for all who enjoy them

12.3.21 ~ Pequot Woods, Groton, Connecticut

This was my first visit to this 140-acre park in our town, but Tim hiked here many years ago with one of his friends. The Pequots were the first people living here before the English colonized what is now the town of Groton and the village of Mystic.

The infamous Pequot Massacre occurred near here on May 26, 1637.

Capt. John Mason led English, Mohegan, and Narragansett warriors in an attack on the main fortified Pequot village on the site of modern-day Mystic, Connecticut. The Pequot were surprised but quickly mounted a spirited defense that almost led to an English defeat. Realizing that he could not defeat the Pequot in the close quarters of the palisade, Mason ordered their wigwams set afire; some 400 Pequot men, women, and children were burned alive or slaughtered when they tried to escape.
~ Encyclopædia Britannica

There have been archaeological digs conducted in this park, unearthing musket balls and arrowheads. But there are no memorials here to tell the terrible story.

trailhead

After the English took over, this land was cleared for farming, and today there are plenty of stone walls remaining from those days, before farms were abandoned and many people went out west. The woods came back. Now we have hiking trails, wildlife viewing and an abandoned farm pond.

rough map carved in wood
the things this glacial erratic must have witnessed…

We gauge what we think is possible by what we know from experience, and our acceptance of scientific insights, in particular, is incremental, gained one experience at a time.
~ Bernd Heinrich
(Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival)

lots of stone walls
beech marcescence
interesting composition
shelf mushroom overlooking farm pond
colonial stone slab bridge
princess pine, first sighting since January
hummocks in the man-made farm pond
pair of mallards

It was a partly cloudy day, very cold, 41°F/5°C, with a feels-like temperature of 33°F/1°C, due to a moderate wind from the northwest. We had a nice conversation about cameras with the man in the next picture. He was trying to get a picture of the mallards, too, and wondered about my telescopic lens. His mother has a camera like mine and he’s considering getting one, too.

rescued greyhound bundled up for the cold
the uneven terrain
birdhouse in the middle of the farm pond
another delightful princess pine encounter

As far as coronavirus pandemic statistics go, I’ve decided to chronicle Connecticut’s positivity rate to make my tracking simpler. Looks like we’re headed into yet another surge. On the day of this walk our positivity rate jumped to 6.32%, the highest it’s been since last January.

24 thoughts on “for all who enjoy them”

  1. Nice post. Sounds like a cool walk, but I am sure you enjoyed the park. I like the rocks, mallard ducks and the history lesson of the area.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Peggy. It was cold but I think I’m better prepared for it this winter, with thermal leggings, a warmer coat and thinsulate gloves.

  2. What a sad and terrible story but not an unusual one. So glad the area is now so peaceful. I love the thought of the the traveling erratics as witnesses to man’s history…the good and the horrible. Also love the greyhound’s leggings!

    1. I loved those leggings on the greyhound, too, and the hood which his guardian pulled back a little so we could see more of his face. Sadly, cruel and brutal behavior has been present with humankind all through time, including ours.

    1. You’re welcome, Frank! I keep finding “new” places to walk and have started keeping an index file of them so I can remember which ones to return to in a different season.

  3. Thanks for the story, horrible but it happened -and you have a piece of Art here too:hummocks in the man-made farm pond. Amazingly beautiful, perfect composition _ I could look at that all day

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the hummocks, Leelah! I was struck by their beauty as I started to walk by, and wasn’t sure what it was about them that attracted me. I wonder if I will be able to see them in the spring when all the vegetation fills in. Winter has a unique beauty.

  4. The history of our colonizing America is a shameful one, but world history is full of such travesties, it seems. As the protest song of the 60’s went… “When will they ev-er learn, when will they ever learn?”
    Lovely photos, Barbara… that greyhound is adorable!

    1. Thank you, Eliza! That greyhound was a delight!

      What I found interesting when I was doing some research is that the Pequots made alliances with the Dutch and the nearby Mohegans and Narragansetts aligned with the English. Apparently the tribes were warring between themselves even before the colonists arrived. Sigh. My parents had Peter, Paul & Mary’s cover of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” on an album we listened to countless times when I was a child. Sadly, I suspect we will never learn.

  5. Our history is full of terrible stories that we need to learn, and learn from.

    Beautiful photos and walk, Barbara. I was struck by the way the roots of the tree(s) resemble the outline of a tree in your “uneven terrain” image. I also very much enjoyed the interesting composition. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Robin. 🙂 Those roots seemed to be everywhere, making me wonder why some trees keep their roots underground and others don’t.

      I agree about learning these terrible stories. The insight that I’ve gained is that no group of people has a monopoly on acts of benevolence or of ruthlessness.

  6. I love the princess pine! Reminds me of my own tiny tree (that’s not so tiny anymore!) And that outfit on the rescued greyhound? Too cute, but I suspect it’s practical, too, as they really don’t have much in the way of fur (or fat!). So sad to read these accounts of what we did to others along the path of history.

    1. When I was a little girl those princess pines were everywhere in the woods behind our house. I used to lie on the ground and pretend they were little fairy forests, lost in hours of daydreaming and fantasy. So happy your little tree is growing well! I couldn’t get over how skinny that greyhound was. It’s no wonder he was bundled up so well!

  7. I heard about Connecticut’s surge on the news – sigh. We slipped from #1 in COVID stats/deaths and Minnesota had the honor for a few weeks and now we’ve reclaimed that spot again. Makes me wary of everything and glad to just venture to the Park these days. This looks like a wonderful walk. The greyhound with the coat made me smile and the pair of mallards looked absolutely perfect. Guess they had a squabble as they’re each going in opposite ways. 🙂 I never see interesting fungi on trees. The rough map made of wood was interesting as was the fact that they conduct archeological digs right there and unearth musket balls. You have lots of historical places around you Barbara.

    1. Last night I was listening to a doctor from Michigan being interviewed about the crisis in your state. I think the only good news is that the vaccination rates are starting to go up a little… Some events are starting to get cancelled around here, although we had no plans on attending anything inside anyway. Thank goodness for walks! The mallards seemed to be wandering aimlessly across the water so I was happy to finally get them in the same frame. There was a third, another male, so maybe there was a little competition going on, but they were all very peacefully floating around — who knows? I’ve lived in this town for 43 years and have only now started paying attention to its history.

      1. One of the doctors who is often interviewed is Dr. Arnold Monto. He’s affiliated with University of Michigan Hospital and on the FDA Advisory Committee. I like listening to him as he doesn’t talk above our heads. I saw a video on CNN on Twitter with Dr. Sanjay Gupta today and he says there are still 8% of people who will never get vaccinated and 10% are on the fence, but highly doubtful they will. So it will always be worrisome.

        Like you, I am grateful for the peace and beauty of walks in nature. The mallards on the water made for a serene photo. I am the same way … you hear about history, but until you can actually immerse yourself in it ….

        1. I’m still in shock over something I learned about a third cousin on a Facebook post. She has had covid for 15 days and says she still isn’t sure if she should get vaccinated, even though it’s hit her very hard. I’m incredulous. One of her friends asked why she never got vaccinated and she said she had heard scary things about the vaccine. Sigh. (I didn’t say anything…) I guess she’s one of the 8% of people who will never get vaccinated or one of the 10% on the fence. I just don’t get it.

          I guess that’s life, nature has its peace and beauty but also its turmoil and brutality. Humans are no different.

          1. Well, there was a dentist who used a prosthetic arm to avoid the vaccine and other people got the first shot for work, but tried to look for ways to “get it out of their system” … I’d be shocked at your third cousin too, but she is not the first or last person to say this. I read the comments on Facebook on news stories about the vaccine and COVID and I can’t imagine people not reading the headlines or photos and just not “getting it”.

            You said it perfectly Barbara.

          2. I’ll never understand how someone would be more afraid of a vaccine than of the disease itself. Especially when refusing to get vaccinated is putting other lives in danger. But it is what it is and does give me some practice trying to cultivate equanimity.

  8. I absolutely love this particular doggo with its winter clothing. I’ve never seen leggings on a critter. You gave me wonderful laughter today!

    I like your idea to chronicle the COVID for your area. Our area had another expected surge most likely from the holiday gatherings and predictions for another in a few weeks.

    Friday I had my COVID booster in my left arm and my first round of two of the Shingles vaccine in my right arm. Grateful that there’s no financial charges for Covid vaccines and boosters.

    As far as Shingles, Medicare nor additional part D insurance pays any financials for the shingles vaccine which was $170.00 for first dose and another $170.00 for the second dose in February (definitely disappointing about quality of USA healthcare system for the aging, low fixed income people in our society).

    I remember that you were considering the Shingles vaccine, so I thought this information that I learned might be helpful for you.

    I love that you and your husband go out for these wonderful walks even in the cold!!! I suspect that there’s a lot of enjoyment and health benefits physically, mentally and spiritually for you both to share with one another. And I’m very thankful that you share the observations, thoughts, art, history, poetry, research… just all of it.. with us! What a glorious giving. Peace be with you this winter season.

    1. So happy you got a kick out of the greyhound’s winter clothing, TD! 😊

      It will be interesting to see how the numbers go as we move through the holiday season.

      Thanks for the information on the shingles vaccine. I haven’t thought about it for quite a while. Our healthcare system is a nightmare. I just got signed up for Medicare and it leaves me wondering why it has to be so complicated. I would opt for a single-payer government healthcare system, even with its supposed drawbacks, but the powers that be seem hell bent on preventing that from ever happening.

      We’re better prepared, clothing-wise, for our winter walks this year. Last winter my cabin fever got pretty bad. No matter how cold it is, being outside in nature restores my sense well-being every time. 😊 And thank you for reading my about my wanderings, my friend, and leaving such thoughtful, lovely comments!

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