Pay Homage at Otter Rock

This holiday season, why not take a short hike and smell the roses along the way?

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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.

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Listen to the water flow over the dam.

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Notice the greenery across the mill pond.

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Follow the path sprinkled with snow.

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Rejoice in the ice shapes atop various leaves.

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Check out the Pileated Woodpecker works in dead snags.

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Let the Beech leaves brighten your day.

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Distinguish between the hues of Beech and Witch Hazel.

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Greet four amigos–Paper, Yellow and Gray Birch, with the trickster Cherry posing as a Black Birch.

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Applaud the maroon-fringed Grape Ferns at your feet.

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Follow the directions found on the sign.

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Rejoice in late blooming fungi like these Bleeding Mycenas (Mycena haematopus).

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Wonder at the various lichens that adorn the trees.

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Get up close and personal with a few, including the Bristly Beard.

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Laud the reflections of water not yet frozen.

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Praise the warm color of Royal Ferns gone by.

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Revere dragonfly and damselfly exoskeletons that still cling.

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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.