Having been either a couch potato or otherwise engaged since I started the year off on the “right” foot on January 1, I chose to hike at my own pace today, with eyes open and some deep breathing. My choice of trials was all about moderation – hence the choice of the East End trailhead on Chestnut Lane.
There were at least 20 cars before me, but the beauty of the Giant is, you don’t have to see most anyone. ‘Armed’ with trekking poles, water, and a bag for trash (found some before I even started out – why do people pick up their dog’s poop and then leave the bag???) I set out along the horse/ski trails; just the path to take when one wants to see the sights and not be constrained by the need to watch one’s feet.
I soon came to a trail puddle … a small stream backed up and clogged with dead leaves. Mom always warned me about playing in the mud,, but at 66, I feel like I can finally ignore the warning. Scoop some debris and move some sticks, the water and I are soon on our way.
Just a bit of froth!
I parallel wonderfully enduring rock walls. As a friend recently said – so quintessentially New England! Then my attention is captured by a bit of geologic ‘decoration’ – a large piece of quartzite embedded in a piece of (perhaps) basalt.
Quartzite studded basalt.
Following the blazed trail, not the one that warns of trespassing and pesticide application – BEWARE! – I came across a spot that I have frequently pondered … was there once a dwelling there? My eye was drawn to what my imagination perceived was a cleared ‘path’. Is that trash? Heading in, I found a ‘midden’. Broken bottles, dessert dishes, “fine” china, a crystal bowl in pieces, a small figurine with no head, a split porcelain pot (hopefully not a potty).
Someone’s kitchen ‘midden’ – antique bottles, broken crystal bowls, and an old porcelain pot. Not telling where.
After examining all these treasures, and slicing my finger on the crystal for my trouble, I covered it all up with leaves and sticks and went on my way, imagining who might have left the stash and wondering why there. The Giant’s is full of surprises! Continuing along, I checked out another spot that rains and weather frequently expose bits of china and glass. This spot was ‘treasureless’.
Headed towards Mansion I spy what Keith has called his ‘favorite tree’ – here in black & white for effect.
If you go out in the woods today … we very aware!
Another “this one’s for Keith” who loves to photograph fungus.
Is this the stairway to heaven?
I follow what was once the “Hamden Wallingford” road until the horse/ski trail turned off at a spot where I have often questioned the presence of pachysandra. Was this also a spot of a former dwelling?
As I walk I encounter a few people – a jogger, a couple of folks with dogs, a solitary young man who seems caught up in his own thoughts; certainly far fewer individuals that I might along the Tower Path. Reaching Tuttle Avenue, I take a moment to enjoy the horses
Bucolic scene at the end of the Red Circle Trail (Tuttle)
and then start up the Gorge Trail (Red Circle). The ‘falls’ and the ice are stunning.
Amazing water and ice
and in some places a little trickle
There are other amazements that grab at my attention …
A boulder that appears to have been tied with fossilized twine.
A green monster with droopy eyes and globular lips just lumbering along.
A flattened but furry-green platypus.
I do take a side trip to the Giant’s knuckles … the ‘other’ waterfall on the Giant. Impressive …
The Giant’s knuckles were frozen over.
On the final stretch, beside a dirty little puddle, the true dazzling of the day … individual leaves upon which ice had formed … the leaves have ‘melted’ away from the ice leaving the impression of the veins and the outline of the leaf itself.
Oh, so fine!
How does it look in Black & White?
A terrific way to end the outing!!! The Giant always has wonders to share!