It really helps, when leading a group of folks, to have some idea of where you are leading them! While not always possible, it allows us to flounder about, make mistakes with smaller audiences, and figure out strategies in a more relaxed manner.
And so I stopped by First Baptist Church in Westwood, MA, 808 High Street (Rt. 109) which is blessed with access to a portion of the Lyman Pond/Rice Reservation property, right out the back door from the church parking area. We have planned a “Make Your Own Storybook” walk there Oct. 21, 12:45, right after church. The program is free, but registration is required. To register, please call the church office 781-461-1730 or contact Pastor Christine firstname.lastname@example.org
We will gather at the fire pit area and then head out for a walk to explore a short trail within the Rice Reservation, then return to the church.
There, parents and children, grandparents and children, or new friends will partner up to create storybooks about what they experienced along the trail.
Pastor Christine and I headed out together to see the trail, and our first effort to follow the trail soon became a “let’s turn around, since there’s no real trail here!” experience. Turning around is much easier to do with two of us rather than with ten or twenty folks along for the ride. We soon struck out on a marked path, lined with saplings to help make the path very clear.
We found a large boulder, with benches arranged nearby, which will be a great spot to stop and check up on folks when we lead our walk together. We hoped to get some views of Lyman Pond, but the pond water must be quite high right now, because the water came to us along the trail, making farther travel along the trail pretty difficult without waders.
Through the trees we spied colorful leaves, most probably swamp maples along the edge of the pond, among the first trees to change color every fall.
On the forest floor we spotted plenty of fungi of different types.
Yes, the wet environment near the pond makes for an inviting habitat for various mushrooms.
My guess is that a winter walk would allow us to get out to the edge of the pond. By spring this trail probably will be wet again. We’ll have to figure out another access point to get a peak at the heron rookery and other wildlife that makes their home at Lyman Pond.
Thanks to Pastor Christine, my long-time friend, for inviting us to bring this program to her church. As always, we are also grateful for those who generously set aside land as open space in perpetuity for all to enjoy.
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are.
She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress.