a walk in the park

8.4.21 ~ Wilcox Park, Westerly, Rhode Island

For our walk on Wednesday we went to Wilcox Park to enjoy another nice weather day. It was cloudy but not humid yet — yay! (And no poison ivy!)

nonbreeding male mallard

“The people shall have a park.” So saying, in 1898 Harriet Wilcox purchased and donated to the Memorial and Library association the seven acre Rowse Babcock estate in the heart of Westerly’s business district. Established as a memorial to her husband Stephen Wilcox, the moving force behind the building of the library, the park was expanded through several smaller additions until 1905. At this time, the purchase of the adjacent nine acre Brown estate essentially fixed the park’s boundaries as we know them today. … Wilcox Park features a beautiful landscape defined by an open meadow area with surrounding trees, a fish pond, monuments and perennial gardens.
~ Wilcox Park website

very old white oak

This white oak, above and below, is the oldest tree in Wilcox Park. The second picture is taken from the top of a hill. We climbed many granite steps to get to the top of the hill on the steep side, and then followed a path down the more sloping other side.

white oak from top of hill
a sugar maple with personality

This solitary little pink water lily caught my eye from a distance. When we got close to the pond to take its picture we were subjected to a disturbing tirade from a windbag pontificating against masks and vaccines. Talk about shattering a peaceful scene. Ignoring the know-it-all, we quickly moved on to the other end of the park.

back at the fish pond
fading rose
I don’t know what this is…
…but I fell in love with it

I don’t think we were the only ones who had fled the scene. There were lots more people strolling around near the lovely gardens where we ended up.


On the way home from the park we could see an osprey sitting in a nest on the osprey platform in the marsh in Paffard Woods, a preserve of the Avalonia Land Conservancy. By the time we pulled safely off the road it had flown away but we waited a while and then the osprey came back. My camera’s poor zoom lens was maxed out and overworked again!

8.4.21 ~ Paffard Woods, Stonington, Connecticut

In the last picture it looks to me like it’s trying to decide if another stick with moss on it is needed to finish off the project. A much more pleasant ending to our outing.

20 thoughts on “a walk in the park”

    1. Thank you, Frank! All is as well as can be expected here. I noticed you haven’t posted on your blog in a while so I do hope all is well with you, too.

    1. Thank you, Ally! πŸ™‚ The Celts considered the oak the King of Trees. I felt drawn to this very aged one.

  1. That sugar maple looks like someone singing her heart out, with outstretched arms and everything! And the composition of that water lily is delightful. Isn’t it rude to subject unsuspecting others to your opinions, especially when everything is such a tinderbox right now?? I’m glad you managed to have a delightful stroll, despite the windbag!

    1. Yes, the sugar maple made an impression of an opera singer during a grand finale in my mind! The windbag was so intrusive and disrespectful, and there was a group of children wearing their masks in the vicinity. (Maybe that’s what set him off?) As my mother used to say, there is a time and place for everything. I’m glad we escaped and that there was more beauty to enjoy. πŸ™‚

    1. Happy you enjoyed the walk, Leelah! πŸ™‚ I love how every tree has its own personality and energy…

  2. Lovely photos as always, Barbara. I enjoyed the osprey sequence esp. Your mystery flower is Obedient Plant (Physostegia) a native that is rather aggressive like Beebalm, but equally pretty if you have enough space for it.

    1. Thank you, Eliza! And thank you so much for the Obedient Plant identification. Sometimes I wish I had a flower garden but at this point in my life I’m enjoying the exploration of gardens maintained by others. The flowers were easier to capture than the osprey!

  3. That Sugar Maple looks like it is singing – it does have personality! Another great walk for you. I like the up-close Mallard pictures and you can see its wet bill where it just dipped it in the water. The flowers along the way are gorgeous. You’re like me Barbara – you got out while the coolish weather was here for enjoyable walks as the muggies are coming, if not already there. They arrived today for us. I put off my Botanical Gardens visit this morning as I listened to the weathermen … two of them actually, both which said a thunderstorm by mid-morning and another at 2:00 p.m. It’s 5:35 p.m. and nothing has materialized. I didn’t even risk walking to the Park (one mile each way), but stayed in the neighborhood. Sigh.

    1. I don’t blame you for being cautious about the weather, especially the possibility of lightning. I’m glad you liked the mallard pictures. He seemed to be eating and drinking a lot, all by himself in the pond. There was a group of children who were were talking to him excitedly from the shore. He kept swimming away from them and right towards me. I don’t think he ever noticed me he was so busy keeping his distance from the little ones! A solitary duck, a solitary lily. Interesting fish pond…

      1. It was the same today weather-wise with the threat of two storms, early morning and mid-day, so I walked, but stayed in the neighborhood. Another hot week in store with more severe weather. Sigh.

  4. P.S. – I forgot to mention your Osprey pictures which are great (no wonder you tired your camera’s zoom out). I’ve never seen one and there is an Osprey nest on top of the fire station alarm tower near Lake Erie Metropark. I see that twiggy nest and crane my neck, but no inhabitants whenever I visit. You were lucky!

    1. Thank you, Linda! We pass by that nest whenever we head out that way and never see anyone sitting on it. In fact, this day the nest was empty on our way to the park but we were pleasantly surprised to see an occupant on our way home. Finally got lucky! I hope you get to see one on your nest one of these days! Such a majestic raptor.

      1. Yes, they are majestic raptors and I’ve never seen them during the migration pattern through the Lake Erie Metropark every year either, though the stats show they routinely come through that way. One day I hope to see one and I’m still hoping to see an owl.

    1. Thank you, Donna!! The osprey seemed particularly pleased with itself finding that prized moss-covered stick. πŸ™‚

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