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.
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.
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.
When we lived in Virginia Beach, we would often walk our dogs at a state park on the north end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, but never had the opportunity to explore the area more. It looked very pretty from the road, but usually we were at the beginning or end of a long drive, and just didn’t have time to stop. finally, last weekend I got to see a little more of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
I was visiting a friend who owns a beautiful place on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Its is so pretty and peaceful, so far removed from the crowds just 45 minutes south in Virginia Beach. Thanks to Odin landing on me by 6:00 every morning, I’m used to waking up early. So before anyone else was awake, I took my camera and went on a short walk alone. The early morning light was so beautiful! Long leaf pines and healthy marshes provide a home for wildlife along the edge of the bay. These sticks in the water mark the location of crab traps. A 300 foot pier juts out into the water. It was so relaxing to tie up a float and drink a few beers while we sat in the water. The night before, not at 6:00 am.
I started this pretty pair of mitts this week, even though I have several projects going (always!). I just wanted something quick, and is a great pretty little project.
I go through phases where I knit or crochet alot, and then not at all. I feel like over the year I was going through my yoga teacher training everything else got moved to the back burner. It was alot of work, but mostly I just felt like it was hanging over my head to get it done. And I did, I think it actually took me 7 or 8 months, but when I started I thought it would only take 2. But I finished in February, and received my certification about a month later.
Speaking of yoga, starting on Thursday, June 28, I will be teaching Yoga on the Beach on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so if you are in the Atlantic Beach, NC area, this is a great way to start your day.
I can’t believe we’re already halfway through June! I would have liked more time to enjoy this spring, but so far summer has been pretty nice. I’ve been spending more time over at Atlantic Beach, one of the Outer Banks barrier islands and only about 15 minutes from my house.