Thursday, April 16, 2009

Backyard Adventure

We’re going on a bear hunt.
We’re going to catch a big one.
What a beautiful day!
We’re not scared.”

With the sun shining and the warmth of spring in the air the kids and I set out to explore a wildlife Sanctuary that practically sits in our own backyard it turns out this small 25 acre natural forest is a hidden gem and a perfect location for the kids to explore nature. We quickly set out following the hiker trail marker from tree to tree; it was peaceful as we walked among the old hemlocks so close to civilization yet so far away. We enjoyed our own bear hunt - past the hemlock grove, over boardwalks, wetlands, roots, rocks, green moss, vernal pools, blooming skunk cabbage. Leaving the boardwalk we followed the trail I noticed some large boulders and then appeared a cliff outcropping of Roxbury Conglomerate, a rock formation found only in the Boston area, also called Roxbury Puddingstone, a term attributed to the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, who noted that the embedded pebbles looked like "plums in pudding".
Oliver and I had a lot of fun climbing the puddingstone while my Niamh took on the role of little miss nature photographer, turns out she got a lot of great shots with the digital camera. I'm already looking forward to a trip back with a crash pad for bouldering the large Puddingstone cliff. I posted some photos of our bear hunt on Flickr. Luckily for us we didn't find that bear but we did discover a backyard sanctuary.

The Two Streams
Behold the rocky wall
That down its sloping sides
Pours the swift rain-drops, blending, as they fall,
In rushing river-tides!
Yon stream, whose sources run
Turned by a pebble's edge,
Is Athabasca, rolling toward the sun
Through the cleft mountain-ledge.
The slender rill had strayed,
But for the slanting stone,
To evening's ocean, with the tangled braid
Of foam-flecked Oregon.

So from the heights of Will
Life's parting stream descends,
And, as a moment turns its slender rill,
Each widening torrent bends, --

From the same cradle's side,
From the same mother's knee, --
One to long darkness and the frozen tide,
One to the Peaceful Sea!

Oliver Wendell Holmes