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First Snow, Part Two

More photographs from the first snow in Hardwick, Massachusetts.

The view driving away from the Town Common on Barre Road, Hardwick, MA.
“Meadowbrook” was part of a former dairy.
A typical colonial home of the late 1700s and early 1800s.
Thick, winding stone walls can be viewed throughout the town.
A traditional style Cape Cod home on Ridge Road.
A view of the Town Common, from the left to right: the First Universalist Church, the Historical Society and the Town Hall.
The bell tower of the Town Hall.
The Paige Memorial Fountain with fields beyond, which are used for showing sheep during the Hardwick Fair.
Paige Memorial Fountain with the Congregational Church and a Coffeehouse behind it. (The Coffeehouse was formerly the general store.)
The coffeehouse also includes the Hardwick Post Office.
An historical cemetery abuts the Town Hall.
Holiday decorations on the First Universalist Church capture the imagination.

First Snow

The traditionally white colonial architecture of Hardwick, MA (population 2,667) , punctuated by fieldstone walls, is especially picturesque after a snowfall.

Town Common, Hardwick, MA
Stone Walls of Ridge Road
Cutler-Paige House

First Ice

Rutland, MA

Pommogussett Road, Rutland, MA
A thin layer of ice transforms the water with eye catching patterns, colors and textures.

“Many Waters”

The Quabbin Reservoir takes its name from the Algonquin word meaning “many waters”.

The Quabbin Reservoir is one of the largest unfiltered water supplies in the United States, providing drinking water for 3 million Massachusetts residents. It covers 39 square miles with 181 miles of shoreline.
“Quabbin” is an Algonquin word meaning “many waters”. The word was used by the Nipmucs, who first inhabited this area of Massachusetts. Built between 1930 and 1939, the reservoir is the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts. It is a primary water supply for Boston, 65 miles to the east.
At the Enfield Lookout, New Hampshire’s Mt. Monadnock can be seen in the distance.
More than 50 access gates surround Quabbin, giving visitors access to the over 200 miles of forest roads throughout the watershed.

Suet Duet

Nuthatches and woodpeckers were engrossed in the suet feeders at Wachusett Meadow today. Meanwhile, the Wildlife Pond glowed with the rusty hues of late fall in Central Massachusetts.

White-Breasted Nuthatch
Downy Woodpecker
Wildlife Pond, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton, MA

Tunnel Vision

A tunnel on the Mass Central Rail Trail provides a surprising sight for both art and nature lovers.

One can walk through the hill on the Mass Central Rail Trail in Rutland, MA.
Brilliant colors and exposed layers of rock vie for attention.
Unexpectedly, hikers spy a tunnel up ahead.
Inside, wanderers find a colorful woodland mural created by local amateur artists of all ages.
Flora and fauna of the nearby woods and fields are depicted on the walls in this work in progress.
Nature artwork blends with the leaf-strewn path at the end of the tunnel.
And it’s off on the open road (or trail) once again.

A Towering Tribute

The Bancroft Tower in Salisbury Park, Worcester, MA, honors the impressive achievements of George Bancroft.

Bancroft Tower in Worcester, MA was designed to look like a miniature Romanesque castle.
Made of natural stone and granite, it is 56 feet high.
It was erected in 1900 in honor of George Bancroft: Worcester native, Secretary to the Navy, Founder of the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Minister to Great Britain and Germany.

Lily Pad Launch

Autumnal lily pads dance within and over the Wildlife Pond.

Wildlife Pond, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary

Mass Central Rail Trail

An autumn stroll on one of the Mass Central Rail Trail’s fifty-one miles of linear park.

Mass Central Rail Trail, Rutland MA
Partners in twenty-six communities are working to reopen a disused railroad line that spanned 104 miles from Northampton to Boston, MA. The line is being converted to a linear park for hiking, biking, jogging and relaxing. So far, fifty-one miles have been repurposed.

A 1685 Garrison House

Standing for over 300 years, this sturdy house provides a glimpse into an important architectural style of Early America.

The Houghton Sprague Garrison House, Harvard, MA
“Garrisons, or fortified houses, were built in almost all New England towns.‚ĶLike an ordinary house in plan and appearance, garrisons were used in times of peace as one-family dwellings but were strongly built and capable of protecting a number of families in times of danger, like the American Revolution.” –The History of Garrison Colonials, by Ray Wiese

Golden Glow

The main road at the Moore State Park offers a golden canopy above with an edging of dry leaves below to enhance an afternoon walk.

Moore State Park, Paxton, MA

Over the Walls 2

From 2000-2004 Great Meadowbrook Farm was the site of the Over the Walls Horse Trials, one of the premier pre-Olympic equestrian events in the United States. I last visited the farm in the very early Spring of 2020. How much more colorful it appeared when I visited last week!

Great Meadowbrook Farm overlooks the center of Hardwick, MA. This little town is celebrated for its miles of extraordinary stone walls.
On first glance, the hay bales look like huge marshmallows in one of the many sweeping walled fields.
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