Nothing spectacular here … just New Haven to Groton and back … a fairly long drive for a brief visit. So … I played ‘tourist’ in my own state, working at discovering in more detail the sights I normally drive right by, or don’t seek out.

Where my aunt resides backs up to the Thames. Earlier as I drove up to the building, I spied a submarine headed up the river. After visiting, I took a quick walk around to the river side, which afforded me a view of the I-95 bridge looking majestic, I thought…and a view of the Coast Guard Academy.

Bridge over the Thames (Groton)

Leaving the home, I remembered the Groton Monument that we see from the highway. It sits atop a hill, Groton Heights,

Groton Monument from across Ft. Griswold field

overlooking Fort Griswold,

whose battlements overlook Groton.

Bridge over the Thames from the south

This was the site of “The Battle of Groton Heights” that followed the burning of New London in 1775. As I strolled along, I enjoyed openness and grace of the slope, imagining sheep grazing, listening to the birds flying and twittering, sun shining, feeling its warmth … a sense of peace.

There are some structures from years past, testament to the sites military use … the “shot furnace” used to heat cannonballs that, when fired, would cause the wood ship the cannon was aimed at to catch fire.

A reminder of dedication and sacrifice, then and now … unfurled by the breeze in a cobalt blue sky.

…long may it wave …

Being me, a photo excursion would not be complete without the ‘small things’ –

…the fluff of milkweed…

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, …: (R.Frost)

As I left the park, one last reminder of the tragic battle – With ‘typical’ British understatement, “Oh, I say, sir, extremely bad form!”

Across the street from the park is a museum … open only until Labor Day. I’ll have to mark it down for next year!

Back out of Groton, headed for Niantic and the Book Barn. In particular, two trees called out to be photographed. Stunningly shaded leaves of green, yellow, orange, and red. Alas, I was in traffic, so they will have to live in the imagination.

I made a quick stop at the Book Barn … the last thing this house needs is another book … but succumbed to the Mollie Katzen Still Life with Menu – even more we need another COOKbook! ;-) The proprietor gave me directions to the Niantic Boardwalk … just a few blocks away. No boards, in fact, under repair, as it runs by Niantic’s downtown. I parked at Hole-in-the-Wall Beach, walked under the railroad tracks, and turned right onto a gravel path leading to McCook Point Park.

Of course, the inevitable ‘gems’ along the way … a tiny yellow flower choked by ‘weeds’ defies identification …

…what I believe is Bouncing Bet or Soapwort

…Pileweed, a member of the aster family…

Pilewort (Erechtites hieracifolia) … Aster family (Asteraceae)

… some lovely waving grasses …

… a boulder studded with intrusions

… a spot of sunshine in the lawn …

… a “grounded” feather that will fly no more (but it has its memories) …

… and a perfectly oval stone showing irregularly eroded layers …

By then, hunger got the best of me. This army marches on its stomach, you know! Whenever in the area, I try to stop at the newly (June) opened restaurant of a friend, Haywire Burger Bar in Westbrook. I have never had a bad meal there (and the staff doesn’t know that I know the owners)! It’s “burgers” of all kinds … turkey, beef, veal, chicken, portobello, crab, chickpea … really terrific end to a lovely day!