Recreation Bureau Chief, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)
The winter's big snowfall in the Berkshires and Connecticut Valley the week of Feb. 22 provided an opportunity to explore a trail that I walk regularly near the Connecticut River Greenway State Park.
My familiar route was full of new experiences as a result of the weather conditions. The heavy, wet snow was still falling and the millions of flakes in the air obscured my normal views of Mt Toby but created an ever-changing kaleidoscope view of the forest around me. Giant pillows of snow covered the branches of the white pines bordering a field. The extra weight proved to be too much for some of the weaker limbs, and the sound of snapping branches and avalanches of snow falling from the canopy above added drama to the normally well-behaved woodland atmosphere.
The strong scent of pine perfumed the air around a pile of recently fallen branches. Fresh tracks on the trail showed that a coyote had passed this way within the last few hours and reminded me that I share this special landscape with lots of other species who inhabit it and experience it in all types of weather and in every season.
With more than 2,000 miles of trails and pathways across Massachusetts, DCR offers many opportunities to explore the wonders of nature close to home and in all kinds of weather. Whether you visit DCR’s Charles River Esplanade in Boston or Mt. Everett in the Berkshires, you’ll find wonderful new experiences when you explore a trail or pathway in winter. Click here for more information in hiking in Massachusetts state parks.
When you return from your hike and are ready to curl up with a good book about trails, pick up a copy of Loop Year by John Sheirer. It’s the ultimate account of the changing seasonal nature of trails. The author walks the same Connecticut trail every day for 365 days and writes a daily account of his experience. He builds the 365-day adventure into his writing, as well, by limiting each daily log to 365 words.
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Health. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26
January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January