Not the greatest pictures I’ve ever taken, but I was thrilled to see more birds than usual on this winter walk. Interesting that we didn’t encounter another human being on this day. Maybe everyone is shopping for the holidays. Not us! It was a sunny day with light westerly winds, a relatively comfortable 44°F/7°C with a feels-like temperature of 39°F/4°C. Connecticut’s positivity rate yesterday was 8.16%.
The Brain — is wider than the Sky — For — put them side by side — The one the other will contain With ease — and You — beside — ~ Emily Dickinson (The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #598)
One of Tim’s friends told us about this lovely park. This bridge goes over the overgrown tracks of the Norwich & Westerly Railway.
The Norwich and Westerly Railway was an interurban trolley system that operated in Southeastern Connecticut during the early part of the 20th century. It operated a 21-mile line through rural territory in Norwich, Preston, Ledyard, North Stonington, and Pawcatuck, Connecticut to Westerly, Rhode Island between 1906 and 1922. For most of its length, the route paralleled what is now Connecticut Route 2. ~ Wikipedia
It’s a blurry picture but I was so excited to finally see a Carolina wren in Connecticut. I first heard its pretty song and saw a few of them while at my daughter’s home in North Carolina in the fall of 2018. I’ve been hearing them sing in the spring and fall since returning to to Connecticut but haven’t been able to spot one until this day.
A “Natural Stone Throne” was indicated on the map but we almost missed it behind all the brush. Tim bushwhacked his way up a steep incline and got the above picture on his cell phone. I wasn’t about to follow but then he noticed a cleared trail joining the main trail a little ahead of where I was. So I walked around and up and got the following two pictures. I made one attempt to climb up and sit on it but it was too high to pull it off!
We proceeded up the hill and found ourselves at eye level with the top of the 23-story Grand Pequot Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino, a mile and a half away (2.4 km).
A little farther along we got to the end of the trail at High Ledge Overlook. Thank goodness there was a fence marking the edge. It was a long way down. And then we turned around and noticed different things on our way back down the hill.
How little there is on an ordinary map! How little, I mean, that concerns the walker and the lover of nature…. The waving woods, the dells and glades and green banks and smiling fields, the huge boulders, etc., etc., are not on the map, nor to be inferred from the map. ~ Henry David Thoreau (Journal, November 10, 1860)
Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. ~ Mary Oliver (Red Bird: Poems)
I’ve posted this poem before and the words came to mind again when I learned of Mary Oliver’s death yesterday. Thank you, dear poet, for teaching us that the instructions for living a life really are that simple. (Another of her poems, my favorite, is shared in my blog’s sidebar.) She loved Provincetown, too, and many of the things she described in her poems were so familiar to me.
Tim & I have been in North Carolina almost a week now, looking after our new grandson, two-and-a-half-month old Finn, who came down with an awful cold while his dad was out of town and his mom had an extra-busy week at work. But he seems much better today so he got to go back to daycare with big sister Katherine. It was fun taking them there and we’re looking forward to picking them up again.
Of course I have caught the cold. But it is worth all the time I was able to soothe the little guy and I will treasure the memory of him sleeping in my arms for hours. And being with Katherine, who is busy monitoring the hatching of a (pretend) stegosaurus egg in a tub in the bathroom. We’re all a bit astonished. What we thought was a foot slowly emerging from the egg turned out to be a jaw! Now the mystery is wondering how big this dinosaur baby (Steggy) will get.
January down here is different than Connecticut. There are already pansies growing in planters along the sidewalks. Don’t see them in Connecticut until April! I saw a pussy willow starting to bloom on our way walking to the community compost pile. And the Carolina wrens are still singing outside my window.
Life is good. May you rest in peace, Mary Oliver. (10 September 1935 — 17 January 2019)
Come, ye cold winds! at January’s call, On whistling wings; and with white flakes bestrew The earth. ~ John Ruskin (The Poems of John Ruskin, Volume 1)
Blizzard Colbie gave us 22 24 inches of snow. I have been waiting for some decent snow this winter and it finally arrived. Zoë and I had a delightful afternoon watching the birds feeding in the snow on our balcony.
Tim sets up a webcam when it snows up here, so our kids in Georgia and North Carolina can watch the storm as it progresses. Nate, who has loved the color red since he was a baby, pinged me to let me know I had a cardinal out there. I already knew that, but it warmed my heart to know that he is still partial to all things red.
They still have not come to plow the parking lot of our complex and I’m wondering what the hold up is. Tim returned from doing some volunteer work at the Red Cross shelter and got stuck in the entrance to the driveway. Fortunately our very kind neighbors dug him out and created a parking space for him, too. All the neighbors’ cars are still buried.
Edit – the morning after – the final snow total for Groton was 24 inches! The town of Thompson got 33.5 inches!
Between the four of us (Nate, Shea, Tim & me) we took well over a thousand pictures with the new camera over our five-day visit to Georgia. We kept taking turns getting shots and spent several evenings dazzled in front of the TV screen watching the digital slideshow of the day’s pictures. It’s been difficult to choose which ones to share here on the blog!
Starting off here with our day at Cumberland Island National Seashore, a 45-minute ferry ride from St. Marys, Georgia. Nate had the camera for most of this day so the majority of the shots are probably his. It’s hard to remember who had the camera when, but, he most definitely took the one of the tiny lizard puffing out his throat (above) and we are all blown away over how well it came out!
We had hoped to see the wild horses but all we got to see of them was their droppings and hoof-prints. However, the island was teeming with wildlife everywhere we looked, so there wasn’t much room for disappointment.
Last weekend we took a short walk on the Poquonnock River Walkway because we had heard on the news that there had been a brush fire. Fortunately the fire broke out behind the Poquonnock Bridge Firehouse, but it ignited several patches of brush along the walkway before the firemen got the flames under control. Everything is so wet there it is hard to imagine how the fire might have started.
There were many birds busy in the reeds and trees lining the walkway.
It’s disheartening to see all the illegally discarded garbage exposed by the fire. Wish I knew why some people cannot make the effort to dispose of their waste materials properly at the “transfer station.” When I was little we called it a “dump” and we took to heart all the public service ads on TV encouraging us not to be litter bugs!
For my sister and me Saturday trips to the dump were fun! Perhaps once or twice a month Dad would load up the back of his pick-up truck with our family’s trash. Beverly and I would then climb into the cab and snuggle up to our papa as closely as we could. This was back before the days of seat belts. The reason we held on tight was that the passenger door would sometimes swing open when the truck turned a corner. (The problem was eventually repaired.) What a thrilling adventure! And the chance to feel the strong arms of our father holding us securely, the chance to feel like precious cargo!
On the way home from the dump we got to ride in the back of the pick-up truck! We begged and pleaded and were sometimes rewarded with a side trip up and back down Route 320, a road with many wonderfully smooth bumps – riding over them would make us feel like we left our stomachs on the truck while our bodies were lifted into the air by some mysterious force for a fraction of a moment. These days I’m sure Dad would be arrested for endangering minors, but for me these were the spicy experiences of my young life!
The whispers of shared ecstasy are choral. ~ George Steiner (Grammars of Creation)