Tag Archives: water
Date Of Visit: May 27, 2017
Location: Depot Rd, Leverett, MA (about 40 minutes north of Springfield, MA)
Hours: Open everyday from sunrise to sunset
Parking: There is free street parking available on the shoulder of the road across from the lake. There is room for about 5 cars.
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: pond, poetry box, wildlife, boat launch
Website: Friends Of Leverett Pond
Located in the center of town inconspicuously on the side of the road, Leverett Pond (also known as Echo Lake) is a 100 plus acre pond with amazing views and abundant wildlife. In fact, the wildlife is so abundant it threatens the pond itself. Beavers, specifically, seem to be clogging the dam at the nothern end. It costs the organization $20,000 to fix this issue and they do not receive funding from the town. So, the organization relies solely on donations. But, still, the Friend of Leverett Pond are keep working to solve this problem.
Despite the ecological issues they may face, the pond still looks beautiful.
The pond is popular with boaters and fishing enthusiasts. I saw two boats in the pond during the short time I was there.
During the winter, the pond is used by skaters.
While there were signs of wildlife, I was only able to see some fish in the water and a bird.
While the lake is a gem itself, one of the hidden treasures is the poetry box located on a tree by the lake. If you weren’t looking for it you might just miss it. Just to the left of the boat launch, the box is attached to a tree.
Inside the box sits a binder with poems, stories and memories left behind by visitors. There are also a few pencils in the box for people to leave their thoughts and poems. Some of the poems dated back to 2012. It was not only nice to see this collection of art. It was also nice to see it has been preserved and no one has stolen or disturbed the poetry box.
Behind the tree is a table for people to sit and read the binder or write their own addition to the binder. The poems and other writings ranged from the comedic to the serious. Some were written by children. Others were written by older people. Sometimes you could not tell who wrote the poem or what age they were.
Whether you’re a fisherman or fisherwoman, a boater or a poet, Leverett Pond is the perfect to spend the day.
Date Of Visit: December 14, 2016
Location: Seapowet Ave, Tiverton, RI (about an hour south of Boston and about 30 minutes southeast of Providence, RI)
Cost: Free but donations are appreciated
Hours: Trails are open dawn until dusk
Parking: There is a lot which can accomodate about 5-10 cars
Trail Difficulty/Size: 50 acres of easy but narrow trails, I couldn’t find a description of the trail lengths but it can’t be more than 4 or 5 miles total
Handicapped Accessible: No
Dog Friendly: No, Audubon sanctuaries are not pet friendly
Highlights:easy trails, blinds to hide behind bird watch, wildlife, streams and bodies of water, birds, scenic
Web Site: Emilie Ruecker Wildlife Sanctuary
Trail Map: Emilie Ruecker Trail Map
As a preface, I am trying to post about as many of my trips from earlier this year before the end of the year. So, I may be posting pretty much every day until the new year and into the beginning of the new year to catch up and start fresh in 2017. Lucky you… ( :
Tucked away just over the Massachusetts and Rhode Island border is a serene little trail with lots of surprises.
One of the cutest surprises are these blinds that you can hide behind to photograph or observe birds.
The trails at Emilie Ruecker are easy enough to navigate and they are mostly loops so it is easy to stay on the trail. There are also maps displayed throughout the sanctuary. The trails can be narrow in some areas. Also, if you go on the red trails, it’s easy to go off track. Just keep looking for the color coded trees to stay on track.
One of the cool things are the openings along the trails that allow you to get closer to the water so you can view the ducks and other birds.
You’ll also find the occasional bench to rest at.
Although there is lots of wildlife at the sanctuary, the highlight for me was the beautiful scenic views.
If you look closely, you may see the outline of a deer just behind the branch of this tree. Unfortunately, my camera couldn’t focus in time to get a better photo.
Much like this deer, the birds at Emilie Ruecker were hard to photograph.
The birds in the water proved more easy to photograph.
These birds were very easy to photograph, as long as I kept my distance. They were hanging out on the other side of the road across from the sanctuary on some farm land.
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Date Of Visit: October 9, 2016
Location: 377 Ocean Ave (it is also listed as Castle Rock Lane), Marblehead, MA
Hours: Open daily, dawn until dusk
Parking: There is lots of of unmetered, 2 hour, off street parking available on Ocean St
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: Views of the Atlantic Ocean, fishing, benches to watch the ocean
Once used as a lookout for arriving and departing fishing fleets as well as pirate and enemy ships, both British and French, Castle Rock is yet another hidden treasure along the North Shore of Massachusetts. Heck, it’s in my own backyard and I had not even heard of it until recently.
Also known as “Great Head”, Castle Rock gets its name for the castle-like looking home next to the lookout area. Now, it serves as a place to sit or stand and look out along the Atlantic Ocean and remember how small we really are in comparison.
It was a rainy, fall-like October morning (oddly enough during October) when I stopped by Castle Rock. It felt like the rain would never end and the water was very active. The entrance to Castle Rock is nestled between two homes, although I’m not sure if anyone resides in the castle-like home to the right of the lookout area.
The views were not diminished because of the inclement weather. I did, however, have to make a few trips to my car to dry off my equipment and try to keep my lens clear.
The 1.20 acre lookout is also known for its off-shore sailing, although there really isn’t a safe place to launch from Castle Rock. But, you get some great views of the boats that did dare to venture out in the choppy waters.
This brave fisherman made his way down the wet, slippery rocks and went fishing for stripers.
The rain didn’t stop the birds.
Castle Rock is another beautiful area in New England with some very pretty views. Below is a video of the area. You can hear the wind and the rain pelting down. It wasn’t a “beach day” by any means but it was still a great place to visit during any type of weather.
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Dates of Visit: October 8, 2016 & October 16, 2016
Location: Nelson St, Plymouth, MA
Hours: Open everyday, dawn until dusk
Parking: There are about 50 parking spots
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: Free parking, handicap-accessible, picnic benches and tables, playground area, beach area, restrooms, boat docking area, seasonal water play area, bike path
Web Site: Nelson Memorial Park
When people think of Plymouth Massachusetts certain places automatically come to mind; Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, Nelson Memorial Park. No, that’s not a typo. In fact, Nelson Memorial Park may be one of the best kept secrets in Plymouth (except may be the Grace Trail).
Located approximately a mile from the aforementioned rock, Nelson Memorial Park is a family friendly park with activities for children, pretty views and ample parking.
The water activity area, called a “splash pad” is an area that shoots out water for children, and probably even a few adults and dogs, to play in. A sign states that due to water restrictions the pad will be on only on days when the air temperature is above 80 degrees. There’s little threat of that happening for some time, although we have had some unseasonably warm weather lately.
The park is relatively small but it still offers some very pretty scenery. I’ve always marveled at how clouds, even wispy clouds, can really accentuate the beauty of an area, especially by bodies of water.
Some kayakers took advantage of the warm weather and calm water.
There is also a bike path from Nelson Memorial Park that goes all the way to North Plymouth (roughly 1.5 miles from Nelson Memorial Beach or over 2 miles if you start from Grace Trail which is located behind the park’s parking lot).
Although it is a small park, Nelson Memorial is a wonderful, peaceful area just minutes from the busy waterfront and downtown areas and a must-see if you’re in the Plymouth area.
A boy and his dog take in the views at Nelson Memorial. This is why dogs are so great. No matter how bad your day is or how lonely you might feel, you always have your dog.
There were many other dogs at Nelson Memorial Park and I was able to get some great shots of a few of them.
Remy is a 13 year old Lab, Boxer and Rottweiler. He had head and leg injuries when he was adopted. But, he looks fine right now!
Stella is a 7 year old Boston Terrier with a special talent. She likes to chase balls and hit them with her head, soccer style.
Below is a video of Stella playing.
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Date Visited: August 13, 2016
Location: 9 Pleasant Street South
Hours: Open daily, dawn til dusk
Parking: There is free unmetered off street parking available but only a dozen or so cars can fit on the side street. You may be able to park somewhere else nearby and walk to the dam.
Time To Allot For Visit: half an hour to an hour
Dog Friendly: Yes
Web Site: South Natick Dam Park
Highlights: pretty waterfall, birds, pretty architecture, family friendly
Established in 1933 on the site of a former grist mill, the South Natick Dam Park attracts people far and wide for its pretty waterfall and scenic views. Construction of the South Natick Dam was completed on September 2, 1933. It replaced a timber dam that had been built at the site since 1760 by Matthew Hastings.
Millstones from the grist mill, which had served the area since colonial times, are embedded in the paved area of the area surrounding the dam.
There is also an island in the middle of the river, that you can see in some of the photos, which is named for Horace Holyoke, one of the characters from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Old Town Folks.” This character is based on her husband Calvin Stowe who was a South Natick native.
Since the water was at such a low level, I was able to walk down to the base of the dam and take some photos from where the water would normally be.
The South Natick Dam Park is adjacent to the Charles River’s dam, and is a popular spot for visitors, both human and animal.
A fun and unexpected stop on my way home from Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, the South Natick Dam is a great place to take your dog for a walk, photograph or just sit at one of the benches and take in the beauty of the area.
Date Visited: September 6, 2016
Location: Deerfield Ave, Shelburne Falls, MA
Hours: Open everyday, 24 hours a day
Parking: There is off street parking with a 2 hour limit and police do take notice
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: waterfall, glacial potholes, flowers, birds, shops, attractions
The Salmon Falls and Glacial Potholes attraction in Shelburne Falls, MA, is a beautiful “two-fer.” “Three-fer” if we include the bowling alley adjacent to the Salmon Falls and Glacial Potholes attractions. IN fact, it is more accurately described as a “many-fer”s there are many attractions and beautiful attractions to the Salmon Falls area.
Although it may be best known for The Bridge Of Flowers (post to come shortly), beauty and grandeur abound Salmon Falls/Glacial Potholes area on Deerfield Ave.
The glacial potholes were ground out of granite during the high water of the Glacial Age. The whirlpool action of the waves and the gyrating stones created the prominent holes in the stones. It is said some of the grinding mills can still be seen in the smaller potholes. Over 50 potholes exist in the confined area known as “Salmon Falls” when the the Native Americans resided here. The potholes vary in size from 6 inches to 39 feet in diameter. The 39 inch diameter pothole is considered the largest pothole on record. And you thought the potholes on our roads were bad.
Salmon Falls, as it was dubbed by the Native Americans, was a common area for hunting and fishing. The waterfall still gives some pretty views against a once industrialized scenery as the backdrop.
What makes the Salmon Falls and Glacial Potholes area are the small shops and antiquated buildings that give the area a very old fashioned small town feel. This is true for pretty much the entire community of Shelburne Falls.
There is a bench for sitting, feeding the birds and just taking in the beauty around you.
Almost as a prelude to the much heralded Bridge of Flowers (which is located only a short walk or drive from the Salmon Falls and Glacial Potholes area), flowers and trees bound the Salmon Falls area.
If you’re lucky you might even find a feathered friend to photograph.
Deerfield Ave, the road that leads to Salmon Falls and the Glacial Potholes, still has the old town feel that adds tot he charm of the area. In fact, the entire Shelburne Falls area still has many “mom and pop” shops and independent businesses rather than chain stores. It was nice walking around without being bombarded by convenience stores and restaurant chains that seem to scar so many other towns.
The Shelburne Bowling Alley is one of the oldest bowling alleys in the country. In operation since 1906 (and yes it is still open for business currently), the Shelburne Bowling Alley could easily be mistaken for a barn or some other structure from a different time.
There is also a variety of art throughout the area. Some of the art I noticed looked different from the art I have seen in previous visits. So it appears they do change it up every so often. The art honors the history of the area and gives information about the area.
Below is a video of the falls at Salmon Falls. It was an overcast and somewhat windy day when we first arrived at the Falls so you may hear the wind in the video. But, most of the sound is from the rushing waters of the Falls.
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Date Visited: August 28, 2016
Location: 250 Martin’s Lane, Hingham, MA
Hours: open everyday, 8:00 a.m. until sunset
Cost: $6 for adults, annual memberships which include free admission are available for $47
Size: 4.5 miles of continuous trails, 251 acres
Parking: there are three parking areas with roughly 20 spots each. When I left at 1:00 p.m. the lot was full and there was a line of about half a dozen cars waiting to get into the park.
Time To Allot For Visit: 2 hours
Dog Friendly: Yes
Trail Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Highlights: scenic views of the Boston skyline and surrounding area, wildlife, occasionally they display exhibits at the park, benches to sit along the trail, pretty trees and flowers, perfect for walkers, joggers, runners, cyclists and even horseback riders and anowshoeing during the winter
Lowlights: limited parking (if you follow the reservation Twitter they post alerts when the lot is full)
Website: World’s End
I “misunderestimated” World’s End. I figured it would be an “easy” quick jaunt (I usually save my easier treks for Sundays). So, I slipped on my Chuck Taylor All-Stars and figured I would be home in a few hours. Not the best choice of footwear in retrospect. The trails can be rocky (particularly if you go off trail) and deceivingly steep in some areas.
There are a lot of side trails and it’s easy to get confused and cover the same area twice (or more) which can add quite a bit of time to your journey. In fact, for a while, I thought World’s End would never end. It’s a good idea to take a map of the trails with you. But, the trails are clearly marked and easy to negotiate with some slight inclines.
Undoubtedly, the main attraction for many visitors at World’s End are the views of the Boston skyline. World’s End affords several views of the skyline and surrounding areas. From the shoreline views to the views atop the highest point on the top of one of the many views of the rolling, hilly trails, the views are majestic.
World’s End is teeming with wildlife, particularly birds. They’re very good at camouflaging themselves so you might have to squint to see a few of them.
But, the real gem of my visit was this deer I spotted on my way to Rocky Neck, one of the more secluded areas. We stood mere feet away from each other staring, until she finally took off.
There are not just an abundant of bird life in the water. Being a picture perfect summer day with low humidity and a slight breeze and calm waters, it was ideal for many of the boaters, paddlers and other seafaring folks.
This boater wanted some privacy, apparently.
World’s End has many other charming features such as this huge rock and an elevated viewing area for bird watching.
Of course, sometimes the more simpler things can be the prettiest features of the park. These flowers, tress and views off the water caught my eye.
Some people took advantage of the shore to skim some stones.
If there is one photo that sums up a trip to World’s End it is this photograph of a hammock with a bicycle next to it. World’s End is the perfect place to lie out in a hammock with only the sounds of nature to keep you occupied and maybe a good book or your Itunes collection.
There is also an art exhibit on display until Oct. 31, 2017. The display was created by Jeppe Hein, an artist based out of Copenhagen and Berlin. He is known worldwide for his interactive exhibits. The exhibit is called, “A New End”. According to the website for the exhibit, Hein wants to invite visitors to reflect and to transform how we view a familiar place like World’s End.
There were dogs-a-plenty at World’s End during my visit. World’s End is a great place for dogs to play around in since there are many open, grassy areas and, of course, water to frolic around in.
Casey is a happy, 8 year old English Pointer mix. He is a rescue.
Gus is a 2 year old Ridgeback mix. He was very excited to be at the park!
Tande is an 8 month old Portuguese Water Dog. If Tande looks familiar, you may have seen a similarly looking dog on the news. The President also has the same breed of dog. Tande came all the way from the Odysea Portuguese Water Dogs breeder in Colorado.
One of my easiest subjects to photograph ever, Bella is a gentle 7 year old Shetland Sheepdog.
I also saw a variety of other dogs playing in the water and running around.
viewsofanemergencyrn was kind enough to nominate me for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you! I usually don’t post about these awards but I figured I would play along since she was so nice to mention me and I wanted to acknowledge her. She is a sweet, strong person and a survivor (read her post to see what I mean).
So, the rues are I have to mention 7 random things about me.
- I didn’t take up photography seriously until last year
- I love dogs and all animals (big surprise there) but they also seem to love me – the key is to not show fear and be confident and friendly around them (they can sense fear)
- I am a pescatarian (I only eat seafood and do not eat meat, primarily)
- People often say I bear a strong resemblance to Donnie Wahlberg (but I can’t sing like him)
- Although I love dogs, I don’t have one (I have a cat instead)
- Until my work schedule got too busy, I had been an active literacy tutor at my local library
- I run (and/or walk) 3 miles (at least) a day everyday
The rules say to nominate other bloggers to participate. But, I’m going to skip that part. In my experience, people have usually already posted a blog like this in the past and don’t want to do it again, or they don’t participate or they seem to be too busy. But, thank you, once again for the mention, viewsofanemergencyrn! I do appreciate you and I look forward to reading more of your posts. You all should also!
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Webb Memorial State Park (Weymouth, MA)
Date Visited: August 6, 2016
Location: 570 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 603-436-7406
Hours: Open everyday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (I got there well before 8 and the gates were already open). Open but unstaffed after 10/11
Cost: $4 for adults $2 for children (ages 6-11), NH residents who are seniors (over 65) or younger than 6 get in free
Parking: There are about 50 parking spots in the main parking area. There are additional parking lots along the beach
Time To Allot For Visit: 1 to 2 hours
Dog Friendly: No
Highlights: abundant wildlife (mostly birds), pretty flowers and trees, lighthouse (Whaleback Light), scenic views, play area for children, “sunken forest”, science center, historical site
Lowlights: Parking can be tough (especially during the summer), since it is considered a beach dogs are not allowed at the park
The location of the first English settlement in New Hampshire, Odiorne Point has a very storied past.
Named after the Odiorne family who settled there during the 1660’s, Odiorne Point is probably best known for being a military installation during World War 2. Known as Fort Dearborn at the time, Odiorne Point was part of the military’s attempt to modernize the U.S. coast defenses. Part of the military installation served as a radar station by the United States Air Force beginning in 1949, and in 1955 this became the Rye Air Force Station. None of the Air Force’s installation remains there. Looking at the historical remnants of the fort it is obvious how far we have come as a military power. Real shells, a bunker entrance, a battery and other historical structures are scattered throughout the entrance to the park.
The park also has a science center located at the end of one of the main paths where people can learn about nature and the various wildlife that inhabit the park.
The trails at the park were easy to negotiate. However, if you do go off trail to get a closer view of the surroundings and wildlife you have to be careful and be mindful of the water level. I will touch on this later in the post.
As you can see from the photos above, the plants and trees at Odiorne are beautiful even if they are directly next to a dumpster.
Only about an hour’s drive north of Boston, Odiorne Point has something for people of all ages to enjoy. There is a play area for children as well as picnic tables and benches for people to sit and eat while they take in all of the beautiful views.
This particular family had a hungry visitor eyeing them as they ate lunch.
The birds are one of the main attractions of the park. A wide variety of gulls, egrets and other birds frequent the park.
The views at Odiorne State Park are pretty all year round. The lighthouse, Whaleback Light, provides a majestic backdrop for any photo. The weather was very erratic when I made my visit. It was rainy and raw when I first arrived at the park in the early morning hours. After waiting out the rain, the clouds gave way to the sun. Then, the wind picked up and drove the waves against the rocks. Basically, I experienced just about all the weather New England has in one day. In other words, it was a typical New England day.
Perhaps the biggest attraction of Odiorne Point State Park is the “sunken forest”. If you arrive during low tide, you can see what used to be a forest or some other land. What appears to be tree stumps, rocks and other land based structures appear on the floor of what will rapidly become the bottom of the body of water.
So, during low tide you can easily traverse these rocks (make sure to not try this with sandals on or barefoot) and get closer to the birds, ocean and other rocks. One important thing to keep in mind is the tide comes in pretty quickly. I made it out to the rocky area where the birds were all hanging out. Then, suddenly, I realized just how much water had accumulated around me. I quickly ran/sloshed through ankle deep water along the pebbles to make it back to land before it got too late. If I waited half an hour longer I would have been swimming back to shore. Below are some side side examples of just how quickly the water rises. The time lapse is only about an hour.
Below are two videos of the waves and scenery at Odiorne Point.
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Date Of Visit: August 14, 2016
Location: 177 Forest St, Saugus, MA 781-223-0834
Parking: There are about 30 parking spots at the entrance to the park. There is also off street parking and parking available down the street at Kasabuski Arena (201 Forest St).
Hours: Open everyday sunrise to sunset
Size: 640 acres
Time To Allot For Visit: At least 1 to 3 hours
Trail difficulty: Easy to Moderate in some areas
Dog Friendly: Yes
Fun For One: Yes
Highlights: scenic views – especially from Eagle Rock, beach, play area for children, trails for cycling and running, fishing is allowed
Lowlights: side trails end without warning, some rocky terrain
Trail Map: Breakheart Reservation Trail Map
Website: Breakheart Reservation
Once a hunting ground and camp area for Paleo Indians as far back as the Archaic and Woodland eras (roughly 1000 – 2000 BCE), Breakheart Reservation boasts two grand lakes, scenic vistas, a beach, a play area for children and miles of trails.
The trails are mostly easy with some moderately difficult trails and inclines. The side trails can be challenging more because of the rocky and narrow terrain rather than the inclines. The one downside to taking the side trails is that some of the side trails end without warning, such was the case with the Saugus River Trail which is one of the first side trails you will see when you enter the park. The Cedar Glen Golf Course abuts the park. So, you’ll hear and see golfers whacking their golf balls around. Also, one side trail leads to the children’s camping site which you’re not supposed to access and yet another trail just ends near a store’s parking lot. So, you end up walking long distances only to have to turn around. If you want to avoid walking on trails that end suddenly, it’s best to stay on the main trail and the trails that loop around the lake.
The two lakes at Breakheart Reservation, Pearce Lake and Silver Lake, have trails that loop around the bodies of water.
Pearce Lake (considered the lower pond) has a beach and some very pretty views. It runs along the main trail and along some of the side trails. It is the larger of the two lakes and it is where the beach is loacted.
Although Lake Pearce is the larger of the two lakes, I found Lake Silver (the upper pond) to be more intriguing than Lake Pearce.
Lake Pearce has two smaller islands in the lake. One of the islands is accessible via a makeshift walking bridge of branches, sticks and anything else that you can walk on to get to the island. Except for some pretty views there wasn’t much on the island.
At an elevation of 206 feet, Eagle Rock offers scenic views of the Boston skyline and surrounding areas. One suggestion I would make if you do try to climb up to Eagle Rock (it’s a moderate climb) is to use the “back” way to the vista (aptly names Eagle Rock Trail). I went straight up along the rocky edge along the Pearce Lake Trail and it was more challenging than it would have been if I had gone up via the trail on Eagle Rock Trail. There are other points of higher elevation on other trails such as Castle Rock and Crow Hill.
There are many other beautiful and interesting things along the trails at Breakheart Reservation.
Breakheart has a paved main trail which is usually packed with runner, cyclists and people walking their dogs, especially at the Bark Place where dogs are allowed off leash for a section of the trail.
Breakheart Reservation stopped allowing vehicles on the trails some time ago. It was great not having to look over your shoulder or carefully turn a corner worrying if a car or other vehicle might be coming your way. It also allows lots of room for all the walkers, runners and, of course, the dogs that frequent the park.
These dogs had a great time at Breakheart Reservation during my visit…
Bailey is a 6 year old Black Mouth Cur
Cooper is a 7 year old Golden Retriever.
Free is an 8 year old Bichon and Shih Tzu mix.
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Below is a video of the view from Eagle Rock.