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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.