a preserve by the railroad tracks

1.19.22 ~ Knox Preserve, Stonington, Connecticut

It’s hard to believe after almost two years of walking outings during the pandemic we’re still finding open spaces we haven’t visited yet. Tim was reading about this one, Knox Preserve, in an editorial in the Sunday paper. The writer was frustrated because a fence had been put up between the nature preserve and the railroad tracks, keeping trespassers off the tracks, yes, but also obscuring the views of Long Island Sound.

Wednesday afternoon was finally “warm” enough to head out there, bundled up, of course. (We usually walk in the morning but decided it might be warmer after lunch!) I forgot to make note of the temperature. My new mittens did a fine job keeping my fingers warm. 🙂 We headed up a muddy path along a lovely stone wall with a rusty, golden salt meadow off to our right.

muddy path along salt meadow

What I see is mine.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(A Week on the Concord & Merrimack Rivers)

At a break in the stone wall we took another very soggy path through the salt meadow, then leading up to a grassy knoll where we found a bench with a view.

While we enjoyed the view a little boy and his mother came along and sat down to wait for the next train. Mom had an app on her cell phone that let her know when the next train would be along. The little guy was very excited, even though he had done this many times before. We smiled, thinking of all the good memories they will have to look back on some day.

view of fence, Amtrak train tracks and Long Island Sound

Railroad iron is a magician’s rod, in its power to evoke the sleeping energies of land and water.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(The Young American)

the controversial fence

Next we decided to follow a path into the woods and along the new fence. We heard the expected train approach and hoped the little boy was enjoying himself! It was probably a high-speed Acela train.

into the woods
train whizzing by
reindeer moss

When we came out of the woods we found ourselves at Quiambog Cove and walked along it until we came back to the salt meadow where we started. It was fun completing a loop instead of retracing our steps the way we usually do.

Quiambog Cove and railroad bridge
afternoon sun

Is not January alone pure winter? December belongs to the fall — is a wintery November — February to the spring — it is a snowy March.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(Journal, February 9, 1854)

ice in the salt meadow

When we woke up this morning the wind chill was 0°F/-18°C. Needless to say, we did not take a walk. Instead, it was more yoga for me!

After peaking at 25% on January 7th, Connecticut’s covid positivity rate has slowly inched its way down to 13% yesterday. Baby steps in the right direction.

staying home

this morning, my dwarf river birch

But that January day. It neither rained nor snowed, but both. There was no steady wind from some one point, but stinging blasts that came from every quarter. It was neither warm nor cold, but chilling to a degree that made all wraps unavailable. I stayed home.
~ Charles Conrad Abbott
(Days Out of Doors)

observing nature

theodorkittelsen.january
“January” by Theodor Kittelsen

The place to observe nature is where you are; the walk to take to-day is the walk you took yesterday. You will not find just the same things: both the observed and the observer have changed; the ship is on another tack in both cases.
~ John Burroughs
(Signs & Seasons)

snowiest month ever

This month is the snowiest January on record in Connecticut. In fact, it’s the state’s snowiest month in history, period. As if you couldn’t have guessed.
~ Ed Stannard
(New Haven Register, January 26, 2011)

It snowed most of Tuesday so I put off the food shopping expedition again. Wednesday morning my sister happened to be here so we decided to clean the snow off the car and do errands and shopping together before the “big” storm due that night. It was still morning, and I was standing in a very long line at the check-out with an overflowing shopping cart in the midst of folks on a quick errand for two or three items, pre-storm batteries, milk, bread, eggs or water. Even let one or two of them cut in front of me as there was no express line open. Happened to look out the window and commented to Beverly that the storm looked imminent, even though it wasn’t supposed to arrive until late afternoon. Sure enough, the first flakes greeted us as we exited the store.

When we got home Beverly took off for work early, to get a good parking spot, while I put my groceries away and then settled in front of the TV with a cup of coffee to see what the explanation might be for another inaccurate forecast. Meteorologist Dr. Mel was grinning from ear to ear as he announced that this month was now officially the snowiest month ever recorded in Connecticut history. This was before the big storm, and two more little storms predicted for Friday and Saturday. He simply couldn’t hide the delight he felt in offering this remarkable fact to his colleagues and television audience!

Then he got to the matter of the snow falling in the morning. It turns out it was another storm, an unexpected low pressure pocket formed off the coast and surprised everyone with a few inches to contend with before the big one. Unbelievable!

Woke up at 4 a.m. this morning – no official totals for the overnight storm yet – it’s still snowing. Dr. Mel says a good 10-15 inches fell so far in about 5 short hours over the state. (Does he ever go home and sleep?) There is a truck ban on the interstates until 10:00 a.m. Amtrak has suspended service. No city buses running. And of course schools are closed. Looks like Tim will be working from home this morning.

Took a picture of our Yankee weather rock in the dark. (A whimsical gift from Nate & Shea many summers ago…) Can’t see the word rock!! I’ve always loved the energy and excitement of storms, and taking this picture revealed a couple of orbs! I’ll be outside shoveling for a long time… And loving very minute of it until I get cold or tired or both…