On this quiet spring morning in New England, the sky is cobalt blue and there is not a cloud in the sky. With the warmth of the early morning sun, it seems like the perfect day to head outdoors for a walk at the edge of the woods…why don’t you join me.
It will be several weeks before the orchard that surrounds our home will be in full bloom, but there is a quiet beauty still to be found on the property and in the woods and wetlands that edge the orchard. While not as showy as apples blossoms, the moss, trees and stones have a beauty of their own and are worth exploring.
The first stop on the walk is my rock garden which got its name because it originally was just a huge pile of rocks. With a John Deere tractor and the hard work by a couple of strong men, it became a simple garden for Tiger Lilies. This year there is going to be a change here, thanks to Donna from Gardens Eye View. She is a gardener who lives in central New York and has a lovely blog, please stop by and visit her. She recently gave away packets of seeds to save native bees to a few of her readers and I was one of the lucky winners. Having an orchard and being a gardener, I know the importance of bees in this world. The fragrant herbs and beautiful flowers that will grow from these seeds should attract the honeybees looking for food. Hopefully they will have a little help from an angel watching over them in the garden.
There is no breeze blowing so lets head over to the pond. Not a ripple on it…it looks like a mirror. Soon the water’s edge will be lined with frogs and then it won’t be so peaceful.
Now lets walk beyond the pond to that small brown hill in the background.
Our home was built in the 1730’s and for several generations, the property remained within one family and consisted of hundreds of acres of land. Later, sections were given to family members and they built homes next to it. Unfortunately, not all the homes have survived. That hill is the remains of one of those homes that burned down years ago. I’ll show you what passage of time has done to the old stone foundation.
I only walk up here in the spring because brambles, small trees and poison ivy make walking hard once the growing season starts. To give you a perspective on the size of what was the basement of the old home, the granite stones are above my head when I climb down in there and the white pines growing in the bottom are at least eighty feet tall.
I don’t know how long this foundation will stay in tact, as each year’s freezing and thawing affects the rocks. Add to that, the roots of the trees growing above that push the rocks as they grow.
Before we continue further long let me show you what I found…porcelain pans that somehow have not been completely destroyed by fire, time and winter’s wreath.
Let’s head down the hill and into the woods that surround our orchard where the only sound that we will hear is the crunch of dried leaves, the chirping of birds, perhaps the scampering of small animals, and the trickle of water from melted snow.
Stone walls can be found in the woods all over New England and we will have to climb over one on our property to get where we are going next. Don’t worry though as I know a spot where the stones have tumbled down that will make it easier to continue our walk. Just watch out for the downed trees…I don’t want you to trip.
Downed trees are a common occurrence in the wetland area of our property as the ground stays soft. As much as I hate to see a beautiful tree come down, it creates more light for new trees to grow. Even in the dappled light, the new trees have a lot to overcome as thousands of years ago, glaciers scattered rocks all over this area. It makes walking a challenge but the area is interesting to see and very peaceful.
It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think this area is extremely pretty. Nature has painted some beautiful sights if you take the time to look.
While most people visiting New England think of viewing the white church steeples that dot the rolling landscape, visiting the lighthouses that dot the seashore and eating lobster and clam chowder, there is more to be discovered just off the beaten track. I hope that if you have the chance to visit New England that you will have the opportunity to find the hidden treasures that nature may be covering up. It is so easy to find if you take a walk at the edge of the woods.