Moosup Valley State Park, Plainville and Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, CT

12 07 2018

IMG_5547(Text from DEEP website): The Moosup Valley State Park Trail (MVSPT) is a 5.8 mile rail trail in eastern Connecticut. It passes through the towns of Sterling and Plainfield on the rail bed of the former New Haven Railroad. It is a link in the ongoing assemblage of the East Coast Greenway. The former New Haven Railroad operated along this rail bed from 1898 to 1968.

In Plainfield, the trail is about 2.2 miles long with its western terminus at the River Street parking area.  Heading east, the trail skirts the edge of the Moosup River Valley and offers occasional scenic vistas.

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We had a fun lunch at Deary Brothers Mike’s Stand

(Text from Deary Brothers website): As we celebrate our 81st anniversary, we are honored to highlight the fine heritage of the Deary family and that of the outstanding employees who are the foundation of our success.

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(Old) Tom and (Old) Jim Deary (of Dudley, MA.) founded Deary Bros. Inc. in 1913.  They processed milk and other dairy products and distributed their goods from house to house.  They expanded their business into other areas and eventually opened this ice cream stand in 1937.  They found a  perfect location, however the house that stood at the desired location had to be moved around the corner to make room for the new business.  The original house would eventually become the home of (Young) Tom and Teddy Deary and their thirteen children.  Each of the thirteen children worked countless hours at The Stand.

Mr. Jones and Bill Moyer initially ran the family owned business.  The Stand featured the best ice cream in the area.  Five and ten cent cones were served for hours at a time from each of the ten windows at The Stand.

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Next was the Roseland Cottage!

(Text from the Roseland Cottage website): Built in 1846 in the newly fashionable Gothic Revival style, Roseland Cottage was the summer home of Henry and Lucy Bowen and their young family. While the house is instantly recognizable for its pink exterior, Roseland Cottage has an equally colorful interior, featuring elaborate wall coverings, heavily patterned carpets, and stained glass, much of which survives unchanged from the Victorian era. The house is a National Historic Landmark.

Woodstock native Henry Bowen returned to his hometown after establishing a successful business in New York City. He used Roseland Cottage as a place to entertain friends and political connections, including four U.S. presidents. The picturesque landscape includes original boxwood-edged parterre gardens planted in the 1850s. The estate includes an icehouse, aviary, carriage barn, and the nation’s oldest surviving indoor bowling alley. It reflects the principles of Andrew Jackson Downing, a leading nineteenth-century tastemaker.

 

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CT Historic Gardens: Osbourne Homestead, Derby, CT

22 06 2018
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Butterfly Garden

(text from DEEP site): The butterfly garden contains a variety of plants that attract and feed butterflies. The bold colors of this garden attract many visitors  and other pollinators in addition to butterflies. Visit this garden and see how you can landscape your yard to attract wildlife. Some of the plants in this garden include sedum, yarrow, bee-balm, columbine, butterfly weed, and black-eyed Susans, dogbane, spicebush, and coneflower.

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Formal Gardens

This Colonial Revival style garden dates back to 1911 and has five main flower beds filled with various annuals and perennials.  Knockout rose trees and gomphrena are among the colorful flowers that fill the four rectangular beds, which surround a circular bed containing ornamental kale and tall ageratum.  Daylilies, Siberian and bearded irises, peonies, yucca, and globe thistle are among the potpourri of perennials along the perimeter.

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Rock Garden

Tucked behind the rose garden is a lovely rock garden, featuring dwarf conifers and perennials. Annuals add splashes of color throughout the year.  Iris, lavender, bleeding heart, and rose campion are among the prerennials in this garden.

Part of Connecticut Historic Gardens Passport





DEEP Sky Challenge: Naugatuck State Forest Quillinan Reservoir Block, Ansonia and Seymour

21 06 2018
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After some challenges, we reached the Raptor Woods Trailhead

 

Pyrola/shinleaf and Indian pipes

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Glacial erratic

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Stone marking Paugassett Indians

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Recent human artifact 🙂

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Obstacle course to reach our lunch

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Success, and well worth it for good Greek food!

Par of DEEP Sky’s the Limit Challenge





West Woods, DEEP #2

3 06 2018

30 May 2018

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West Woods Trails starts on Peddler’s Road

(Text from Guilford Land Trust site) The forest and marshes in and around Westwoods were used by Guilford’s settlers as agricultural lands.

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Lost Lake, looking south, with fog rolling in

Trees were cleared, stone walls were built, livestock were grazed, and where Lost Lake stands today, salt hay was harvested.

 

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Lady’s slippers

The story of this forest is similar to that of many forests throughout Connecticut. As the demand for charcoal and firewood increased, Westwoods was further divided into smaller parcels to become wood lots.

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At the Lost Lake overlook

There was some quarrying at its center. Around the turn of the century, Stiles Brick Company of North Haven purchased large tracts of the forest to supply wood for its kilns.

 

 

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We couldn’t find the smiley face trail markers but we did find this!

After our hike, we enjoyed dining al fresco on the Guilford Green with treats from The Marketplace.





Tribute to Susan Allison

17 05 2018

 

SusanAllisonsq Rolande sky

Photo: Rolande Duprey

“I’ll be dead in a month,” she said, just as I was ready to leave. A door knob disclosure. I sat back down. Susan said her mother had predicted and orchestrated her passing. I asked what she was feeling now and Susie said, “Just a sense. And pain.” We spoke a bit longer before I had to leave, as I was already late for my grandson’s birthday cake celebration. It was the last time I saw her, about a month ago.

Susan was my muse. She started the transfer of my thoughts to paper in a more consistent way. She assigned me tasks I thought were beyond me but proved me wrong. Our interactions ebbed and flowed over the years. She came on some of my hikes while recovering from her bouts of cancer. I worked for her husband for a few seasons.

Then, after The Election, our contact reestablished through her Poet’s Corner at the library devoted to Resistance. Susan wanted to publish more of her poetry and I offered my skills and experience using self-publishing. Thus began seven months of regular meetings to review and edit her poems. Throughout all her treatments and challenges, Susan continued to revise her work. Even that final visit included the transfer of final edits of her short poems and ditties book.

Susan glowed much of the time, even while in pain. Her exterior lightness contrasted with her inner angst. Peace now, Susan. It’s all Light now. xoxo





Housatonic Meadows State Park

16 05 2018

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(Text from the DEEP website) Located in the rock-strewn valley of the Housatonic River amid the rugged hills of the northwestern uplands, Housatonic Meadows is an ideal setting for a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Camping under the tall pines on the riverbank gives the overnight visitor a genuine back-to-nature feeling. The clear, cold river water also provides a fine opportunity for fly fishermen to test their skills on trout and bass. A two-mile stretch of river (including the park shore) is limited to fly fishing. In 1927 Housatonic Meadows was established as a state park.

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At the trailhead

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Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) along the way

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At the overlook of the Housatonic River Valley

 

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A group of Yale students hiking the AT

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Fellow DEEP Sky’s the Limit hiker Jim with Cherry

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Followed by lunch at the Goshette

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Our waitress understood my taking home our left over french fries for my neighbor’s chickens.





Friendly’s Highlights

10 05 2018
Beth and Cherry at Emporium Cassandra Day

Photo by Cassandra Day

Friends,

Here’s a summary (prepared by Cherry) of our Hikes for Friendly’s, which are detailed here. We were written up today in the Middletown Press!

Hiking for Friendly’s: 2015-2018

2015
June 8: Airline Trail, Portland and Cromwell Friendly’s- Where it all began!
July 13: Sprague Preserve, Franklin  and Willimantic  Friendly’s
August 17: Tyler Mill Preserve, Wallingford and North Haven Friendly’s
September 8: Ragged Mountain and Southington Friendly’s
October 27: Barnes Memorial Nature Preserve and Bristol Friendly’s

2016
March 4: Mattabesset River Trail and Cromwell Friendly’s
August 26: Lantern Hill and Mystic Friendly’s
October 11: Great Meadows and Wethersfield Friendly’s
December 21: Scantic River State Park and Enfield Friendly’s

2017
January 20: Northwest Park, Windsor and Windsor Locks Friendly’s
February 24: Milford Point and Milford Friendly’s
April 20: Naugatuck State Forest, Beacon Falls and Naugatuck Friendly’s
May 24: Windsor Locks Canal and East Windsor Friendly’s
June 28: Kettletown State Park and Southbury Friendly’s
July 10: Pauchaug State Forest, Voluntown and Norwich Friendly’s
September 11: Huntington State Park (Newton, Redding) and Danbury Friendly’s
October 18: Talcott Mountain and Avon Friendly’s
November 15: Case Mountain and Manchester Friendly’s

2018
January 12: Elizabeth Park and Hartford Friendly’s
March 2: Crescent Lake, Southington and Plainville Friendly’s
April 25: Cromwell Friendly’s- We did it!

PS Two of these Friendly’s (Milford and Hartford) have closed since our adventures