I found myself in town today, with time on my hands, and much in need of a walk. It was nearly 60F. I haven't walked in a city in a very long time. But, this town is one I know well and I knew exactly where I wanted to go. The Blackstone Blvd. walking path has been in the middle of one of the main roads on the east side of Providence for as long as I can remember. Its 1.6 mile length is lined with parks, a huge historic cemetery, manicured hospital grounds, and all sorts of grand and otherwise homes. Along the path are several trees that are nearly 5 ft. diameter at the base. The original plantings list dating 1903 is online. It is a lovely long walk in every season. I've done the length on cross country skis more than once. One of my favorite sections has a high boulder stone wall at the edge of the road.
This afternoon I drove east to the little coastal town of Warren, RI. It is, like so many New England towns, filled with history.. fishing wharves, mills, churches, grand old homes, run down houses and more recently, cute little shops. Every block is an eclectic blend.
Just another reason to love this part of the world.
“How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.” —Jostein Gaarder
A friend put this on her Facebook page today. I was so happy to see it. It is one of my favorites and something that I try to remind myself everyday.
Over the weekend Chris and I managed to take a little bit of time out of our schedule to have, what I like to call, 'a little adventure'. We go somewhere and walk, bushwack, poke around.. whatever. We look and we see. If I'm particularly organized, we take a picnic. And so, during a time when we should have had our noses to the grindstone getting ready for the spring show season, we did. Here are a few pictures..
The past week and a half have been filled with wonderful fibery adventures. The morning after our return flight from Tucson, we jumped right into preparation for last weekend's Knit Weekend at the Slater Mill. It was the first time that Ball and Skein vended at Slater. Friday night's festivities started with at the 'Fireside Ordinary' at the Sylvanus Brown House, a beautiful restored mill house on the site. There was music, storytelling, food and drink. The house was lit with candles and warmed by three open fireplaces. It was a fun. I did see a couple spinners and knitters in the crowd.
Afterwards, we headed over to the cocktail party. It was so much more than cocktails, beginning with a lecture on the Shetland Isles by Gudrun Johnston and trunk shows, featuring the work of Thea Colman and Ellen Mason.
The vendors set up in the mill (museum) amongst the old machinery. It took a bit of imagination but the results were worth it. Visitors strolled through the museum to shop. As a vendor, it was magical. Outside, light reflects off the river as it races to the falls. The windows in the mill are still glazed with old wavy glass. Looking out at Saturday's snowfall was beautiful, a step back in time. Inside the mill, it was dark. I can not imagine how anyone, children or adults, could manage to do the fine mill work in those conditions. Even with today's modern track lighting, it wasn't enough for me to have worked by.
Thanks Polly Hopkins for taking this picture.
You can check out the weekend itself on Slater Mill's event site.
We've been there and back again. Ha! Almost as soon as our last show ended, we got on a plane. Finally, we got to meet this little fellow. Our grandson. He's amazing! And big! If we'd waited much longer, he's have been holding me. Living so far away is terrible. We knew that before. After meeting him even more, now we know what we're missing.
I took his Christmas stocking along. He won't notice it yet, but new family members are gifted their stockings for their first Christmas. They'll match the stockings that his parents hang on the mantle this year. I can't wait to see a picture of them all lined up. It means so many things. In a year when so many friends and family have been taken from us, the gift of this child, is just, well.. everything!!
Meanwhile, I have to get back to the current busines at hand. It is THAT time of year again and bows have to be tied, wreaths hung, trees decorated.
Last Saturday, I thought I'd post this as a "weekending' post. Later, when I hadn't gotten around to it, I figured I'd plug it into a "walk with me wednesday' post. It is neither. Seems like there ought to a day to mark the first bike ride of the spring.
The weather was SO warm and beautiful (and partly overcast), that we decided to throw all of our previous plans out the window, load the bikes onto the back of the van and head to our nearest bike trail.
The Blackstone River Bikeway, part of the RI State Park system, is a nearly 12 mile trail that runs for a time along an old towpath paralleling both a canal and the river. It travels through history, passing by archaeological ruins of several New England milltowns. For an urban trail, there is a remarkable amount of wildlife. I've seen deer, beaver and muskrat, blue heron, ducks and geese. This weekend it was turtles. They were everywhere!
When we crossed the marsh, we stopped to watch the largest fresh water turtle I've ever seen. It had a shell nearly two feet long! While we watched, it caught dinner, a bird!!!! I still can't believe it. I was very happy to be way up high on the boardwalk. That's one bit of water I don't want to wade in.
Sorry, no pictures. I tried. For the longest time we thought it was a submerged tire. Then it swam. I had only the camera in my phone. Though most of the turtles we saw, and at one place we counted 19, were the painted variety, the big ones must have been snappers.
It was an all too short ride, round trip about 12 miles. Still, perfect.
..we're creatures of habit, drawn to the familiar.
The first shot was taken about a week ago, on a hike through Temescal Canyon. It was a perfect day for a steep uphill climb, overcast and cool. While the northeast enjoyed temps in the 70's, LA was dipping into the 50-60s. Just what we needed, stepping out of winter.
The second picture was taken yesterday on another hike, this time on the east coast. The weather had changed and temps were nearly a match, overcast and cool. Before heading over to Sachuest Point for our real hike, we stopped to look out from the rocks at Pergatory Chasm in Middletown, RI. It is a very small site. I've gone there for years to watch the water surge in and out and to listen. The sound is wonderful.
I love the distance you can see on a clear day! On our way down the trail in Temescal Canyon, we came across another in search of a view.
Can you see that she has nest building materials in her beak? Anyone know what kind of bird this is? *
Whew! The days have been racing by. Between the longer daylight hours, and the incredibly unusual weather (and flooding) that New England has experienced the past couple weeks, I've let this post slip.
IT"S TIME!!! GET YOUR FEEDERS OUT!
I checked this against last year's map and it looks like they are about 10 days early. If you are interested, compare them yourself for your area. I generally figure that they get to me around the first week in May. Last year I spotted one a week earlier.
Just in case you've forgotten the recipe for hummingbird nectar or are new to this and thinking that you'd like to set up a feeder, here goes:
Bring to a boil: (I do this in a glass measuring cup in the microwave)
1 cup water 1/4 cup sugar
NO fake coloring.
That's all there is to it. Easy, huh?
Speaking of birds.. Last Sunday, Chris and I headed to the beach with our dinner. Afterward, while C snoozed and read the paper, I took a second walk. A bit down the beach, I spotted a couple kids throwing rocks at a seagull and yelling for it to drop the starfish. I ran for my camera.
At the beginning of the summer, we promised ourselves that we would take Wednesday afternoons off and go somewhere. It didn't happen. Things got in the way. We were always too busy. But after last Sunday's jaunt to a nature preserve, which we thoroughly enjoyed, we decided to make sure to have this past Wednesday afternoon free. I was going to tell you about the picnic, the pork and sweet potato pie, and the chocolate cake, but there isn't room in one post. We ended up in a magic forest. It had to have been . Where else would you walk through a field of dragonflies..? Thousands of them, flying as a cloud around you, hitting each other with a clear clacking sound. I tried to hold the camera and get a short video. It's not much, and terribly blurry. Watch it, then close your eyes and imagine, dragonflies, or fairies.
The trail lead across the field. There we entered a forest of twisted trees, limbs reaching overhead and across the path to meet their neighbors on the other side. We passed through the wood, walking in a shadowy, sun spattered tunnel.
After nearly a mile, we came out of the wood. In front of us was a huge salt pond. Beyond it, the ocean.
There was an observation deck.
Across the pond, sat an osprey on it's nest. Atop a nearby tree, sat the mate. They were too far away to photograph with the camera I had.
Let me help you.. guess you had to be there.
Trustom Pond Wildlife Refuge. Amazing place.
Here's a link to some amazing info on dragonflies. Everything that I've read about swarms indicates that although food, mating and migration may be the answer, no one is really sure. There was a lot of food around, and the time of year is perfect for migration.