down by the river

11.17.21 ~ Poquonnock River Walkway

We are lucky in Groton to have a long boardwalk alongside the Poquonnock River, squeezing in a bit of nature between industrial parks, shopping centers, a small airport and the railroad tracks and bridge. The flatness of the walkway is not good for Tim’s back, which does much better on uneven terrain, but there are a few well placed benches along the way where he can sit and readjust his muscles enough times to make it a doable walk. We were wearing our winter coats this day and most of the birds and berries we saw were nestled in the reeds and trees. No waterbirds on the river, except for an occasional gull touching down for a few moments. And one amazing flyby of Canada geese high in the sky.

juniper berries
Canada geese

We avoided this walk during the pandemic because there wouldn’t be enough room to stay six feet away when passing other walkers. But since we both have had our booster shots we felt safe enough to take a chance. One jogger passed by us twice, on his way out and back. We also passed an elderly man walking along, talking to himself.

downy woodpecker
downy woodpecker
golden autumn
maple leaves between beech tree trunks

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

~ John O’Donohue
(Conamara Blues: Poems)

tree silhouette reflection in water
under moss covered branch and bankside foliage
reindeer moss and lichens on dying branch
northern mockingbird with orbs
northern mockingbird
northern mockingbird

So far as our noblest hardwood forests are concerned, the animals, especially squirrels and jays, are our greatest and almost only benefactors. It is to them that we owe this gift. It is not in vain that the squirrels live in or about every forest tree, or hollow log, and every wall and heap of stones.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(Journal, October 31, 1860)

autumn river beauty
one can forget the civilization is so close by
multiflora rose hips
(thanks to Eliza for the id)
blackberry
(thanks to Leelah and Eliza for the id)
crabapples
(thanks to Eliza for the id)

The wild cherries ripen, black and fat,
Paradisal fruits that taste of no man’s sweat.

Reach up, pull down the laden branch, and eat;
When you have learned their bitterness, they taste sweet.

~ Wendell Berry
(Fall, for Wallace Fowlie)

15 thoughts on “down by the river”

  1. Thanks for taking us on this walk with you this morning. Mockingbirds are FL’s state bird. They are everywhere here. That one looks very regal on the twig with berries.

    1. You’re welcome, Anna, and thank you for coming along. I think mockingbirds are very pretty and was delighted this one stayed put for a bit. You’re lucky to have so many of them there in Florida!

  2. Beautiful photos of a lovely walk. I like the photo of the juniper berries. When I was thinking about what to name my blog I considered calling it Juniper Berries, but the name was taken. Funny I hadn’t thought of that in years.

    1. Thank you, Ally. I think juniper berries are pretty special, too. Interesting that someone already used them for a blog name. I wonder if they’re still blogging? There is something so pleasing about the combination of those shades of blue and green…

  3. Beautiful, sharp photos, Barbara. Looks like a lovely place to walk with lots to see both on land and water.
    Your ‘winterberry?’ is Rosa multiflora, followed by black berry (raspberries are more cap-like) and crabapples at the end. Birds favor every one of them, spreading the seeds in their droppings, ensuring more for the future.
    Have a great holiday!

    1. Thank you, Eliza! I’m having a good laugh here at my clumsy attempts at berry identifications. 😊 I looked at pictures of your corrections online and can see my mistakes now. I had no idea crabapples were so small! I had guessed black raspberry at first but thought I was probably wrong because of all the red in them. Maybe I should stick to identifying birds! Will edit the post and thank you for helping me out!

  4. I second Ally Bean–the juniper berry picture talked to me, too. Happy to hear you felt safe enough to take the walk with your booster shots in arm. Happy Thanksgiving to you both!

    1. So happy you enjoyed the juniper berries, Kathy! I love those shades of blue and green together and don’t see them too often around here. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, too!

  5. Thanks so much, Barbara, for taking us on this lovely walk today. I so enjoyed the birds and berries, the cedar berries are lovely and all the red berries perfect for the plucking. Nice to see a sky full of Canada geese too. And pleasant poetry. This river area looks so remote, I loved hearing your description that said otherwise. A most enjoyable adventure, and much appreciated.

    1. Thank you, Jet, I’m so glad you enjoyed this walk. It’s surprising sometimes just how close to civilization many creatures manage to live. The backyards of some houses border this boardwalk and there were a number of bird feeders attracting some sparrows and other little birds, but I suspect they enjoy the berries as much if not more than the birdseed they find there.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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