This holiday season, why not take a short hike and smell the roses along the way?
Or at least admire the milkweed plants that grow in the field across from the boat launch. I did just before I walked the blue/red trail at the Greater Lovell Land Trust’s Heald and Bradley Ponds Reserve this morning. It wasn’t a long walk, but worth every moment. And I encourage you to do the same, whether here or somewhere else.
Listen to the water flow over the dam.
Notice the greenery across the mill pond.
Follow the path sprinkled with snow.
Rejoice in the ice shapes atop various leaves.
Check out the Pileated Woodpecker works in dead snags.
Let the Beech leaves brighten your day.
Distinguish between the hues of Beech and Witch Hazel.
Greet four amigos–Paper, Yellow and Gray Birch, with the trickster Cherry posing as a Black Birch.
Applaud the maroon-fringed Grape Ferns at your feet.
Follow the directions found on the sign.
Rejoice in late blooming fungi like these Bleeding Mycenas (Mycena haematopus).
Wonder at the various lichens that adorn the trees.
Get up close and personal with a few, including the Bristly Beard.
Laud the reflections of water not yet frozen.
Praise the warm color of Royal Ferns gone by.
Revere dragonfly and damselfly exoskeletons that still cling.
Take in the view–ice and water and the old John Fox place–a testimony of yesterday, today and a glimpse toward tomorrow.
To Otter Rock–whether it takes you twenty minutes or three hours, make time in this busy season to pay homage.