A Half Hour Along Mill and Ridge Hills

“Want to go for a walk?”, came a question on the telephone.

“Sure!”, was my reply,

“See you in a half an hour —we’ve got time for a half hour walk…”

A half hour later, two grownups, two boys, and two dogs arrived at the house. After an interval sufficient to chat and to fill two “travelling bags” with popcorn, off we went.

First stop: some moss by the side of the path. “Poppa Tom, why are you taking a picture?”

“Because it’s so beautiful.”

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Pathside moss. “Because it’s so beautiful.”

The path follows the top of a glacial moraine behind our house. We took a right at the first really big glacial erratic boulder.

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Erratic peek-a-boo. 

We headed down into the dry valley below.

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Heading downhill.

Younger grandson had his fourth birthday recently.

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The cheeks. The cheeks have been a family feature for generations. Please don’t pinch ’em.

We got to a big white pine that was one of my favorite trees, sixty years ago, when I was about seven years old.

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Sixty years later, a seven-year old grandson likes it too. 

On the way back, Poppa Tom kept looking under things.

Rocks.

Leaves.

Moss.

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Moss. So green at this time of year. 

Poppa looked under logs.

At last, under a medium-size fallen oak tree log, he found what he was looking for.

A salamander.

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Eastern Red-backed Salamander, Plethodon cinereus. 

For more about Massachusetts salamanders, see: http://www.massaudubon.org/learn/nature-wildlife/reptiles-amphibians/salamanders/salamander-species-in-massachusetts

On the way back there were more treasures than salamanders to be found.

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Path treasures: Red pebble. Black pebble. 

And still more treasures.

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More treasures. A fragment of peek-a-boo rock. A bag of moss. 

A good time was had by two grownups, two grandsons, and two dogs.

Our time?

We were a little off-target, but not badly.

Thirty-six minutes.

Thirty-six minutes of time in the woods is time well spent.

 

 

 

 

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