one morning, two walks

11.15.21 ~ New London Ledge Light from Eastern Point

Our first walk of the morning was at “our” beach. The clouds were dramatic and it was too windy so we didn’t stay very long.

hydrangea seed heads?
content Canada goose
American crow
climbing bittersweet?

We had to stop at the post office after that walk so we decided to explore a new Groton Open Space Association property. Walt’s Walls & Woods was acquired on July 31st and it is near the post office. We wound up taking another walk.

11.15.21 ~ Walt’s Walls & Woods, Groton, Connecticut

Walt’s Walls and Woods provides a small forest, wetlands, exquisite stonewalls and gardens to a neighborhood green space for the residents and visitors of downtown Groton. Wetlands surround the property on three sides, and Town-owned open spaces cover two sides. A spectacular steep ravine, part of an ancient rift valley, is located nearby, separating the Ledges and Boulder Heights properties. … Walter Watrous spent many years constructing the exquisite stonewalls in front of the cliffside ledge, using a drystone technique, backfilling with crushed stone and providing room for the roots of the weeping cherry trees. Colorful creeping phlox, heathers, azaleas, rhododendrons and purple coneflowers extend the blooming season.
~ Groton Open Space Association website

notice the seam where the tree is meeting the erratic
other side of the same erratic and tree
this erratic looked like the back of a sea lion to me
beautiful autumn sky
reflecting sunlight
moss and lichen
autumn texture
steep hill

Autumn teaches us that fruition is also death; that ripeness is a form of decay. The willows, having stood for so long near water, begin to rust. Leaves are verbs that conjugate the seasons.
~ Gretel Ehrlich
(The Solace of Open Spaces: Essays)

a stone wall interrupted by a glacial erratic
some of Walter Watrous’ stone walls
a dandelion in November?

It was a lovely walk. We’re looking forward to coming back to see the weeping cherries bloom come spring. But, first we’ll have to see what winter has in store for us.

26 thoughts on “one morning, two walks”

  1. Hi Barbara – what is an ” an erratic”? a stone that is not supposed to be there?
    I savor your trips and the way you use your eyes and mind and heart to portray them! That moss encircling the lichen -♥ wondrous- I wonder, what is that makes the moss decide to grow exactly THERE and have exactly THAT form of circle – hugs to you, Barbara

    1. From Wikipedia: “A glacial erratic is glacially deposited rock differing from the type of rock native to the area in which it rests. Erratics, which take their name from the Latin word errare, are carried by glacial ice, often over distances of hundreds of kilometres.”

      You know, I also wonder what makes mosses and lichens grow in certain places and not others. There have been times I’ve seen as many as five different kinds growing on the same rock. I suppose there is a scientific reason but I’m too lazy to search for it. 😉 Maybe some day I will get curious enough to look into it. 🙂 💙 *hugs*

    1. Thank you, Peggy! It was an exciting day. 🙂 It’s nice to know that you and I have the same taste in adventures. 🍁

    1. Thank you, Donna! You’ve said it so well, and I would add that the unplanned, spontaneous walks are some of the best, when all is said and done. 🙂

  2. Lucky you with double walks Barbara – this time of year you have to get out and enjoy nature every clear and dry day you can – time’s a tickin’ as they say. I especially like the climbing bittersweet photo and the photos where you showed the Autumn texture and how the landscape takes on such a different look, with dead flowers, crumpled leaves – you gave them life though. Lots of erratics and yes that stone did resemble a large sea lion. Funny, just five minutes ago I made a comment on a post by a South African blogger. She had a photograph of a dandelion … it soon will be Summer there. I said I just uncovered one while raking leaves last week. Despite a few hard freezes, it was still as fresh as if it was Spring!

    1. These dandelions have lost their minds! But it’s no wonder they’re confused by the abnormally warm temperatures we’ve been having. There were enough greens there for a dandelion salad. I’m glad you agreed with me about the erratic looking like a sea lion. Tim couldn’t “see” what I was talking about! Perceptions are funny things. 🙂 I understand the climbing bittersweet is an invasive species, which is probably why I don’t remember it from my childhood, but it sure is pretty and we’ve been seeing it everywhere lately. I hope it won’t crowd out the winterberries. I didn’t know what it could be until our nature center posted a picture of it.

      1. Yes they have – I’ve never seen dandelions in November before either. The weather this year has no rhyme or reason. We know we are headed toward Winter, like it or not. I like when the nature centers I.D. plants and bird species so you can familiarize yourself with them. Too bad the climbing bittersweet is invasive, but if it doesn’t attack/wrap itself around other plants, it is nice to enjoy it. I have an invasive vine with purple flowers that threads itself through the barberry and it seems I could pull it out daily and it comes back. I’ve had it for years and just tried Googling to give you the name. I’d much rather have something like bitterweet than this pesky vine.

        1. I’ve been hearing our winter should be colder than average and another article said it was going to be swinging from below to above normal temps. Time will tell. It’s 26° with a windchill of 16° this morning, but it’s supposed to be nice and warm for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I’m getting used to checking the temperature to see which coat I should grab every time I leave the house. How frustrating for you trying to eliminate that invasive vine! I do wonder about the bittersweet because around here it seems to be growing mixed in with other kinds of berry bushes.

          1. Our weather has been fluctuating like crazy. It’s been very cold for two days, tomorrow going to rain all day and overnight will be light snow. For traveling rain is better – walking not so much and Detroit’s big Thanksgiving Parade and Turkey Trot 5K race will be held in the rain. I wish I knew what this purple flowered vine is – it laces through, then chokes everything it comes in contact with. I will yank it out – a week later it is back.

          2. It was raining here on Friday and this morning we are having snow flurries. It’s so pretty, but not sticking – yay!

    1. Thank you, Eliza! I do think that is the most lichen I’ve ever seen covering one big boulder. That oak had a mysterious dark-colored stripe running up one side of it, too.

  3. I think you’ve called these stones erratics before, but the name hasn’t settled in my brain yet, lol. I think it’s so interesting where the tree and the rock seem married together. Glad you enjoyed your two walks.

    1. It’s as if the erratic and the oak decided to make the best of the situation, both of them deposited in that location by forces they had no control over. I think of the ice sheet dropping the erratic eons ago, and then maybe 200 years ago a squirrel planted the acorn in the shadow of the erratic and forgot to come back for it…

    1. Thank you, Frank! I’m a little confused about the bittersweet. Apparently there is a native version and an invasive version. I’ll figure out which this is sooner or later. Warmest wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy Thanksgiving.

  4. I look forward, too, to seeing how the weeping cherries emerge in spring. It must be noteworthy if WW had the forethought to make room for their roots in his rock wall. Another terrific post, Barbara, with all of the beauty that is autumn. I love those erratics! This time we got to see the one that’s nestled up to the tree; and WW must’ve loved them too, to incorporate his wall into a few. The bittersweet close-up is a real treat, as I have not seen it on the west coast, and grew up with it in the Midwest. I also appreciated seeing WW’s incredible walls. Thanks for this celebration of nature and autumn. Great quote too.

    1. Thank you, Jet! We’re enchanted with the glacial erratics, too. They’re kind of like leaves and sunsets, no two are ever the same and we never get tired of seeing them. Come spring we’ll have to drive by Walt’s walls every time we go out to make sure we don’t miss the cherry blooms. Interesting that you grew up with bittersweet in the Midwest. I don’t remember it from my childhood. I’m trying to learn about it because I read there are two kinds, one native and one invasive. Apparently the berries look the same but the stems are different. So much to learn! Happy you enjoyed the Gretel Ehrlich quote. I often find her words very poignant.

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