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Getting Along

Inspirational examples of coexistence are common in every season at the Wachusett Meadow Audubon in Princeton, MA.

Finding a Way to Celebrate

There will be no parades or large gatherings in Massachusetts this St. Patrick’s Day due to the coronavirus. However, my neighbors have found a way to spread a bit of Irish cheer as individuals.

More Than Green

Visitors are startled by the vibrant and spectacular leaves in the Orangerie at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA .

Orchid-strations

A recent orchid show at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA presented a symphony of colors typical of these exotic plants.

Over the Walls

The little town of Hardwick, MA is celebrated for its miles of historic stone walls, some of them massive. Recently, on a bitterly cold day with threatening skies, the view from the Great Meadowbrook Farmlands was stark and alluring.

From 2000- 2004, Great Meadowbrook Farm was the site of the Over the Walls Horse Trials, one of the premier equestrian events in the United States.

Roaring to Read

March is National Reading Month.
Here’s hoping all the young readers in my town go “on the prowl” at the local library!

-Gale Free Library, Holden, MA

A “Sweet” Protest

In New England, mid to late February is the start of the maple syrup making season.

Up until the Civil War, using maple sugar was an act of political protest for many northern abolitionists, who refused to use cane sugar produced by slave colonies in the Caribbean. New England forests had been over logged to build ships for the slave trade of the era. Abolitionists attempted to reseed decimated areas with maple trees, and use maple sugar rather than cane for their needs.

The “Sap Castle” in Rutland, MA welcomes visitors to view the sugaring process and learn about its history during February and March.

The family living in this house have been making maple syrup for three generations.
Two kinds of taps: traditional metal and modern plastic.
The sap castle in operation, with smoke from the wood-fired stove billowing out of the chimney.
The sap boiler, also called the sap evaporator.
The wood fire is kept roaring!
Final filtering.
Testing the sugar content of the syrup.
This simple window display shows the grades of syrup.
The 24/7 self service maple syrup box. It runs on the honor system.
Choose your syrup, and slide your payment through a nearby slot.
A rock “maple leaf” guards the castle.

Stopping at the Lodge

Canada Geese are often seen near beaver lodges in the early Spring. The activity of the beavers leads to earlier thawing of the ice, providing the geese with a welcome habitat and food resources. This is an example of a symbiotic relationship in nature.

-Wachusett Meadow Audubon, Princeton, MA

Made, Re-Found, Restyled

Local artisans and antique dealers combined forces to re-purpose an old mill. The result is an inviting atmosphere to shop for handmade and one-of-a -kind items while supporting talented neighbors. A relaxing atmosphere helps shoppers explore numerous rooms chock full of unique items not found in standard shopping venues.

Shop local!

A Meditative Encounter

The isolation and quiet dedication of a solitary fisherman in the middle of a frozen lake captured my attention. This turned a frigid February day into a welcomed experience of mindfulness.

-Rutland State Park, Rutland, Massachusetts

Fruitlands

The Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA is situated on Prospect Hill, the site where Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane founded a short-lived experimental utopian community in 1843. The view from the hill is still beautiful today.

The Fruitlands Museum relates that:

“Fruitlands has been host to some of the most famous people in America. Thoreau walked Prospect Hill and admired its view; Ralph Waldo Emerson, a supporter of Alcott’s, visited here; and Louisa May (then 10) would relate her experiences at Fruitlands in her books Transcendental Wild Oats and Little Women.”

Cold Snap

Whether you are on a porch or in the field, it’s still frosty in Massachusetts. Spring is due in five weeks for our creatures at Wachusett Meadow Audubon. By then, the icicles should melt off the grapevines and food should be easier to find everywhere.

Sprout Shout

“Come Out, Come Out,
Wherever You Are!”

With months to go before I can garden outdoors, I decided to garden indoors. With twice daily rinses, my sprouts were ready in about four days. Yum!

Food For the Soul

I expected my local grocery store to feature a traditional array of roses for Valentine’s Day. I was overwhelmed by a festival of Spring flowers vying for space and attention as well. Tulips, carnations, lilies and daisies lifted my spirits on this rainy Winter day.

Sound the Trumpet

The amaryllis bulb grows in a musical fashion with four bold trumpet flowers forming atop a two foot stem. What an eye-catching sight as I wait for Spring gardening time to arrive!
Sound the Trumpet!

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