Still More Foliage-Riverbend Farm


Maples are still glowing at Riverbend Farm

Since I was already in the neighborhood, I stopped by Riverbend Farm for a walk along the tow path. Foliage is still a “thing” this week, and even last weekend’s rain storm was not able to whip all the leaves off the trees.


While some maples have changed, others stubbornly retain their green leaves, waiting their turn in the foliage show

In fact, as I walked, maple leaves along the tow path are still green! This fall feels like the most extended foliage season I can recall.


Water flows over the dam at the top of the tow path, a sight we usually see in the wet spring, not in the fall

It has also been a wet fall. Kathryn Parent, on staff at Riverbend Farm, was able to join me as we walked up to the stone arch bridge at the north end of the tow path. There we saw water pouring over the dam, a strange sight in the fall.


Blue sky, and fall foliage makes for lovely pictures at the stone arch bridge

In other years, fall has been dry, and no water flows over the dam.


Water surges through the second dam underneath Hartford Avenue at the top of the tow path

In fact, other than the colorful display of leaves, I might have thought the river was at spring flood stage, rather than heading into late fall, with winter not far behind.


Blue sky and foliage

We continued south on the tow path till we came to a spot where the Blackstone River was in sight of the tow path. As we turned, I saw other views of the canal and tow path, and the light felt different as we traced our steps back to the visitor center. Kathryn and I laughed at how different the same trail looks, by the simple act of retracing our steps.

“Funny, so often people seem so disappointed when our walks don’t offer a loop trail,” Kathryn recalled. “But you see things so differently just by going back the same way you came.”

As we walked, we encountered a loose dog, not on a leash.

Kathryn portrait 2

Kathryn Parent, a great walking companion, and protector from loose dogs 🙂

Kathryn stood in front of me, ready to fend off the dog if he was inclined to jump. It takes very little to tip me over these days, and she did her best to keep some distance between me and the strange dog. Soon the dog’s owner came along with leash in hand. I explained that I will tip over if jumped on by dogs of any bulk. (I can usually manage with dogs that reach only to me knees 🙂 )The woman immediately apologized, leashed her dog, then asked about hunting. We assured her there were hunters around–pheasants had just been released in the area. “Oh, I’m from Ottawa, we don’t allow hunting in any state parks,” she explained.


Returning to the visitor center, Blazing trees glow through a tunnel of green

We urged her to stay on the tow path, and get some blaze orange. It’s the season. Be careful out there!


beech cliffs 2018

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

2 responses to “Still More Foliage-Riverbend Farm

  1. Dogs off-leash…grrrrrrr! Nice photos!

    • marjorie561

      Mary, that was my feeling as well to begin with, but I also learned that this was a visitor from another country, and when we explained a few things to her she was most apologetic, and did get her dog on the leash. I have the hardest time with folks who, when reminded of stated rules not only get defensive, but become belligerent. No sympathy there at all.

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