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A New Year’s Wish: Lonely Fences, Revisited

A winter walk along the winding road to St. Joseph’s Abbey during the Omicron upsurge.

Aging wooden fences line the twisting, hilly, half-mile long road that leads to St. Joseph’s Abbey. The views of fields and distant hills are lovely and uplifting. The walk to the top takes stamina, and provides time for meditation.
Occasionally, one notices posts and railings that need repair.
A closer inspection shows the effect of time and weather.
Closer to the top, the hills beyond come into view.
Finally, the land levels off.
The journey is complete.
Inside the abbey, visitors can rest in the quiet glow of stained glass.
May we all find moments of rest and hope in the New Year.

A Symbol of Happiness

Nature can offer consolation during difficult times. I was especially uplifted to see this Eastern Bluebird during this holiday season.

For many years, it was rare to see a bluebird in Massachusetts in the winter, but in the last few years the number of bluebirds staying through the winter has grown.
The bluebird is a nearly universal symbol of happiness.

Red Sky in the Morning

The sunrise as viewed from my window recently.

The old adage “Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning”, alluding to bad weather on the way, didn’t hold true. The sun shone all day.

A Berry Good Day

A winter sighting of an American Robin at Wachusett Meadow, Princeton, MA.

Most American Robins leave Massachusetts for the winter, so it was a treat to see this one enjoying berries on a December day.

Follow the Fur

Eastern Gray Squirrel, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton, MA

Most Eastern Gray Squirrels don’t have the brown face and back stripe that this one, seen under the feeders at Wachusett Meadow, does. That makes it easily identifiable, and a perfect candidate for following this winter. I’ll be noticing how much time it spends under the feeders, how far it travels along the nearby stone walls and trees, its feeding habits, and its social interactions.


Paper Flower Power

Tower Hill Botanic Garden is in full bloom this holiday season.

The paper flowers at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA “pack a punch”.
Hundreds of flowers, some several feet across, create a bold statement against the backdrop of traditional New England architecture.
Enormous blossoms enhance the bright red and yellow hues of winterberry bushes below them.
The strings of electric lines are lit each evening for the popular Night Lights display.

Critter Conference

An important meeting was held today under the birdfeeders at Wachusett Meadow.

Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton, MA

Feeder Friends

The ground around the feeders at Mass Audubon Wachusett Meadow bustles with familiar visitors during the winter months.

White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Tufted Titmouse
Eastern Blue Jay
Northern Mockingbird
House Sparrow
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