A return trek to the old neighborhood off Hut Road in Stoneham left me thinking big.
J.M joined me for this exploration and it’s a wonder we got any further than our parking place beside Great Brook.
It was a sensational, albeit too warm for this time of year, December day. We could have spent all our time taking in the sounds and smells and sights as the water coursed over the rocks.
But we pulled ourselves away and went in search of a time gone by. Single and double-wide stone walls line the old road and mark pastures and gardens. Miles of walls.
And dotting the landscape–piles of rocks picked from the ground. This was farm country before the forest took over.
We called on the neighbors and were glad they didn’t mind us examining their root cellar. The only contents–old porcupine scat in the back corner.
The foundation is big and must have supported a large family. Today, it’s home to a large family tree.
It always excites us to find other signs of life–including a stone-lined well; it’s a deep subject.
The neighbors lived up the street in an equally large home. Were they related? We’re still trying to figure that out.
We paused beside Willard Brook before turning back.
Passing through rich woods, we found ourselves in the land where giant polypores and chaga thrive.
That’s not all that thrives here. Moose browse on striped maple and piles of scat were abundant.
We practically tripped over the biggest scat of all. Well, J.M. tripped. And that’s how it caught our attention. Classic. Love it.
Equally impressive in size and perseverance. And age. The sugar maples.
And because J.M. was with me, we saw things I may have passed by like the ice patterns on leaves. We celebrated hiking together knowing that the small things in life are the biggest.