Just this last week it has finally gotten cold enough for hat weather! And I have a nice cheerful, colorful new hat. This hat came a a kit from Blue Sky Fibers that contains 21 mini skeins of yarn and instructions for a slouchy beanie. The yarn is very nice, pretty colors and not scratchy. I bought the kit this summer, and broke my hand about a week later, before I had a chance to begin knitting it. It was about a month before I was able to knit or crochet again. At first it was slow going, but I’m convinced that knitting helped me to rehabilitate my hand more quickly.
I love the inside too, so much that I considered wearing the hat inside out.
I am the type of person who, when I hear about a boardwalk trail through a swamp, cannot wait to go hike it. Provided that the weather is too cold for mosquitoes of course. And snakes. Since moving to the south I have come to appreciate the strange, primordial forests filled with amazing biodiversity and interesting plants. Recently, I came across a pin of the Ponkapoag Bog Trail in the Blue Hills Reservation, and pretty close to my parents house. Naturally, the vegetation was quite different from the dismal swamps I see in the South.
The trail begins following a narrow boardwalk through a corridor of trees. Mostly small trees and shrubs.
Then the trail opened into a beautiful meadow surrounded by small pine trees. The ground was not solid here, but actually quite soggy; as I discovered accidentally when I stepped off the boardwalk to let another hiker pass. The “grass” is mostly moss, with some pretty red and gold colors. The white fluffy things are the seed heads of cotton grass.
Finally, the view of Ponkapoag Pond at the end of the trail, a pretty scene framed by lush foliage, which had just started to turn.
This was a really interesting and pretty easy trail, about 2 miles roundtrip. It was narrow though, on busy weekends that might be a problem.
I’m always amazed that for as long as I lived in the Boston area, there is still so much I haven’t seen. Of course this means when I go back there to visit family, there is always something new to do. On my recent trip I took several new to me hikes, including Purgatory Chasm. It was surprisingly crowded considering the cold weather and that there was a football game on. I didn’t mind seeing other people though, its nice to see families spending time together outdoors.
For so late in October, the foliage was still surprisingly green, but the woods were still beautiful. I especially enjoyed the rocky terrain, which is so different from the flat ground and sandy soil around my home in North Carolina.
Overall, the hike was pretty easy. The trail I took started along the top of the Chasm, tracking alongside it, with interesting views down to the floor of the gorge. Then there was the option for a short side hike to Little Purgatory, which follows a stream to a series of little waterfalls. Finally, hiking back out through the Chasm. This part was a little more challenging, with lots of big boulders to scrabble over, but fun.
The hike was beautiful, and although I got some good shots, I’m not thrilled with my photos. The mid afternoon light was uneven, and with dark rocks and bright sky.
I would love to come back to this spot in the winter. I think that with the leaves off the trees the landscape would look even more dramatic, I might even be lucky enough to get some ice or snow. With the late afternoon, just before sunset, light at my back I could get some beautiful shots looking up the Chasm.
3 cups of Arugula
3 oz. Chicken, Sliced
1/4 Braeburn Apple, Diced
1/4 cup Carrot, Shredded
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1 oz. Blue Cheese, Crumbles
1/4 cup Candied Pecans (optional)
2 Tbls. Balsamic Vinaigrette
Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and toss until everything is lightly coated with the vinaigrette.
Blue cheese. Cranberries. Pecans. Yum! This salad is one of my favorite fall dishes. The tart flavors are a great contrast to the comfort foods I usually enjoy this time of year. I frequently eat it for lunch or dinner when Jon isn’t home (he doesn’t believe salad counts as a meal). Or sometimes I leave out the chicken and divide between several servings for side salad.
Finally, Autumn is officially here!
Right now, we are still recovering from Hurricane Florence, so my fall plans may have to be put on hold this year. So make me jealous by telling my about your plans instead. What are you most looking forward to in the next few months?
Today, we are preparing for Hurricane Florence, but a week ago we had a few absolutely perfect beach days at Ocracoke Island.
Beautiful sand dunes on the island, which is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Like most all the islands of the Outer Banks, Ocracoke is just a narrow strip of sand, less than half a mile wide in most places, but with 12 miles of beach.
It’s pretty great bringing the trucks to the beach, I don’t have to carry anything, and the big canopies keep me from getting sunburnt!
A pretty back road I spotted on my morning hunt for coffee.
In spite of the broken hand, I think this last week has been the best so far this summer. Up ’til now it’s been very rainy. But this week the weather has been mostly sunny and I have a small splint on my hand instead of a cast.
A roseate spoonbill! Seeing this rare bird was pretty exciting. Normally their range is Florida, not North Carolina.
Beach day on Bird Shoal Island.
Evening at the Atlantic Beach fishing pier. There is a bar out at the very end and we had a few drinks while the sun set.
It hasn’t been a very good summer. Not at all. We have gotten so much rain. And when it wasn’t raining we were working in the yard, building a new area for the dogs. We haven’t even been to the beach more than a few times. And then, when we started get caught up, and I thought I would get a chance to give my neglected gardens some love, I broke my hand. So right now, I am really, really looking forward to fall.