On, and On, and On…

We go. Not everyday, not unsafely, not always to a trail, park, or other open space. Spaces under blue skies, in the sun, with the breeze blowing softly through the trees. Where birds chirp, woodpeckers hammer trees, the fox trots by, stopping on the woods edge to look back and see your salute to her freedom.

Here in Ledyard, in fact anywhere here in Southeastern Connecticut, there are plenty of places to get out, shake off the cabin fever of waiting for a turning of the virus.

The problem may be the plenty part, as in too many cars at this trail head, too many others already in the park, too many…

But, there are still plenty of open spaces. I walk, now, most often on a few streets near my home. Streets that are safe, there aren’t very many of those in Ledyard because of the traffic even in this time of reduced commuting, and aren’t congested with others walking them.

I only know of one road in Ledyard that has this sign posted but many roads that need it posted and enforced along with enforcement of the speed limit.

I’ve changed the time of day that I’m walking, yes, even those walks near home, to not be out when others without the freedom to pick very early or very late times to get out might want to walk. And, this may be the appropriate time to mention that since we’re not exercising social distancing, or wearing face masks, in the house my wife and I walk together many times – with masks or similar barriers and social distancing ready to use if we meet others on narrow pathways.

Here are some Ledyard suggestions for walks: Colonel Ledyard Park Trail, Nathan Lester Park, Poquetanuck Cove Preserve, Pike-Marshall Preserve, Burton Property, Avery Preserve, and 5 others. Go to the Ledyard Parks and Recreation website for a printable booklet of these hikes.

Crossing brooks in well planned and properly maintained parks, preserves, and on trails is easy

Going further afield there is the Connecticut College Arboretum, Denison Pequot Nature Center and Coogan Farm, Barn Island, Stenger Farm Park, Sprague Land Preserve, Valley Falls Park, and 27 trails in North Stonington. All have additional information and maps available online. Moving even further out are Kettle Pond, Ninigret, and Thurston Pond in Rhode Island.

Wide trails not only provide space for multiples ways of enjoying an outing whether you prefer walking, biking, or horseback. In this time of social-distancing they also provide comfortable space from others.

When you plan one of these outings you should have several nearby alternatives in the event your first choice appears overcrowded. The more vehicles at a trailhead can be a good indicator of trail usage. This is especially true for trails you’re walking for the first time.

I’ll be back next week with more tips and trail suggestions…

Until then; Be Safe, Be Well, Distance, Mask!!

Around the block…

Too perfect a day not to get out and log some steps in the neighborhood. Clear blue sky, temp in the 50° range with a light breeze, I couldn’t resist!

But, it was nearly turn around and go home. Hadn’t gone 5 yards before the first nip bottle showed up, then the next, and another one, 8 of them before I’d gone 50 feet. It wasn’t anything new, I’ve walked and cleaned this stretch of road for years. The numbers seem to be higher lately but there’s always a lot in this stretch. I’m pretty much 2 nips from the corner package store. Why 2 nips? Because on Earth Day I also do a long stretch between here and the package store and about half way between my house and the package store is always another concentration of nip bottles.

Today though is about a walk around the small development that has almost no traffic other than residents coming and going. Two laps are good for 10,000 steps if you circle the cul-de-sacs 2 or 3 times.

Definite signs of Spring in this curbside bed.

Despite narrow, curvy road with no sidewalks, make it safely into the development and start the walk.

There are signs of spring all around, that’s a little worrying because it’s still so early in the year. A couple days of hard freeze will kill buds and mean no apricots, peaches… 2017 and 2018 were like that.

Looking now for early emerging plants like skunk cabbage, mullein, and others are on my mind because we also did the same thing yesterday. I taught a Korean Natural Farming class on gathering and using local ingredients for Fermented Plant Juice extracts to feed our early plants, crops. These little flowers, and some trees adorned with sap buckets, are signs of encouragement.

Walking is always a great time to think, mull things, order, plan your day, if you’re walking alone. If you have company it’s a time to catch up, chat, or just enjoy the day together.

Hoping you know, or can find, a small and safe walk near you. One you can step out your door and just start walking.

See you on the trail…

Walking the Pike Preserve Trails

A preview of the April Pancake Breakfast Walk.

Don’t let the moving time dismay you. When I’m on the Pike Preserve trails I constantly stop look, listen… It’s a nature walk and the nature, regardless of the season grabs me.

While there are few hikers or walkers on these trails there are several stables that take advantage of the contingent trails. It does help to keep the inner trails well trodden and identifiable year round. The entry and exit trails for walkers and hikers are well blazed but you need to keep a check on them since these trails meander frequently.

Two unique features that keep children of all ages interested are the ‘Castle Rocks’ at the Northwest turn around and the spring pool at the Northeast side trail.

Castle Rocks…

Spring is here, so…

Spring is here, so we’re probably all busy getting yards and gardens cleaned up and ready for the year. Here I’m busy making over my gardening and yardening after taking the UConn Cooperative Extension Service Master Gardener course last year. Layered on top of that is all that I’m learning from volunteering at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center’s Giving Garden at Coogan Farm in Mystic about no-till-no-dig and bionutrient intensive farming.

So instead of cutting back on other activities, like this blog, I’m going to be ramping up my use of social media. Specifically, LedyardWalks will become more outdoors, nature oriented. As that happens there may some format changes as this evolves.

The walks will not change, my Pancake Breakfast Walk on the 1st Saturday of every month will continue. I’ll also be doing additional walks in Southeastern Connecticut, and nearby Rhode Island.

If you have a particular walk, or topic, you’d like to see covered in LedyardWalks let me know through the comments.

And, thanks for wayfaring

Early spring, Common Merganser male.

with me.