on our way to the hidden pond…

4.5.23 ~ Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
mama goose sitting on her rock island nest

On the second day of the kids’ visit we decided to go to the nature center to see mama goose sitting on her nest. But we wound up doing so much more! Kat still loves her maps and she noticed a hidden pond on the outdoor map sign and decided we should find it. Tim & I had never explored that part of the property before.

a safe little piece of prime real estate
our son-in-law, the climber

Dima climbs everything in sight, walls, trees, outcrops and probably other things I can’t even begin to imagine. The first time I documented this passion was at Coumeenoole Beach on our trip to visit the Dima, Larisa and Kat in Ireland in 2018. (Scroll down to picture #26)

the first outcrop he climbed is on the left and the second is on top of the hill

I dug out my map pamphlet from last year’s visit and gave it to Kat. We started on the Forest Loop Trail, crossing the bridge over a brook leading to the stairs up to Council Rock, a glacial erratic sitting on top of an outcrop.

starting to climb the outcrop

But first Dima took a detour to climb the first outcrop, while the rest of us caught up.

Finn was having a “meh” day
it matched the sentiments on his mother’s coffee mug
Kat snuck up from behind the outcrop and joined her father on top

Then we climbed the stairs and approached the outcrop holding Council Rock. Before we knew it Dima was sitting on top of it! We were able to climb up the not-as-steep side of this outcrop. It was the only one we managed that day.

on top of Council Rock

Somehow Kat managed to get up there with her Papa.

consulting the map again, Kat was determined to find Hidden Pond

After resting a little we came down off the outcrop and followed the trail to an entrance to Ledge Trail. Dima and Kat got way out ahead while Tim, Larisa and Finn fell behind. I was enjoying my solitude in the middle of the procession when I glanced up to see Dima and Kat had climbed yet another outcrop! They tell me the view was great.

While up there, Dima spotted a wild turkey on the ridge below him, but above my vantage point. He was apparently displaying his feathers off and on. When the others caught up we finally spotted the turkey’s head peering over the ridge. Since the trail led in that direction we headed towards him. The turkey kept walking ahead of us but never ran or flew off.

There were so many twigs and short bushes in the way that it proved difficult getting the camera to focus. As we walked the trail along the ridge the wild turkey finally took a turn and went down into the swampy area at the bottom of the ravine. He joined a flock of about six other wild turkeys down there, and then they all started climbing up to the ridge on the other side.

Kat found a spot on the edge of the ridge to sit and watch the turkeys

At this point Finn decided to switch from riding in his mother’s arms and on her shoulders to riding on his father’s shoulders. Having a passenger did not deter Dima from climbing up on the next outcrop!

When the trail finally came down off the ridge we found a sign pointing to Hidden Pond! We were almost there!

Hidden Pond
skunk cabbage and moss

Kat was pleased to have found her destination and I was happy we had so much fun and fresh air along the way. Finn was happy he was going to stop for ice cream on his way home and Dima reported that he had never seen a wild turkey in the woods before. Larisa wanted to take a selfie with her parents and we obliged. We then found a shorter connector trail back to the nature center but I’m so glad we took the long way around to find that little pond!

31 thoughts on “on our way to the hidden pond…”

    1. Thank you, Leelah! It was such a refreshing and wonderful day ~ you just never know what adventures lie ahead when you decide to take a walk in the woods. It would have been wonderful to have you along, too. 🙂

  1. Great idea from Kat to find the hidden pond. Spotting the wild turkey bunch was a bonus prize. I’m glad you are sharing your wonders!

    1. Kat does like consulting maps, especially when she finds something interesting to look for. I’m thinking of trying letterboxing with her in North Carolina, if people are still doing that these days.

      1. I looked up letterboxing because I didn’t know what it is about. I found info on letterboxing dot org and there’s a great chart of locations too. I do think that would be a fun hobby for Kate!

        1. Tim & I used to enjoy letterboxing years ago but after our son and daughter-in-law got Lyme Disease from tick bites we stopped going off-trail in the woods. It will be interesting to see what it’s like to letterbox in NC!

  2. What a lovely walk to Hidden Pone with your family. We have hiked to a place called Hidden Pond here in Arkansas. You are making some wonderful memories.

    1. I wonder how many Hidden Ponds there are in the country? 🙂 I think I located yours on the AllTrails website. It looks beautiful. It’s nice having these pictures to go along with our memories. It will be fun sharing them with the grandkids when they’re older.

        1. Hidden ponds and hidden treasures in every place on earth. We’re lucky to be surrounded by so much natural beauty left for us to discover.

    1. I know! I felt tired watching Dima go but was grateful I could catch up with him often enough to get some pictures. 🙂

    1. I think that turkey was as curious about Kat as she was about him. It was as if they were playing follow-the-leader and I was worried Kat would follow him down into the ravine!

    1. Thank you, Donna! Kat seems to have a wonderful blend of her mother’s curiosity and her father’s sense of adventure. 🙂

  3. What a wonderful outing you had with the family Barbara, a preview of coming attractions of the many outings you will enjoy after your move. How nice to see Mama Goose looking so regal atop the nest with the downy feathers around her body. She is so peaceful looking and you are right – that is some prime real estate there. Location, location, location and much better than going into a pile of boulders to sit on a nest. That is a lot of exercise with all the climbing – I would not be able to keep up! And the perfect end to the day, getting ice cream .

    1. It will be interesting to see if we get back to see the goslings when they hatch — there hasn’t been much spare time for walks. So much to do at home!!! But I look forward to seeing how your Mama Goose makes out in her new nesting spot. Yesterday it looked like we had a very high tide in the creek near our place and driving by we saw two geese standing forlornly knee-deep in the water near the road. I hope their nest wasn’t flooded. I’m always imagining the worst but I don’t usually see them hanging out that way…

      1. I had hoped to get back there this weekend to check on Mama Goose. Friday through Sunday we have some ugly weather with off/on torrential rain and stormy weather, plus snow showers on Sunday. I have gone there on a weekday, but it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic to get there, so I try to avoid it if I can. I’m sure, given the same timeline as last year, they will be hatched this weekend or shortly thereafter. I would suspect the worst as well with the two geese – I’m imagining there would be no way for them to retrieve the eggs from the bed of the pond as rolling them to a dry place wouldn’t be possible. Nature is so cruel sometimes. I may have mentioned last year that my friend Ann Marie lives in an apartment complex with a huge pond in the middle. A Canada Goose nests near the pond every year – last year, the apartment maintenance person seized the opportunity to steal the eggs from the nest, when Mama took a quick break and was off it. When Ann Marie returned from her walk, the two geese were screeching and pacing from the roof of a nearby apartment building. Ann Marie was upset seeing them and complained to the manager to voice her concerns over the cruelty, but nothing was done.

        1. That’s terrible! Cruel as nature can be it seems that humans manage to find ways to be even more callous and heartless. Sigh… I hope you get to see the goslings without too much traffic to fight on your way there.

          1. I hope so too Barbara. It is just a ten-mile round trip. I went out this morning and decided I’d better drive to the Park as we’re having three days of rain. I pulled the car out of the garage … I always check for leaks on the garage floor – nothing. But when I went to close the garage door, I saw wet drops going down the driveway. I had two leaks last year and had the entire car checked in January with a diagnostic test at the mechanic/shop. I pulled it back in and will look again at it tomorrow – I hope this is nothing major. It is a 2009 car, but just has 10,690 miles on it. Sigh.

          2. It’s hard to imagine a car that old with only 10,000+ miles on it! Our car has been in the garage since Thursday — they had to order some parts. Tim took it in for a pre-trip wellness check. It’s a 2014 but I haven’t looked lately to see how much over 100,000 miles it’s up to. Good thing they gave us a loaner car at no charge. One thing we love about this dealership. During the pandemic they actually drove to our place, left a loaner car and picked up our car for servicing. No physical human contact was reassuring at the time. Hope your car has nothing major, too.

          3. That was very considerate of your dealership to do both things for you. My dealership is not close unfortunately – they probably do have a shuttle of some type, but I’ve dealt with the local mechanic now for about 23 years … they are three blocks away so I can walk to/from their shop. They are really busy though – they service all the P.O, vehicles for one and have another account which I don’t remember. I have used them for the Regal I had before this LaCrosse. No Buick dealerships around here now, but it had been a mile away, then moved 10 – 12 miles away. A fellow blogger and her husband have an RV and have been on the road since September, but spent most of the Winter in Florida. They live in Upper Michigan. The husband knows about cars and they pull an older Jeep behind the RV – he has always done the repairs for this car – never had it in for service. He knows enough about the RV which they drive (and is big) to take care of it. I mentioned to Sandra about the drips as I had a problem last year and he told me what it was. Her husband sent me a link and said it is exhaust – which is what Engine Tech told me. I’ve never seen the drips before with exhaust though. I am planning to walk tomorrow morning to the allergist … I’ll take the car for a run but I don’t want to shut it off before I come home. I’m a Nervous Nellie – too much crime and people hijacking cars, running into cars … a lot of not so great things. I have Auto Club so can get help if it would shut down. I had OnStar until the end of December last year – my car is 2G so OnStar no longer worked with 2G. I hope it is not a major problem either.

          4. I hope the drips turn out to be nothing important and that you have a pleasant, uneventful walk to the allergist! Keeping my fingers crossed for you…

          5. Thank you for thinking of me Barbara. I made that trip along busy Fort Street and it seemed like the longest four miles, yet four miles in a nature setting go by too quickly. The woman’s husband says it is just exhaust but I’ve had the car since 2009 and never saw big drips coming from the exhaust before when pulling it out of the garage. It just doesn’t seem right to me.

          6. Well, you got eight miles towards your yearly goal even if it was along a busy street. Something’s not right with your car, you should probably trust your instincts. I hope it’s not too serious. We got ours back from the garage yesterday. Now I will feel a little less anxious about taking it on the long journey to NC in June.

          7. Yes, it is better to have it checked out Barbara. It may be nothing but I will feel better. I had a leak in the garage while it was under warranty, took it back in January and it didn’t leak – they ran a diagnostic on it, nothing leaked. This is different as it’s from the exhaust. I really need to drive this car more – it will end up like the last car, with electrical issues. We had another freeway shooting this afternoon – about four miles from where I live. I don’t go on the freeway anyway, but too close for comfort and in the middle of the day! And every day, people running stop signs and red lights. It is not nice to even go out in the car anymore. I did not last long last night … I was nodding off from that extra exercise and almost running the last few blocks when it started to snow. It’s good you got your car checked out too – is that the trip to stay there in NC for good then?

          8. A shooting four miles away in broad daylight is way too close for comfort. I don’t blame you for trying to avoid the dangers. I hope you can find a safer place to live after you retire. Snow again? Wow! Yes, Larisa is flying up here at the end of May to help us pack the POD and then, after they take the POD away, she will drive us in our car down to her place in NC early in June. The real estate agent can then sell this place and we can look for a place to live down there without any time pressure.

          9. I didn’t like hearing that story Barbara and the crime all of a sudden. I don’t go on the expressway, but people going through red lights and stop signs and crashes every day, or people speeding or going the wrong way, terrifies me. I’ve waited a long time to have the freedom that retirement brings and I sure don’t want to end up as a statistic.

            That’s great Larisa is going to help you finalize everything to get ready to go – an extra pair of hands will be welcome and that’s a lot of work. I’ve seen the PODs in people’s driveways, but never knew anyone who used one. How does it it get to NC – by rail, transport truck? I didn’t know if you already had a place or not. It is good you can take your time and don’t have to rush into anything for the sake of having a roof over your head.

          10. First they take the POD to a local warehouse (for us it is in Rhode Island) to keep it until we find a place to live. Then when we notify them it comes by transport truck to North Carolina. It’s the perfect solution for us not knowing when or where exactly we’ll want our stuff delivered. Of course there is a monthly fee for keeping it in the warehouse, but it seems well worth it for the peace of mind and not having to rush.

          11. That’s interesting Barbara. I had no idea how it worked and I even thought, since I see so many in driveways, that it was not just putting the items into the pod before moving them, but people keeping it there until their next house was available, whether waiting on previous owners to move out, or maybe having painting or remodeling work done inside. That is an excellent solution for you and peace of mind is key in a big move.

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