Sunday, October 18, 2020

10.18.2020 Being a local tourist

 There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has clipped our wings, so to speak.  But there is still plenty to do and see locally. So on goes the mask and off we go for some nature walks and fresh air.

One of my favorite places to visit is Plum Island and the Parker National Wildlife Refuge. It is a long span of beautiful sand and sea and sand dunes, lots of birds and even a few deer. 

The board walk through the dunes. The sea is just beyond the dunes.


The ocean is magnificent. Nothing better than strolling along the beach listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.


Here I enjoy the sea with a few sea gulls who were just sitting and watching the waves, too.





Some local artwork on the beach.


And those cute little plovers. In the spring and summer beach access is closed in some areas for breeding. Looks like it is a success because they are a lot of plovers here! They are fun to watch as they run up and down the beach on those little legs.




Another local favorite is Gloucester, especially the causeway and Stage Fort. I would like to have a bench there in the park to perpetually observe the sea. I have a favorite spot there and visit it as often as I can.

Memorial to the fishermen lost at sea.


And a memorial to those who are left at home waiting for their husband, father, son and loved one to return.


This is my favorite spot. A bit overgrown but better than overdeveloped. The rocks are largely covered by vegetation - Fionnegan and Gunnarr used to run on them when they were puppies.


A perfect spot to rest and watch the sea.


An old canon at the old Stage Fort.




A drawbridge for taller boats - this one was able to go through without any problem.


Rockport is a cute little touristy town on Cape Ann. Love the teddy bear getting a little sun!







A sea gull watching me watching him. 



It is great to get outside for a stretch and some fresh air. With the days getting shorter and the weather cooler, must take advantage of every opportunity to be outside.  The boys and I walk every week on the trails in town, so they get to stretch those little legs too!

Nice color in the backyard.






Hairy woodpecker at the feeder.


Still some pretty flowers in the garden.


 Fionnegan, Shorty, Gunnarr pose for the camera. Yes, they were asked to line up and they did!


Shorty, my Yapese dog, just as happy as ever.



I hope you all are well and safe. And I hope you enjoy the pictures. Until next time be well ......


Sunday, September 20, 2020

09.20.2020 Have mask will travel


Can you guess where I am?
 




Was starting to get "cabin fever" and had to take a road trip. Hopped in the car and off we went to my old stomping grounds of Vermont. Yes, I left my boys at home with their sitter Alexis, whom they have not seen for almost ten months. My first stop was to the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. I love the place - trails to cross-country ski and hike. So after a lovely lunch in the Bierhall I ventured off to the  main lodge. They now charge a maintenance fee to walk or bike the trails - a small price to pay for a little nostalgia down memory lane. It was not my intention to be nostalgic but as I saw one familiar site after another it was hard not to remember "the good ole days".

It was a perfect afternoon. Not crowded at all and a very pleasant hike along the trails. Saw a few of the usual critters - the chipmunk and the squirrel. Now my boys would have been in doggie heaven!




Hiked up to this quaint little chapel. Just big enough for maybe four people.


The trails were well maintained. But it looked like it would be a rough bicycle ride. I did hike the narrower trails up on down the hillsides as I was trying to cover as much distance as possible. The slopes are gentle and it felt good to get out and really stretch my legs and breathe in some clean country air. 




One might need a bit of a cushion to be comfortable biking these trails.


Came across a lovely vernal pool and found a few "froggies" or toads. As soon as I approached they jumped into the water.  Most of them stayed under water but this one was a bit curious and stayed swimming on top. I do love observing nature and this was a special treat. 



They have a goat farm here. By the time I finished the hike the goats had been moved to another pasteur so no real close up shots of these four legged creatures.




Leaves turning colors already in the beginning of September!



After a wonderful afternoon of hiking - got my 10,000 steps - I stopped at the local Kauffee Haus and had an apple strudel. Sat out on the benches and enjoyed the view of the mountains. My heart was happy and smiling.



Next stop was downtown Burlington. How the city has changed since I lived there. The lake front is beautiful, and it was crowded with people. Most wore their masks but not everyone. Just like here at home. But the one place that did not change was the Daily Planet restaurant. It looked just the same as when I lived there all those many years ago. Except for new bar stools but still kept the same old posts. Now we are talking nostalgia.  I was remembering all of these Friday and Saturday nights when my friends and I would frequent this place and either crowd into one of the two tables in the main bar area or crowd at the bar. What fun we had. How young we were!


Loved the message on the chair.




Mural outside of restaurant.  "own your magic" just seemed so right of a message.


And no trip back to Burlington would be complete without a visit to my old apartment. Hope the current occupants did not mind me taking a few pictures. My apartment was on the second floor. And no, there was no air conditioner when I lived there. O - such good memories.  BTW - Howard Dean - that Howard Dean of the Democratic Party and presidential candidate, lived just on the next street. He would drop off absentee ballots so I could vote as it was near impossible to get out of the hospital to do so. He was and I hope still is, a nice man.


It was a good thing that I did the hike on Sunday because on Monday morning the clouds and dark skies came rolling in to the area. To cold to swim in the Lake Champlain (a bit of a disappointment) and too windy to kayak, I strolled along the waterfront for a while. Had a nice walk, even though it was getting a bit chilly and really, windy.



Pretty lilies and morning glories lined the walkway.




Chicory - truly at least one of my favorite two or three wild flowers.



A long shot of North Beach - this is where I had planned on a Monday morning swim.  The water is warmer in September than almost any other time of the year. And the cooler air makes the water feel very comfortable. Will have to do this some other day.


The Dragonheart Dock - a breast cancer support organization.



He was really moving along. First I thought it had to be a daring kid, then I saw the gray hair. No kid, but still daring in these winds.


Someone threw out their pastry. It did not go to waste.


Next was to do a little shopping at the Country Christmas Loft in Shelburne. What a great time I had in the store. Then I hit the road as the weather was not improving and headed to Quechee Gorge near Woodstock. Strolled along another trail for a while until I reached the VINS - Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences. 
.

When I first saw the view I thought there were people fishing. Only when I viewed the photographs did I realize these were cairns in the river!


Northern Goshawk.  Sculpture by Wendy Klemperer. Beautiful.


Next stop- covered bridges. This one is in Taftsville, Vermont. Single lane and of course I drove across both directions. Good thing I ceased the opportunity when I did as a line of cars and people wanting their pictures takes was developing.

 
This is a covered bridge in Quechee. Two lanes and a very beautiful bridge. The falls are also pretty. 




Apparently the water is not too cold for some brave souls!


More hiking then time to head back home.



 It was a great escape for two days, all within the confounds of covid-19 safe travels.  The boys of course missed me and I was happy to return. I also was happy to have a little time traveling down memory lane. Sometimes it is good for the soul.

I do hope you all remain safe. Shorty will be posting soon. (mydogShorty.blogspot.com) if I let him use the computer! He has had a great summer with his brothers Fionnegan and Gunnarr.

Until next time........................