walking clockwise instead

12.18.22 ~ Cognitive Garden at Avery Point

Whenever we take a walk at Avery Point we start out on the path that follows the sea wall to the lighthouse and then we go up a little hill and return to the parking lot by cutting across the UConn campus. But, with the thought of keeping the sun out of our eyes on the return, we decided to do the opposite this time, going clockwise instead of counterclockwise around our usual loop. Things looked so different!

There wasn’t much to see in the Cognitive Garden…

logs standing at attention
a cement orb lying in the grass, a little moon
perfect spot for a gnome to sit and contemplate
lamppost sandwiched between two trees

After crossing the campus we came to the top of the little hill and were surprised to see a view of the lighthouse from higher up. A whole new perspective…

Avery Point Light
lantern room and cupola
light shining through from the other side
— what on earth is hanging inside there?
winter sun softened by the clouds
lichen Tim spotted on a post
a cairn on top of the sea wall
meteorological tower
shriveled beach rose hip
Tyler House on Eastern Point
Black Rock (where the cormorants hang out
about 200 yards south of our beach)
& New London Harbor Light

As we rounded the point for the final stretch to the parking lot we encountered a biting northwest wind and dramatically increased our pace. I was glad to have on my layers and my Norwegian wool hat — the best souvenir from our trip to Norway — but I had forgotten my thermal gloves. Maybe by our next walk I will remember to bring everything needed.

23 thoughts on “walking clockwise instead”

    1. Hee, hee, in trying to avoid the sun in our eyes we wound up with the wind on our faces! There seems to be a cairn-craze down there at Avery Point. Happy Holidays, Frank!

  1. What a lovely post. It has been years since I have been able to view a lighthouse in person (I love then). I think going clockwise was a very good idea – the eyes see everything so differently. Your photos were wonderful. I am not sure what was hanging inside that window.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. That stuff in the window almost looks like seaweed to me, but that seems impossible. I wish we could go inside and climb up to the top but I’ve never seen it open to the public. It was wonderful taking in the different views.

  2. Pretty scenes… I loved the bright lichens. Often, we don’t recognize our habit of walking to the right when we meet a fork… it pays to override that urge. We recently visited a botanical garden and one of the docents told us to make sure we took the left fork for the best view and I realized I tend to go right. Maybe from all the conditioning in line at school and driving in the US. Do folks in the UK pick the left fork I wonder? 😉

    1. Those tiny lichens were such a bright spot in the stark landscape, and none of the other posts had any. Makes one wonder how and why they got there. That’s a good question about folks in the UK. I remember years ago, when we took the kids to Disney World, a guide book advised us to choose the left line whenever there was a choice because most people choose the right line and it takes longer. Helpful advice when you can’t see the ends of the lines from where the choice presents itself. 😉

  3. That house looks most interesting, but I trust there’s land on the other side of it! The angle of the photo almost makes it look like it’s on an island. I enjoyed the lighthouse and the cairn, too. That does indeed look like a cold, winter sky.

    1. Actually, there’s no land on the other side of it, it’s on a “point.” Eastern Point is between the mouth of the Thames River (behind the house) and Long Island Sound. Off to the right is a parking lot and the little city beach. Inside the house is a concession stand, first aid station, locker rooms for the life guards, and rest rooms and showers for the public. (All closed after Labor day.) It’s hard to imagine people living in it during wild storms. During Hurricane Sandy it did become an island the coastal flooding was so bad. For this picture of the house I was standing over on Avery Point looking over the waters of Long Island Sound.

  4. The landscapes just keep on changing from all directions! 😉 I too very much enjoy going ‘backwards’ in my route sometimes, for sure there’s gonna be something that looks neat or pretty! The photo with the winter sun softened by the clouds, I see a star/starfish in the clouds. 🙂

    1. Oh yes, now that you mention it, I see the starfish in the cloud, too! And the other spot of gray looks a bit like a whale to me. 🙂 Now I’m thinking of the other loop walks we take to see if we could do some of those in the other direction, too. We are such creatures of habit, it’s good to shake things up every now and then.

  5. What a nice walk you had, clockwise instead of counter-clockwise and your different perspective Barbara. You have captured everything about the time of year, the stark beauty of some things, like the shriveled-up beach rose hip to the logs lined up. I like the gnome chair. The lighthouse is really a focal point here isn’t it? Did I ever mention that a high school friend of mine married a man (late in life) who loves lighthouses and he aimed to make her a lighthouse admirer as well, so they have set up on many trips to see lighthouses and even took a vacation in Ireland where they spent a week living in one. Sadly my friend had a major stroke last year, so walking is difficult for her now, but she is getting there, but slowly. They were quite the travelers prior to that, both domestic and abroad. Her pictures of the Ireland lighthouse vacation were very interesting.

    1. That must have been an amazing experience, staying in an Irish lighthouse for a week. Every lighthouse is unique which makes the idea of visiting as many of them as possible very appealing to me. We were only in Ireland for a week but for some reason I don’t remember seeing any lighthouses even though we did go to a couple of beaches. I’m glad your friend is making progress in her recovery and has such lovely memories to recall as she heals.

      1. Cherie and I follow each other on Facebook and she posted some pictures from inside the lighthouse. I think she got the accommodations there as a present for her husband since he loves lighthouses. I have only been inside the one on Grosse Ile, about ten miles from me. They only have a tour one day a year by the Historical Society as it is on private property. It was daunting to climb inside as the wooden stairs were steep with no railing on either side of the staircase so as not disturb the original ambiance.

        1. I think I’ve only climbed the stairs in one lighthouse, the tiny one in Stonington. I climbed up to the lantern room and enjoyed the view, but it wasn’t as high up as some of the lighthouses I’ve admired from afar. Maybe I’ll do some research and see if any of the other ones around here are open only rarely…

          1. Yes, that would be fun to do once it warms up a little as you’ll have bulky clothes on now and the stairways are narrow. I went in Summer and the stairway was so narrow I had to go sideways (and the stairs were steep). You have many more lighthouses than we do locally. There are some in northern Michigan that are spectacular, especially one which is always pictured dripping in ice and with water lapping at the base and frozen in place … the epitome of cold in those waters (St. Joseph North Pier Lighthouse where the St. Joseph River meets Lake Michigan).

          2. Oh yes, I do remember seeing iconic pictures of the one you have in northern Michigan dripping in ice. I know what you mean about the narrow stairways. It felt more like I was climbing a ladder in the petite Stonington Harbor Lighthouse.
            It was summer and it was pretty hot up there! Spring or fall would probably be the best time to visit.

          3. I can imagine it is very hot in there. I was in New York City with a group from school (National Model United Nations Club in college) and we had afternoons free, but had mock meetings in the morning. So we decided to take the tour of the Statue of Liberty on a very very hot day. The copper statue and narrow staircase was absolutely stifling, but our group did make it to the crown.

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