Close

Big Birds

Lilac Hedge Farm, Rutland, MA

In New England, emus and ostriches are rare and exotic. A recent visit to Lilac Hedge Farm provided an extraordinary opportunity to see them close up. This stately emu strutted casually through its enclosure.
Oftentimes, emus display graceful ballerina moves.
This imposing male ostrich had a a thin coating of white feathers on its head.
Two delightful juvenile ostriches regarded visitors with quiet intensity and great curiosity.
Lilac Hedge Farm is the former site of a Heifer International Educational Center. Its many acres provide ample space for both local and exotic creatures to roam.

Rose Glow

Holden, Massachusetts

The pink hues of the sky at dusk contrast with the fresh fallen snow in my yard.

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.

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.

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.

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.

“Mountain Place”

“Wachusett” is an Algonquin word meaning “mountain place”. Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, MA has been a popular destination for hikers, skiers and sightseers for centuries. Local tribes, such as the Nipmucs, camped here. In the nineteenth century, Henry David Thoreau explored this mountain and described his visit in one of his journals.

Mt. Wachusett in Princeton, MA reveals an iconic view of New Hampshire’s Mt. Monadnock.
Wachusett’s ski lifts are popular with sightseers in the fall.
The Bicentennial Trail is one of ten trails of varying difficulties frequented by hikers each year.

A Hilltop Farm

The expansive hills of Alta Vista Farm in Rutland, MA are dotted with new and antique farm equipment, while the farmhouse pays homage to the bison that are raised there.

View through an old apple tree at Alta Vista Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts.

A Century Farm

Central Massachusetts boasts well over forty apple orchards. Sagatabscot is among the oldest.

Sagatabscot Orchards in Sterling, MA was established in the 1740s. This historic farm has been owned by only two families; the present family has been operating it since 1912.
A self-serve stand offers many apple varieties, including heirloom, as well as cider.
The antique cider press has been preserved in the farm barn along with other historical relics. Note the World War I helmet, worn by an ancestor of the present owner.
In the Algonquin Indian language sagatabscot means “place of the hard rock”.
Since the 1700’s the owners have built numerous additions to the original buildings on the rocky hillside.
The farmhouse is painted in the original 1700s color.
The “six over six” windows and side entry are appealing details for colonial architecture enthusiasts.
Lucky and Lucky, the chickens, were named as a consequence of being the last chickens left after a fox found the hen house.
The barn is a treasure trove of antique farm implements, historical items and family lore.
Cart wheels and traditional Ojibwa Indian snowshoes are displayed in the barn rafters.
This bobsled was used to deliver milk when roads were impassable in the winter.
The present owner created this replica of the barn for his young daughters.
Generations of cousins have gathered at the farm for family festivities.
Small rooms carved out from the larger structure include historical items and family heirlooms.

Wetland Colors

The vegetation surrounding the Beaver Wetlands is bursting with gold, orange and crimson this week.

Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, Princeton, Massachusetts
%d bloggers like this: