George Washington Verplanck & Ermina Huntley

Tim’s 2nd-great-grandfather, George Washington Verplanck, son of Henry Abraham and Catherine Ann (McMullen) Verplanck, was born 25 March 1852 in (Eaton) Michigan, and died 28 February 1930 in Hanover (Jackson) Michigan. He married 20 July 1873 in Summit (Jackson) Michigan, Ermina “Mina” Huntley, who was born 4 November 1855 in Michigan, and died 30 December 1917 in Jackson (Jackson) Michigan, daughter of Loren Grant and Mary Jane (Fowler) Huntley.

George was a farmer, mason and bricklayer. Mina was a homemaker.

On 7 December 1903, after 30 years of marriage, Mina filed an application for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty. The case was not contested but was quickly withdrawn on 15 December 1903.

Mina died from acute gastritis and acute angina pectoris. George died from burns when his clothing accidently caught fire while he was lighting a fire in a coal range.

photo by Deb Hayes-Wolfe (Ancestry.com)

Ermina & George lie buried in Woodland Cemetery in Jackson, Michigan. They were the parents of seven children:

i. William “Willie” Verplanck, born 20 November 1874 in Michigan, died 1 July 1908 in Blackman (Jackson) Michigan, age 33, of tuberculosis.

ii. Inez Verplanck, born 25 December 1876 in Tekonsha (Calhoun) Michigan, died 2 August 1944 in LaGrange (Cook) Illinois. She married 14 April 1920 in Chicago (Cook) Illinois, Henry P. Halsted, who was born 20 March 1868 in Chicago, and died there 28 October 1926, son of Henry Smith and Anna (—) Halsted. Inez & Henry had no children.

iii. Martha Janet “Mattie” Verplanck, born 13 January 1880 in Hanover, died in 1951. She married 31 December 1902 in Jackson, Charles John Myers, who was born 15 August 1879 in Grass Lake (Jackson) Michigan. Martha & Charles had no children.

iv. George Ola Verplanck, born 10 May 1882 in Hanover, died in 1954. He married 15 April 1903 in Jackson, Beulah Wilson, who was born in August 1881 in Michigan, and died in 1967, daughter of James and Cora (—) Wilson. George & Beulah were the parents of four children.

v. Catherine Alta Verplanck (Tim’s great-grandmother), born 2 May 1885 in Hanover, died there 27 July 1941. She married (as her first husband) 20 June 1906 in Hanover, Marion Case Raven, who was born 18 October 1883 in Cambridge (Lenawee) Michigan, and died 4 December 1926 in Jackson, son of William Franklin and Elona Naomi (Case) Raven. Catherine & Marion were the parents of three children. Catherine married (as her second husband and as his second wife) 14 October 1931 in Jackson, Earl Edward Jewell, who was born 28 January 1893 in Three Rivers (St. Joseph) Michigan, and died there 6 June 1974, son of Elmer W. and Emilie Auguste (Hochstaedt) Jewell. Catherine & Earl had no children.

vi. Ola M. Verplanck, (daughter) born 23 May 1888 in Hanover, died 23 July 1909 in Jackson, age 21.

vii. Eldridge Verplanck, born 7 October 1890 in Jackson, 16 November 1918 in Quantico (Prince William) Virginia, age 28. Eldridge was a private in the US Marine Corps and died of influenza in the barracks during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.

Last Revised: 14 March 2022

so many robins

3.2.22 ~ Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic

I took a solo walk yesterday, while Tim rested his ailing ankle. There were so many robins out and about, running across the cemetery lawns. It was a sunny early spring day, a seasonable 43°F (6°C) with a little wind chill, but I didn’t need any thermal layers or heavy mittens. 🙂 Three crows were making a ruckus in the treetops but finally settled their differences and flew off, leaving me to enjoy a robin photo shoot.


The Robin is the One
That interrupts the Morn
With hurried — few — express Reports
When March is scarcely on —

The Robin is the One
That overflow the Noon
With her cherubic quantity —
An April but begun —

The Robin is the One
That speechless from her Nest
Submit that Home — and Certainty
And Sanctity, are best

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #501)


bathing in a muddy puddle
Spring is in the air!


Marion Case Raven & Catherine Alta Verplanck

Tim’s great-grandfather, Marion Case Raven, son of William Franklin and Elona Naomi (Case) Raven, was born 18 October 1882 in Cambridge (Lenawee) Michigan, and died 4 December 1926 in Jackson (Jackson) Michigan. He married (as her first husband) 20 June 1906 in Hanover (Jackson) Michigan, Catherine Alta Verplanck, who was born there 2 May 1885, and died there 27 July 1941, daughter of George Washington and Ermina (Huntley) Verplanck.

Catherine married (as her second husband and as his second wife) 14 October 1931 in Jackson, Earl Edward Jewell, who was born 28 January 1893 in Three Rivers (St. Joseph) Michigan, and died there 6 June 1974, son of Elmer W. and Emilie Auguste (Hochstaedt) Jewell.

Marion was a stonemason and a fireman. He was 5’10” and of medium build, with dark hair and blue eyes. He died at age 43 of endocarditis brought on by whooping cough.

Catherine, widowed at age 41, then worked as a cook in school cafeteria for a few years until she married again. She died of a coronary aneurysm from underlying arteriosclerosis.

Marion & Catherine lie buried in Woodland Cemetery in Jackson.

Catherine & Marion were the parents of three children, all born in Jackson:

1. Lenore Naomi Raven (Tim’s grandmother), born 26 July 1907, died 6 November 1961 in Middletown (Middlesex) Connecticut. She married (as her first husband and as his first wife) 23 August 1923 in Adrian (Lenawee) Michigan, Nelson John Ladd, who was born there 18 February 1904, and died 12 June 1980 in Asheville (Buncombe) North Carolina, son of Hugh Ralph and Tina (Van Valkenburg) Ladd. Lenore & Hugh were the parents of a son and divorced 21 May 1928. Lenore married (as her second husband and as his first wife) 27 May 1929 in Manhattan (New York) New York, Joseph Asher Flanzer, who was born there 22 December 1901 and died 28 January 1997 in Willimantic (Windham) Connecticut, son of Moritz Kalman and Sadie (Roth) Flanzer. Lenore & Joseph were the parents of two children and were then divorced. Lenore married (as her third husband) John House. Lenore married (as her fourth husband) 10 June 1960 in Simsbury (Hartford) Connecticut, Robert Nelson Howard, who was born 10 May 1900 in Brownville (Piscataquis) Maine and died 30 October 1998 in Glastonbury (Hartford) Connecticut, son of Edgar and Martha (Graham) Howard. Lenore & Robert lie buried in Lakeview Cemetery in East Hampton, Connecticut.

2. Ayesha Jean Raven, born 31 March 1913, died 21 December 1998 in Mentor (Lake) Ohio. She married 23 September 1933 in Jackson, Harold Ernest Griggs, who was born there 1 May 1912, and died there 3 January 1981, son of Ernest and Mary (—) Griggs. Ayesha & Harold were the parents of two children.

3. George Franklin Raven, born 26 August 1915, died 3 March 2001 in Los Altos (Santa Clara) California. He married 8 April 1942 in Seattle (King) Washington, Barbara Ellen Hultz, who was born 20 August 1917, and died 27 March 2011 in Jackson, daughter of Forrest and Hazel (Eldred) Hultz.

Last Revised: 28 November 2021

komorebi

11.13.21 ~ Saint Patrick Cemetery, Mystic, Connecticut

The interplay between light and the leaves when sunlight filters through trees. The Japanese have a word for it: komorebi. Every spring and autumn the wonderful quality of the sunlight surrounding the equinoxes makes our walks in the woods (or cemeteries) seem so enchanting, whether the leaves are on the ground, on the trees, or fluttering around in the air. It’s starting to dim now that we are closer to the winter solstice, but I thought I might squeeze in one last batch of leaf photos!

little splotch of sunlight

We came back to this cemetery after we discovered it a couple of weeks ago. It had lots of trees and natural beauty, set on the banks of the picturesque Mystic River. A wind and rain storm was due later in the afternoon and it was already getting breezy. The sky was still blue to the east and getting pretty gray to the west. Still, enough sun came out to play at times.

And all the lives we ever lived
And all the lives to be
Are full of trees and changing leaves.

~ Virginia Woolf
(To the Lighthouse)

view across the Mystic River

I love autumn and winter more. Something opens up in me then ~ something soft and deep and glowing ~ which is far too shy to expose itself to the inexhaustible light of summer.
~ Sharon Blackie
(The Enchanted Life, Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday)

a blue bike and a blue bug
the license plate says “OLE BUG”
same driveway as seen in above picture
love this burnt orange color
Mystic River
a rare bit of red? or burnt orange?
stuck on the fence
another view across the Mystic River
木漏れ日 (koh-mo-reh-bee)

A couple of hours after we got home a quick but terribly windy thunderstorm with heavy rain passed through. Later we learned that four confirmed tornadoes had touched down in Connecticut! One of them was an EF-1 with estimated 90 mph winds in Stonington, about 15 miles to the east of us. The other three were farther away and were EF-0s. Tornadoes in November???

The four twisters that struck Connecticut are the only four on record to occur in the state during November and the most in the state in a single day since May 15, 2018.
~ Jacob Feuerstein
(The Washington Post, November 14, 2021)

oldest steam-powered cider mill

After our walk and leaf peeping last Friday we stopped at one of Tim’s (and son Nate’s!) favorite places for some freshly pressed apple cider. I can’t believe I’ve never created a post about this local treasure. Maybe because it’s so popular and crowded on the weekends but now that we’re retired we have the luxury of visiting during the week when there are fewer people around and a better chance to get unobstructed photos.

11.5.21 ~ Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark
(American Society of Mechanical Engineers)

Family-owned and operated since 1881, B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill is a piece of living history. Every September 1st, we open our doors and sell sweet cider, hard cider, wine, cider donuts, and many local goods. We craft our sweet cider and hard ciders the same way that generations before us perfected. Enjoy cider-making demonstrations, wine and hard cider tastings, and our renowned cider donuts while making your own new traditions
~ B. F. Clyde’s Cider Mill website

side view

Although cider was produced on individual farms for private use, the centrally located mill became popular for farmers who would sell surplus apples to the mill and bring back the juice to ferment into hard cider. In 1881 Benjamin Clyde began pressing his apples at local mills and soon rented his own press. In 1897 he purchased the mill and installed the screw press (No. 2) from Boomer & Boschert of Syracuse. Boomer and Boschert also supplied the apple grater, apple elevator, and cider pump, as well as the plans for the building.
~ American Society of Mechanical Engineers website

temporary cider storage, then it gets pumped to the company store

Although cider making has changed little over the centuries, this mill featured a sophisticated method of grinding and a press capable of applying pressure at three speeds. Using all steel construction, it was considered the finest screw cider press ever made. The cider mill at B.F. Clyde’s also represents one of the final screw presses. In the 20th century, the hydraulic press came into widespread use.
~ American Society of Mechanical Engineers website

apple delivery
on the weekends you can get hard cider
in the cellar under the cider press
company store
company store greeter
gift shop
directing wine tasters to the gift shop

We went down another scenic road on our way home and enjoyed many more fall colors. We happened to notice a cemetery with open gates and drove in, finding some spectacular views of the Mystic River. We’ll have to go back some day to explore. But I was getting hungry and ready to go home. Before we left I spotted a squirrel eating on top of a headstone. A perfect ending to a great outing.

11.5.21 ~ Saint Patrick Cemetery

Stephen Hopkins

One of the first ancestors my grandmother ever told me about was my 10th-great-grandfather, Stephen Hopkins, who came here from England on the Mayflower. But my grandmother didn’t tell me that it wasn’t his first trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Or about the troubles he got into. Recently I started reading (listening to) a book about him, Here Shall I Die Ashore: Stephen Hopkins: Bermuda Castaway, Jamestown Survivor & Mayflower Pilgrim by Caleb Johnson. What an adventurous life he led!

My 10th-great-grandfather, Stephen Hopkins, son of John and Elizabeth (Williams) Hopkins, was baptized 30 April 1581 at Upper Clatford, Hampshire, England, and died at Plymouth Colony, before 17 July 1644, when his will was proved. He married (as his first wife) about 1603, Mary (—), who died before 9 May 1613, when she was buried in Hursley, Hampshire, England.

Stephen married (as his second wife) 19 February 1618 in Whitechapel, London, England, Elizabeth Fisher. Stephen and his pregnant wife Elizabeth came here together on the Mayflower in 1620, with their daughter and two children from his first marriage. Elizabeth gave birth to their son, Oceanus, on board the ship during the voyage. My grandmother delighted me with that tidbit of information!

There is a great biographical sketch of Stephen’s life on Caleb Johnson’s Mayflower History website: Stephen Hopkins

Mary & Stephen were the parents of three children, all baptized in Hursley:

1. Elizabeth Hopkins, born before 13 March 1604, died young.

2. Constance Hopkins (my 10th-great-grandmother), born before 11 May 1606, died in October 1677 in Eastham (Barnstable) Massachusetts. Constance was 14 when she came over on the Mayflower. She married about 1627 in Plymouth, Nicholas Snow, who was born about 1600, and died 15 November 1676 in Eastham. Constance & Nicholas were the parents of twelve children. They lie buried in Cove Burying Ground in Eastham.

3. Giles Hopkins (my 9th-great-grandfather), born before 30 January 1608, died before 16 April 1690, when his will was proved. Giles was 12 when he came over on the Mayflower. He married 9 October 1639 in Plymouth, Catherine Whelden, who was baptized 6 March 1617 in Basford, Nottinghamshire, England, arrived in Plymouth with her parents in 1638, and probably died shortly after her husband, daughter of Gabriel and Jane (—) Whelden. Giles & Catherine were the parents of ten children.

Elizabeth & Stephen were the parents of seven children:

1. Damaris Hopkins, born about 1619 in England, probably died young. Damaris was probably a baby when she came over on the Mayflower.

2. Oceanus Hopkins, born at sea before 11 November 1620, probably died before 1623.

3. Caleb Hopkins, born about 1622 in Plymouth, died before 3 April 1651 in Barbados. He was a seaman.

4. Deborah Hopkins, born about 1624 in Plymouth, died there before 1674. She married (as his first wife) about 1645, Andrew Ring, who was born about 1618 in Leiden (South Holland) Netherlands, and died 4 March 1694 in Plymouth, son of William and Mary (Durrant) Ring. Deborah & Andrew were the parents of six children.

5. Damaris Hopkins, born about 1628 in Plymouth, died there before 18 November 1669. She married there (as his first wife) after 10 June 1646, Jacob Cook, who was born 20 May 1618 in Leiden, and died 11 December 1675 in Plymouth, son of Francis and Hester (Mahieu) Cook. Damaris & Jacob were the parents of seven children.

6. Ruth Hopkins, born about 1630 in Plymouth, died there before 3 April 1651.

7. Elizabeth Hopkins, born about 1632 in Plymouth, disappeared and presumed dead by 5 October 1659.

This is the line of descent my grandmother gave me. Marriages noted are between Hopkins cousins…

Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644)
Giles Hopkins (1608-1690)
Joshua Hopkins (1657-1738)
Joshua Hopkins (1698-1780)
Joshua Hopkins (1725-1775)
Abigail Hopkins (1764-1829) m. John Freeman (1761-1817) ~ 3rd cousins, once removed
Thomas Freeman (1787-1864)
Warren Freeman (1814-1894) m. Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908) ~ 4th cousins
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

Over the years I have discovered three more lines from Stephen to my grandmother:

Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644)
Giles Hopkins (1608-1690)
Stephen Hopkins (1642-1718)
Stephen Hopkins (1670-1733)
Thankful Hopkins (1700-1753)
Thankful Linnell (1732-1810)
John Freeman (1761-1817) m. Abigail Hopkins (1764-1829) ~ 3rd cousins, once removed
Thomas Freeman (1787-1864)
Warren Freeman (1814-1894) m. Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908) ~ 4th cousins
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644)
Giles Hopkins (1608-1690)
Joshua Hopkins (1657-1738)
Hannah Hopkins (1700-1793) m. Capt. Ebenezer Paine (1692-1734) ~ 2nd cousins, once removed
Hannah Paine (1732-1808)
Seth Allen (1755-1838)
Elisabeth Allen (1784-1868)
Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908) m. Warren Freeman (1814-1894) ~ 4th cousins
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

Stephen Hopkins (1581-1644)
Constance Hopkins (1606-1677)
Mary Snow (1630-1704)
Lt. Samuel Paine (1652-1712)
Capt. Ebenezer Paine (1692-1734) m. Hannah Hopkins (1700-1793) ~ 2nd cousins, once removed
Hannah Paine (1732-1808)
Seth Allen (1755-1838)
Elisabeth Allen (1784-1868)
Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908) m. Warren Freeman (1814-1894) ~ 4th cousins
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

George Lincoln Rodgers & Mary Jane Rodgers

Tim’s great-grandfather, George Lincoln Rodgers, son of Elijah and Zipporah Ann (Horton) Rodgers, was born 1 January 1865 in Guysborough (Guysborough) Nova Scotia, and died 16 July 1939 in Fall River (Bristol) Massachusetts. He married (as his first wife) on 18 February 1891 in Provincetown (Barnstable) Massachusetts, his first cousin, Mary Jane “Jenny” Rodgers, who was born 7 June 1867 in Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts and died in 1917, daughter of Neadom and Hanorah (O’Brien) Rodgers.

Mary Jane Rodgers
(1867-1917)

George was a fisherman and Mary Jane was a homemaker. According to the 1910 census, he arrived in America in 1883, when he was 18 years old. His uncle Neadom had come in 1858 and his parents followed him in 1891.

Three years before their marriage, George & Mary Jane lived through The Great Blizzard of 1888 that killed more than 400 people along the eastern seaboard.

George & Mary Jane were married by Ezra J. Riggins, Clergyman. They resided at 4 West Vine St. in Provincetown. They were first cousins; their fathers were brothers.

George Lincoln Rodgers became an American citizen on 1 April 1897.

District Court of the United States, Boston, Massachusetts

Sometime after Mary Jane’s death in 1917, George married (as his second wife and as her second husband) Mary Etta (Cushing) Simmons, who was born about 1867, and died 21 January 1938, daughter of John Walter and Deborah (Sampson) Cushing, and widow of Mark L. Simmons. In 1920 George and his second wife, Mary Etta, were residents of Somerville. George died soon after Mary Etta, of colon cancer. George lies buried with his second wife and her first husband in Mayflower Cemetery, Duxbury, Massachusetts. Mary Jane lies buried with her parents, brother and sister-in-law in Gifford Cemetery, in Provincetown.

George & Mary Jane were the parents of a son:

1. Karl Freeman Rodgers (Tim’s grandfather), born 22 October 1895 in Provincetown, died 27 March 1971 in Boston. He married (as her first husband) 18 September 1928 in Batavia (Genesee) New York, Allegra Estelle Hamilton, who was born 17 August 1900 in Newark (Wayne) New York, died 16 January 1992 in Keene (Cheshire) New Hampshire, daughter of Charles Amos and Gertrude Mabel (Hubbard) Hamilton. Karl & Allegra were the parents of two children.

Gifford Cemetery
Provincetown, Massachusetts

Mary Jane (Rodgers) Rodgers lies buried with her parents, Neadom & Hanorah (O’Brien) Rodgers, and her brother and sister-in-law, Elijah & Clara (Bangs) Rodgers.

Mayflower Cemetery
Duxbury, Massachusetts

George Lincoln Rodgers lies buried with his second wife, Mary Etta (Cushing) (Simmons) Rodgers, and her first husband, Mark L. Simmons.

Moritz Kalman Flanzer & Sadie Roth

World War I Draft Registration Card, 1917-1918
for Moritz Kalman Flanzer

Tim’s great-grandfather, Moritz Kalman Flanzer, was born 15 September 1874 in Austria and died 8 December 1950. He married about 1895 in Austria, Sadie Roth, who was born about 1877 in Austria and died 17 February 1963.

Moritz was a watchmaker and Sadie was a homemaker. Moritz and Sadie arrived in America with their small daughter Rose in 1901, and settled in New York City. In 1918 Moritz was employed by a jeweler, James McCreary & Co., 34th St. & 5th Ave., New York. By the time of the 1930 census he is recorded as being the proprietor of his own jewelry store and his 20 year-old son Harry also became a watchmaker.

Moritz’s draft registration card says he was of medium height and slender build with brown eyes and brown hair. The 1930 federal census states that Moritz and Sadie’s mother tongue was Yiddish.

Moritz lies buried in Mount Zion Cemetery in Maspeth-Queens (Queens) New York and Sadie rests in Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Glendale-Queens (Queens) New York.

Moritz & Sadie were the parents of seven children:

1. Rose Flanzer, born about 1898 in Austria, died 19 July 1956 in Manhattan (New York) New York. She was a public school teacher. She married 4 April 1931 in (Kings) New York, Samuel Semerik, who was born 14 March 1895 in Russia, and died 19 September 1972 in (Broward) Florida. Rose & Samuel were the parents of two daughters.

2. Joseph Asher Flanzer (Tim’s grandfather), born 22 December 1901 in Manhattan, died 28 January 1997 in Willimantic (Windham) Connecticut. He married (as his first wife and as her second husband) 27 May 1929 in Manhattan, Lenore Naomi (Raven) Ladd, who was born 26 July 1907 in Jackson (Jackson) Michigan, and died 6 November 1961 in Middletown (Middlesex) Connecticut, daughter of Marion Case and Catherine Alta (Verplanck) Raven. Joseph & Lenore were the parents of two children and were then divorced. Joseph married (as his second wife), Marion E. Lucey, who was born 13 June 1923, and died 3 December 2013 in Windham (Windham) Connecticut. Joseph adopted Marion’s daughter and Joseph & Marion were the parents of two sons.

3. Sophie Flanzer, born about 1904, died 19 March 1905 in Manhattan. Sophie is also buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.

4. Reuben Flanzer, born about 1906, died about 1912. Reuben was six years old when he succumbed to an infection due to a simple scraped knee. He had been running around playing, scraped his knee, and didn’t tell anyone anything. Within weeks, he was very sick, and the infection had spread, and he died shortly thereafter.

5. Harry Flanzer, born 18 August 1908, died 1 April 1998 in Coram (Suffolk) New York. He was a watchmaker. He married 15 February 1938 in Brooklyn (Kings) New York, Naomi Shapiro, who was born 1 June 1913, and died 3 December 1981 in Brooklyn, daughter of Philip and Sarah (—) Shapiro. Harry & Naomi were the parents of two children.

6. Frances Flanzer, born 22 October 1910. She married after 10 October 1939 in Brooklyn, Irving Laschever, who was born 3 October 1903, and died 24 May 1996 in Woodmere (Nassau) New York. Frances & Irving were the parents of a daughter.

7. Miriam “Mamie” Flanzer, born 20 May 1914 in Brooklyn, and died 29 June 2002. She married after 21 March 1938 in Brooklyn, Morris Sagman, who was born 14 December 1910. Miriam & Morris had no children.

~~~~~

The information on this family is very sketchy, partly because it is difficult to obtain vital records from the city of New York and partly because of a rift in the family. Tim’s mother was estranged from her father after her parents divorced, so Tim didn’t really know this grandfather. But Tim, Toby and Larisa went to the grandfather’s funeral in 1997 and met Joseph Flanzer’s youngest sisters, Frances and Miriam. They kindly gave Larisa the names of their parents (Tim’s great-grandparents), the fact that their father was a watchmaker, and a basic outline of their siblings, all with no dates. Bit by bit in my research I’ve found a few dates and places but I hope in the future to find more. While Frances and Miriam knew about Sophie, who died in infancy, they didn’t mention Reuben, who I found on the census and who also must have died young.

Update: Frances’ granddaughter has contacted me and has told me the story of Reuben she heard from her grandmother.

Last Revised: 18 September 2021

to whole handfuls of jewels

5.11.21 ~ Haley Farm State Park
Groton, Connecticut

What a gorgeous day for a walk! First we strolled through a meadow full of blooming buttercups…

a sea of buttercups
brown-headed cowbird

Even though Brown-headed Cowbirds are native to North America, many people consider them a nuisance bird, since they destroy the eggs and young of smaller songbirds and have been implicated in the decline of several endangered species.
~ All About Birds website

path leading uphill to a forest
“the smallest leaf”

Nature will bear the closest inspection; she invites us to lay our eye level with the smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. She has no interstices; every part is full of life.
~ Henry David Thoreau
(Excursions)

“an insect view”
Tim looking out

We climbed until we reached the lookout indicated on the map.

looking back down at the meadow
Chester Cemetery from above

Wouldn’t you know it, we spotted a tiny cemetery right below the lookout. We kept following the trail hoping to find a way down there. A man about our age came up behind us, noticed my camera and asked if I had spotted anything. I mentioned the gravestones and he led us along the path and pointed us to another path and gave us directions on how to get there.

more small details
the woods seemed to go on forever
“just as bright, just as blue, just as green”

To-day is very beautiful — just as bright, just as blue, just as green and as white and as crimson as the cherry-trees full in bloom, and half-opening peach-blossoms, and the grass just waving, and sky and hill and cloud can make it, if they try. How I wish you were here, Austin; you thought last Saturday beautiful, yet to this golden day ’twas but one single gem to whole handfuls of jewels.
~ Emily Dickinson
(Letter to William Austin Dickinson, May, 1854)

for my snagged oak leaf collection
unfurling
on and on we walked

It was a long way around but we finally came to the side path leading off to the right and to the cemetery. Much to my delight there was a “wolf tree” on the corner.

one side of the wolf tree

For an explanation of wolf trees see this post: snow melting in the oak-beech forest

Chester Cemetery

Sacred
to the memory of
Starr Chester Esqr.
who was born
Aug 23rd 1759
and died
Feby 12th 1812

This spot contains the ashes of the just
who sought to honour; and betray’d no trust.
This truth he prov’d in every line he trod.

Sacred
to the memory of
Mary Chester
relect of
Starr Chester, Esqr.
Born Nov 11, 1758
Died Jan 12, 1826
May faithful angels guard my moulding dust
until the general meeting of the just.
Then rise triumphant from the dark abode
to realms of light, to love and praise the Lord.

Since I have both Starrs and Morgans (Mary’s maiden name) on my tree I imagine these are distant cousins of mine…

While inspecting the stones two unusual things happened. First, a young man appeared above us at the lookout with a dirt bike. He rode off the edge of the precipice, flew through the air and landed a few feet away from us. As if he did such things all the time, as I’m sure he does.

the other side the wolf tree

Another retired couple was a little ways down another path and saw the flight, too. We got to talking and stood there for at least half an hour chatting about all kinds of things. They moved here from Pennsylvania to retire. They love the area, close to the sea. They’ve explored many of the same parks we’ve been exploring.

After we parted ways, we finished following the other trail, stopping to see the wolf tree as we joined it. When we got close to the car I heard and finally spotted another catbird. 🙂 What a lovely ending to a pleasant ramble!

gray catbird