We have the best luck spotting birds when we visit shoreline spots we are familiar with. Again and again we find our way back to Gooseberry Island in Westport, MA and know we will see birds feeding just offshore on the rocky ocean bottom that offers great places for tasty creatures that diving birds are great at finding.
We visited Westport on a few outings in early spring and chose not to try Gooseberry Island, seeing a steady stream of cars crossing the causeway to the small spit of land jutting out into Long Island sound. But our most recent visit was on a day when rain was forecast. Perhaps it would be less crowded? Turns out, the answer was a resounding yes.
We planned to walk in the open field at Birchwold Farm in Wrentham, just as the first flakes began falling in what turned out to be an all day affair, dropping a foot of snow hereabouts. Seeing a number of cars in the icy parking lot, we moved on, and spotted, just across the street at Joe’s Rock, an empty parking lot. Whoo-hoo, time to #avoidcrowds!
We have squeezed in as many walks as we can manage for our Cable TV show, “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are”. We met in Blackstone at the Blackstone Greenway, an essential section of bike path that will some day link many of the towns in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor. View the episode we taped, including some amazing drone footage of the area along the greenway here.
Making plans to meet a friend in Medfield, I immediately thought of a local cemetery with a beautiful lake, and paved roads wide enough to allow for space between any other walkers we might encounter. While we are officially into winter, the day was mild, and recent rain had washed all our local snow away, leaving roadways and paths ice free for the moment.
We walked alongside the Blackstone River the day prior to this walk and got views of the river at near flood level, more what we would expect in spring than in late December. But we also encountered more visitors than we wished. Perhaps for this outing a town-owned property with limited parking might offer the solitude we craved? Handy Pond, (actually Rochambeau Pond, according to a reliable source) along Old River Road in Lincoln, RI was our pick, a first visit to what turned out to be an extended trail network through woodland, with views of the pond, as well as several stream crossings.
I have been working to include as many handicapped accessible, and handicapped friendly outdoor locations as I can manage for my new “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are” cable TV series with ABMI Cable 8. It is a little challenging to coordinate schedules with both my cameraman, Tyler, and friends who can make the time to join me for a one-two hour jaunt on a local trail. So far the weather has stayed mild, and we have gotten in some fun trips to nearby trails, checking out interesting sights along the way, and pondering the history of the area we visit. Here’s our walk at Louisa Lake.
Before the weather gets too cold for the camera to work well, we grabbed another sunny, temperate day to take ABMI Cable TV viewers up Knuckup Hill in Wrentham for an episode of “Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are”.
My friends, Richard and Dyan Rook joined me, and cameraman Tyler McMinnaman did the taping, bravely heading up the hill in front of us, walking backwards to better show us walking up the fire road. The final 28 minute episode is here.
2020 has been a challenging year for most of us, and certainly more challenging for some than others. For those of us lucky enough to have kept healthy, we are keenly aware that often, remaining healthy has come at the cost of incredibly loneliness. and facing a different Thanksgiving, we wondered if we could do something different to help ease the loneliness just a little. Easy Walks lend themselves to time with older family members. It works for me too. The day promised to be overcast, and rather than plan a shortened visit, we suggested family meet us at a local trail where we could enjoy time taking an Easy Walk together.
Sometimes you simply have to get out of the house. A neighbor on our little dead end street told us the tree cutting crew would be arriving in the morning to spend the day removing five trees. Rather than be blocked in for the day, we packed up, and headed out for the Berkshires, extra clothes, chairs, lunch, and snacks packed.
We live near Silver Lake in Bellingham, and watched with others as rain fell for two days before turning to snow, and then kept snowing the whole day. What had been forecast as 1-3 inches of snow turned out to be more like 5 inches, at least in our neighborhood. We woke to a winter wonderland Halloween morning and headed right out before the warming sun melted everything and returned us to autumn.