internet. 🙂

  7. How nice to find a new hiking venue Barbara – that’s always cause for excitement. I found one quite by accident this year, just a few days before the start of the pandemic. Just one mile from Bishop Park and the park and golf course were opened in 1995. (Where was I for goodness sake!) How amazing these erratics are and you see the enormity of them with Tim perched up top. I always like the last red leaves of the season like you have found. A little color goes a long way as late Fall with its bleak landscape prepares to give way to monochrome Winter.

    1. I know that feeling, Linda. “How did I not know this place was here?” When I read about this preserve it mentioned being a good place to see shorebirds so I was a little disappointed to find none there that day. But the erratic was not mentioned and was a delightful surprise. 🙂 I wish I could find a guidebook on glacial erratics in Connecticut. (They have them for other New England states, but I can’t travel too far from home.) Tim says there are far too many to put in a book, maybe he’s right. This particular day we didn’t even see a squirrel. 🙂

      1. I know – I was so excited for that new wildlife refuge and saw nothing but one seagull the first time there, but I went on a gray and cold day figuring there would be no one there as the place, according to their Facebook site, was busy since they had opened just three weeks before. The second time I at least saw the heron up close and an egret in the air, so that was my treat of the day. But other folks reported seeing deer and mink on their Facebook site. Sigh. You should contact a local university that teaches geology in its curriculum and they might have some insight into a guidebook or a study done on all the erratics.

        1. I should ask my sister, the geologist, about a guidebook. She told me about a huge glacial erratic in the arboretum that we might go see when the pandemic is over… Funny I never thought to ask her about a guidebook before. That must have been thrilling to see the heron up close! I used to see deer in the woods all the time when I was a child but not so much these days. I think Tim & I make too much noise trying to warn bears away on our walks. 😉

          1. Yes, I forgot you told me your sister was a geologist … they might just have a guidebook that you could use to learn more or find more glacial erratics. That heron was right in front of me, maybe eight feet away. I went back yesterday and did not see a single critter. I was hoping he was “fishing” again, but the water had a thin layer of ice on it. I would like to see deer in the woods – if I see them, they are far away or I am driving and can’t stop unfortunately. I didn’t realize you had bears on your walks – you and Tim are brave. Do you take bear spray or an air horn with you on your walks?

          2. Oh dear, I do know that feeling of taking a walk and not seeing a single critter! I hope you will get to see the heron again some day. We’ve never seen a bear but we found tracks once. And bears show up in people’s yards around here all the time, which does make us nervous. They raid people’s bird feeders and garbage cans. One night on the news someone had filmed a bear playing with her cubs in their kids’ kiddie pool. That’s why Tim has a bell on his walking stick. Apparently they won’t bother you if you don’t startle them so we are advised to make plenty of noise as we walk so they will avoid us. There are a couple of trails we tried which had a creepy vibe (I’m sensitive that way) so we turn around and don’t go back. But other trails feel safe to me. Not sure why…

  8. Another beautiful walk! You and Tim certainly live in a beautiful area. 🙂

    So, Google tell me that graupel is “small particles of snow with a fragile crust of ice; soft hail” which is a term I haven’t heard before. See what I miss out on with living in Australia? 😉

    1. Thank you, Joanne! It’s funny, we actually live close to a lot of industry, including a submarine-building plant, but I don’t usually focus on that part of our surroundings. I’m glad we’re finding so much unexplored beauty now. 🙂

      I only recently learned the word ‘graupel’ from the meteorologist on the TV news. It’s fun to have words to more precisely describe what is falling from the sky! 😉

      1. I like to focus on nature too. 🙂
        With our climate, I won’t hold my breath waiting for any graupel! All we have is rain and hail – that’s it. 🙂

        1. 🙂 Hey, simplicity can be a blessing! We New Englanders spend a lot of time analyzing the nature of our weather — it can be hard to describe the subtle differences and it is so changeable at times — especially when trying to decide if it’s safe to drive the car somewhere.

    1. I’m glad you liked the quote, Cheryl. I was just finishing reading the book and that paragraph jumped out at me. All these walks in the woods and by the sea have been magical gifts this year, better than anything I could get or own.

      1. Don’t blame you for that at all Barbara. I am being so careful. The news said “our Tripledemic Threat is over – whew! We did not get the amount of Covid or flu cases in the hospital or at home that were expected and people will congregate inside now. That statement doesn’t seem right as before in the early part of the pandemic they said congregating inside was sure to cause germs/droplets to be spread more quickly.

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