Saturday’s a go…

I walked the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve today in preparation for this month’s Pancake Breakfast Walk. The weather report is changing its mind about a storm, maybe some rain Friday night, but walkable on Saturday. Check the sidebar if you’re interested in hitting the Pancake Breakfast for details.

There’s plenty of parking at the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve so if you want to just meet there, here are the directions. Take the Gold Star Highway, Route 184 to route 201, turn North. If coming from Groton, that’s a left, from the 184 rotary it’s a right. The preserve is 1.4 miles from route 184.

If you haven’t hiked with me before please read the side bars and the About page for safety information and the hike guidelines. You also should read the Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability requirement.

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…

An Easy Farm Trail

The background is not the type of terrain you’ll be walking at Haley Farm State Park in Groton Connecticut. Although there are a variety of trails the main ones are wide and easy walking. There are some amazing stone walls and foundations from the old farm buildings.

AllTrails has over 200 photos, 50 comments, and 55 recorded walks of the trails to help you decide which of several options you have for walking here. These trails also link to trails in Bluff Point State Park.

Enjoy your walk, see you on the trail.

Walking into the New Year

Venturing out tomorrow morning for a New Year’s walk, especially if you walk the beach at Watch Hill in Rhode Island, will be unseasonably warm. At least based on the past few New Year’s Day walks when wind chill put it into single digits or lower. Even with an unseasonable 35º temperature the wind, from the West, at 12-14 knots will feel like 25ºs. So bundle up, layers will help some but you’ll be walking back from Napatree Point into the wind. A buff, scarf, or mask will help.

Looking forward to walking with you in 2020. May you have a happy start to a New Year.

Oh no…

As is my habit I pre-walked, or tried to pre-walk, the Berwick preserve for tomorrow’s Pancake Breakfast walk. It seems that either a tract of land has been sold, or there’s been a change in an access easement that allows access to that Avalonia Land Conservancy preserve. A “Private Property” sign is posted at the start of the access road.

I tried to contact the Conservancy and left a voice mail on their office phone requesting clarification. As of now (7:00 p.m.) I’ve had no clarification.

Regretfully, I need to cancel tomorrow’s walk and I apologize for the short notice.

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.

Saturday’s Pancake Breakfast Walk…

While there may be rain overnight Friday into Saturday we’re still walking the trail at Poquetanuck Cove Preserve. This Nature Conservancy property offers an interesting variety of terrain, habitat, geology. The trail is an out and back with a terminal loop before the return.

You can preview the hike here: White Blaze Trail

Its an easy to moderate walk of just under 2 miles. We should be able to complete it at just about 1 hour. Wear sturdy shoes since this can be a rocky, root infested terrain at times. We’ll also have a fairly steep narrow trail around the mid-point of the walk, and this section of trail can prove slippery after a rain fall… Or, during a rain fall. So have your foul weather gear ready as well.

We’ll meet and leave from the Ledyard Congregational Church Pancake Breakfast at 9:30 sharp. There is limited parking at the preserve so we’ll be carpooling from the breakfast. It’s a free breakfast of more than just pancakes and coffee (NO Facilities on the hike!!) although a free will donation won’t be refused.

If this is your first walk with me please make sure you read and understand the guidelines and the assumption of responsibility and release of liability (Before We Hike, Safety Guidelines).

Colonel Ledyard Park Success…

After two postponements we finally got the Colonel Ledyard Park Loop Trail walked yesterday. The dusting of snow that we had Friday night was essentially melted away before we started the walk.

Some of the wheel ruts were wet enough that we had to go off trail to get around them. Several of the springs along the trail were flowing pretty strongly, also creating pools of water in the downstream low spots on the trail.

One of the points of interest on the hike were the remains of the Randall Holdridge (1808-1885) house. There’s still the dug well and three stone walls that possibly formed the foundation for the house. A Girl Scout project to mark and provide information help make this trail more interesting.

The next scheduled hike will be the Pancake Breakfast Hike on April 6th. We’ll leave from Ledyard Congregational Church, come early if you want a free, or good will donation, breakfast before we leave at 9:30. We’ll need to carpool since there will be limited parking at the hike site.

Colonel Ledyard Park Walk…

A check this afternoon of the weather forecast for Saturday shows extended rain from Friday through the night and into Saturday morning. I’m still walking…

But will definitely be in waterproof footwear and rain gear. Temps will probably be a little cooler but it could warm up quickly if the sun comes out earlier than currently forecast. Make sure you’re dressed in layers and can adjust your comfort level with changes in the weather.

Other than that, the walk is still on and I’ll see you at Colonel Ledyard Park pavilion for our 9:30 a.m. start.