Category: Autumn

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.

Heron Hike 2

The foliage in Central Massachusetts is becoming more brilliant each day. Swamp maples surrounding the beaver lodge at Wachusett Wildlife Sanctuary are nearly at peak color.

Meanwhile, the juvenile Great Blue Heron featured in the previous post is still roaming the sanctuary. It seems in no rush to migrate, perhaps because of the warm weather this week.

Beaver Lodge, Wildlife Pond, Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary
Juvenile Great Blue Heron, South Meadow


I was surrounded by a colorful group today as I opted outside for Black Friday. The Summer birds are long gone, but my Winter feathered friends enlivened the landscape with flashes of red, white, gold and blue.
A bonus: it didn’t take me long to find these birds. They all visited the bird feeders within the space of a half an hour as I sat quietly watching.



Mute Swans

The beautiful Mute Swan is featured in Russian ballets and European fairy tales, but it is common in New England, as well.

Pairs of Mute Swans winter at the nearby West Boylston Reservoir. This year, two cygnets (juvenile swans) are also gracing the waters.