From Woods to Waves

From Woods to Waves

View from Turkey Hill looking toward Hingham Bay.

On Saturday the weather was lovely, sunny and warm. But we were sort of trapped in the house most of the day because the crew finally came to install our solar panels. They blocked off all the entrances with caution tape so the kids couldn’t run in and out. (And with people carrying big things on the roof I of course didn’t want them to.) When the crew finally left around 4pm the kids burst outside like water from a dam.

As for me, I woke up late, struggling with a cold, and I had a bunch of baking I wanted to knock out. I made a big pan of granola, blueberry-lemon muffins, and a loaf of challah and that took up most of the day till it was time to make dinner. I got outside briefly, but didn’t manage to get in a walk.

Dom did grill some pork chops and made my favorite grilled Persian eggplant for dinner, which was so, so lovely.

So on Sunday, as the weather was fine, I was determined that we should get out and take a hike in the glorious spring that we’ve been waiting for for so long.

We began the day with Mass, of course, in our gorgeous gothic church. The stained glass and vaulted ceiling, the angels and saints and the beautiful mosaic all lift my spirits every week.

Then, after a stop at the pharmacy to pick up necessary drugs, we went home for lunch, I had a mimosa, a slice of challah, a blueberry muffin, and a cup of fresh berries with yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of crunchy granola. Then we packed our backpacks (using the cub scout checklist) and headed out.

Our first choice, World’s End, a gorgeous park on a hilly peninsula thrust into beautiful Hingham Bay, was overcrowded. There was a line of cars waiting to get into the tiny parking lot, the official at the gate informed us there would be a twenty minute wait. So I snapped some photos of egrets wading in the shallows as we turned around and headed for our second choice, Weir River Farm, only a few minutes drive away.

Egrets in the estuary.

We parked at the top of Turkey Hill, in the parking lot next to the gardens and the greenhouse where the chickens have been spending the winter. There you can glimpse a view of the distant bay; you could even see the hills and trees of World’s End. We hiked down the hill to the barnyard where we saw two ponies, an alpaca, some sheep and goats, a chicken, and a bunch of belted cows.

Ponies and alpaca at Weir River.
Belted cows.

Then we hiked a loop trail through Thayer Woods. We found acorns and errant patches of daffodils. Skunk cabbage and wetlands. A vernal pond with clusters of frogspawn clinging to grass stems.

Fallen tree.
Vernal pool.
Frog spawn.

Following the orange markers was an adventure, they were placed just far enough apart that we had to hunt a bit and were often walking a ways while wondering if we were still on the trail, then we’d round a bend and find the next bright square.

Finding orange markers.
Identifying a vine.

The path goes right behind some large houses, one of which is now a hospice, and wends between some private yards. We found a lovely well and the path led right through a little pet cemetery.

Pet cemetery.
Pet cemetery.
Pet cemetery.
Pet cemetery.
Picturesque ruin.
Wishing well.
Wishing well.
Wishing well.
wishing well.

We found wildflowers and identified them, Dom testing out a new identification app. We looked at greenbriar tangles and fungus covered logs, stumps and sticks. We turned over a bit of rotten log to look at woodlice and worms.

Siberian squill, I think.
Sophie looking at fungus.
Smiling Sophie.

We looped back to the car and had a snack of leftover challah slices and some granola. Sophie lost a tooth in her challah.

Hamming around.
Group shot in the woods.

I wasn’t ready to go home and the sea was calling me. Dom had suggested Nantasket Beach as an alternative if the Weir River parking lot was also full. And having imagined waves rolling up the beach, I wanted to go feel the sea breeze and hear the waves whisper.

We parked at the southern end of the beach where the beach was all rocks and pebbles rather than sand. There are fewer people at this end and there are many fun things to pick up: shells and rocks, sticks and bits of rope, sea glass, crabs…. The kids fan out, fill their pockets with treasures, get their feet wet in the surf.

I love the sound of the surf on a pebble beach; it’s very different than surf on sand. Susurrus of shifting stones and foaming water.

The wind was chill and the day was waning, time to get home for dinner, I thought. Then Ben got his foot totally soaked and that was the cue to go home. 

Sophie’s pockets looked like they might fall off, so full of giant rocks.

Nantasket Beach.
Nantasket Beach.
Nantasket Beach.
Her pockets full of stones.
Musing Bella.
Group photo at the beach.

After we left the beach we stopped at Red Eye Roasters and got our favorite coffees. And then at Whole Foods where I got baguette and ciabatta and deli meats and cheeses and some fruits and greens, everything we needed to make yummy panini.

That dinner was one of the best dinners I’ve ever had. The sandwich was perfect: Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, spicy capicollo, Genoa salami, fresh basil, arugula sprouts, and Dom’s amazing Persian eggplant (grilled eggplant with spicy, garlicky, sweet and sour cilantro-mint dressing.) on fresh ciabatta bread.

I was one of the most perfect days I’ve ever spent. Such an amazing gift.

Pocket collections.
My pocket collection.
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