Canton Audubon – 6/10/18

Just a quick hike on the trails at the Canton Audubon Sanctuary, and a visit into their Museum of American Bird Art. I like to take a photo of the map before hitting the trails.


Vernal pool: IMG_1432

Great trail markers (and we can still get disoriented):IMG_1433

Pequit BrookIMG_1434

Love this little sitting area:IMG_1435

Leaves are being eaten:IMG_1436IMG_1437IMG_1438IMG_1439IMG_1440

Wonderful stone wall:IMG_1441

Always something good to see here, on the trails and in the little museum.


This is Andy Warhol’s Bald Eagle, from his Endangered Species series:IMG_1442

A John James Audubon original:IMG_1443



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Massapoag Trail, Sharon, MA 6/3/18

We did it again – found another section of trail in Sharon that we’d never hiked before! This time we started at Mann’s Pond:

IMG_1395IMG_1399crossed the dam, where yellow irises are blooming:


and headed down part of the Loop Trail ….


to the bridge…. We went over the bridge at the bottom, but then turned back and headed up onto Deborah Sampson Rd to Billings.

At the signboard by the parking lot, there’s detailed info about taking the scenic route to cross Billings and enter a fairly new section of the Massapoag Trail:


This is what we planned to do, take the orange trail from Mann’s Pond, at the bottom of the map, follow the orange up through the private property, to meet up with the blue trail (above #3), and follow that back to Mann’s Pond:


So we followed the directions #2, and followed the signs.

When you cross Billings, you can see the railing for the steps just beyond the guardrail, although the orange paint has faded:


Many thanks to Eagle Scout Jimmy Townsend, and the Arguimbau family for letting us walk through the trail on their land. Years ago, we had tried this section of trail, but it was so overgrown, you couldn’t follow a path.IMG_1406

The trail is very narrow and lush:



The skunk cabbage are trying to take over the trail again, including some nice little boardwalks:


We’re 1/2 mile to Devil’s Rock, and 1/4 mile to the footbridge that we usually reach from Brook Rd on our way to the Rock – we’re coming at it from the opposite direction:


And there are still more boardwalks, and cinderblocks:

The sun is shining on the Massapoag Brook:IMG_1418

We finally reach the bridge, and turn left to cross it and head towards Brook Rd.IMG_1419

Love the sound of the brook; not so fond of the sounds from the Gun Club nearby.

We crossed Brook Rd, took the little paved path towards Rob Lane:


The blue metal hiker-blazes mark the trail which enters the woods leading back to Billings St and Mann’s Pond.

There’s a botanical Loop Trail in this section of the Massapoag trail, and some beautiful stone walls:


You have to take this driveway out onto Billings St., and you’re back at Mann’s Pond.


Great hike, a little overgrown, but it’s always exciting to find new-to-us trails in Sharon, after all these years.

Much thanks to the Eagle Scouts and the Friends of Sharon Conservation who make the town’s natural areas so accessible and enjoyable.

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Adams Farm, Walpole, MA 5/27/18

Adams Farm is town-owned land in Walpole, with hiking, biking, and the town’s community garden plots – and with adjacent conservation land totals about 700 acres.


The main trails are easy, level, wide, and dog-friendly. Plus there’s a nice bench at a major trail intersection.  The hiking info on their website is great – details about every trail, which are all pretty clearly blazed. They guide you by landmarks so it was hard even for us to get lost.

We took the blue/white trail, 1.5 miles (about 50 minutes) which leads to a natural labrynth:


Blueberries are starting to bloom along the trail:


This section of trail is narrower than the main one:


Saw a pink Lady Slipper along the trail:

Lady slipperSee the blue/white blazes on the left fork, and the red on the right? That’s a well-marked trail:


What would a walk in the New England woods be without some gorgeous old stone walls. I love the openings between the precariously-perched stones; makes me think this wall isn’t original construction, because a century (at least) of dirt and leaf-litter would have built up to fill in those holes:


On the route back, we took a detour onto the Monarch Trail skirting a wide field which sees a lot of monarch butterflies in season (not today):


There’s a vernal pool, with a great view of the barn:


The trail was created recently, thanks to an Eagle Scout. More barn views. They have music and other events there:


Nice combination of stone wall and fence:

monarch trail

We walked over to explore the butterfly garden on the far side of the barn:

Great find, more trails to explore, and only 15 minutes away.


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Borderland State Park, Northwest Trail, Sharon, MA 5/5/18

Love this trail into Borderland State Park, off of Massapoag Ave, just across from Mansfield St.

You start out on a zigzag trail up towards the main part of the Park, if you want to go that far. IMG_1335

That granite block by the side of the road marks the trail location, and space to park. The greenery is starting to pop along the trail:



Little flowers too:

The little buds almost look like green confetti floating:


The trail crosses a stream coming out of a pond:


The downstream side:


Just past the stream is a small rocky hill to the right where you can sit and look out at the pond:


and the wildlife:

We walked on a little ways till we came to the intersection where the Split Rock Trail heads off to the left:


Stone wall along the trail:


and boardwalk over a little swampy spot leading to a big rock formation – a glacial erratic?



Walked around to the left, and lo and behold, it’s the Split Rock itself!


Far side of the rock:IMG_1355

Looking down on the boardwalk from up at the top:


More splits on this side of the rock:


There’s a little garden growing atop the Split Rock:

Headed back, finding a plant with leaf buds in various stages of unfurling:

Back at the stream, we found a way in through thorns to get the babbling little waterfall as it pours out of the pond:


The trail seems even greener after a little while in the sun:


Almost at the street, and we pass this fallen tree which has become a buffet for critters:



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Massapoag Trail, Sharon, MA 4/28/18

Parked at the 2-car parking space on Belcher Street to begin a short hike on the Massapoag Trail, maybe reach Devil’s Rock from this side. IMG_1320

Didn’t get too far, when the trail turned swampy:

Turned back and drove down to the Gun Club, eventually found the other trail access, and headed on in for a little “forest bathing:”



This old stone fire-ring is pretty-well overgrown:




Skunk cabbage:


Good trail markings. Headed back at this point:


Buds were starting to sprout:


Stone wall:


More buds:


And a well-worn fallen tree blocks the trail, just in view of a house on the road:


There’s always something refreshing to see, in every season, on Sharon’s trails. Thanks, Sharon Friends of Conservation!

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Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve 2/22/18

The Attleboro Land Trust manages Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve, about 1/2 hour south of Sharon. IMG_1287We took the outer loop trail on a day that finally felt like Spring. Mostly still grey/ brown trail, with only the pine trees and moss showing any green. The bare stems of the underbrush were just starting to bud; we feel a long way from leafing up.

Nice easy, flat, well marked trail. Muddy stretches were covered in mulch or had makeshift log bridges to keep your feet dry.

Good blazes show the way:

At the meadow, where they’re trying to re-establish bluebirds, we learned there are more conservation areas we can check out in Attleboro:

Enter the swampy areas, and boardwalks:


Notice how that boardwalk above neatly takes a turn to the right?

This boardwalk below was built differently, as though 2 groups were building different paths that they hadn’t planned to meet:



Crossing a stream:


The trail scoots through an odd tree formation, with a broken tree to the right:


Ice pond:


Fallen tree cleared from the trail:


Look at the pine sap that oozed out of the cut:


Not exactly redwoods or sequoias, but looking up still looks good:





Stone wall:

Fallen pine:


Another stone wall break:

Bottom of the multi-trunked tree:IMG_1317

Top of the multi-trunked tree:IMG_1318

Hole where another trunk used to be?IMG_1319

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Kona Coffee at Greenwell Farm, Kealakekua, HI 1/8/18

Greenwell Farms offers free walking tours of their historic coffee farm, founded in 1850.

IMG_1149While you wait for your tour to begin, you can sample half a dozen different varieties of coffee, and shop to take some home, of course.  The grounds are lovely, with  lush garden and trees:




We saw just a tiny corner of the farm, starting with coffee trees:



coffee flowers

The coffee beans are spread out and dried in the sun, raked and turned:

The coffee beans are the seeds way deep inside the fruit, the coffee “cherry,” which has to be processed to removed the gel-like fruit – which is not sweet like cherry-pie cherries.


coffee beans


coffee flower

The trees don’t get very tall because they’re pruned every 3 years. branches from other trees are grafted onto the pruned ones:


Here’s a coffee cherry on the tree:


Other plants growing in this rich Kona soil:




more bananas

and huge avocados:

Greenwell Farms is well worth the detour for the short, informative tour.

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