Walktober 2019 – Stone Bridge

Fall foliageI’m joining Robin at Breezes at Dawn for her annual Walktober post. This year, I chose to visit the Stone Bridge in Ashfield, MA. Built in 1880, supposedly by Italian immigrants, this bridge is as solid today as it was the year it was built, having weathered many storms, including several gully-washing hurricanes. Quite the feat, considering how many ‘modern’ bridges we lost to Hurricane Irene in 2011 alone.

The last and only time I’d visited the structure was in 1988, when I was pregnant with our first child. I asked my brother where it was again and after a bit of reconnaissance, found the wooded road that led to it.

An ideal autumn day in the low 50sF (10C), the foliage was a glorious mix of yellow, red and orange, tucked among the still-green oak, beech, hemlock and pine. I love to see the tapestries of color that play across our wooded hills.

Fall foliageWe parked in a road pull-off, leashed the dog and set off on the old road now primarily used for logging and snowmobiling. The woodland was strewn with fallen leaves, the path edged with with moss-and-lichen-encrusted stone walls, and everywhere we looked, high or low, was beauty.

Ferns, moss and fungi clung to old stumps and stone, inviting a closer look and touch.

Before long, the road curved and there amidst the undergrowth and ferns was the Stone Bridge.Stone bridge, Ashfield, MA

Here is a photo of the historical marker at the site:Stone bridge, Ashfield, MAAn amazing structure, given that it was built largely with horse-and-man-power, without mortar, each stone snug to the next, built to weather the tides of time.

The peaceful sound of trickling water coming from the 3′ x 4′ opening, told of the scant rain we’ve had of late, but I could imagine the stream in full spate after a good rain. Perhaps we’ll return again in the spring for snowmelt, when the hills will dump gallons of water into the watershed.

Thank you for joining me for our woodland Walktober ramble. This meme is open to everyone, so if you would like to post your own Walktober, click the link above for details. The deadline is October 19th to be included in the round-up post. I encourage you to grab a cuppa and visit to see other bloggers’ walks from all over the world.

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Silent Sunday

Red Maple

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Wordless Wednesday

Autumn leaves

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IAVOM – Autumn Harvest

HarvestLast fall, I tossed my rotted pumpkin behind the compost pile, hoping a seed or two would grow this year. To my delight, I found six huge pumpkins growing amongst the weeds this week. The one above was the smallest. Isn’t nature’s generosity amazing?

This arrangement celebrates the gold colors of autumn’s harvest, featuring a mix of two kinds of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), two forms of Zinnia (Z. elegans), Gloriosa Daisies (Rudbeckia hirta) and yellow Lantana, with Foxtail grass seed heads (Setaria pumila) completing the Mason jar ‘vase.’

Flower arrangementContinuing the harvest theme, I’ve used my grape motif pitcher for a second arrangement containing Concord grapes from vines that were here when we bought the house nearly 30 years ago. As we are not fans of grape jelly, they sadly tend to rot on the vine. I tasted one and they are quite flavorful, so I might pick some for eating later.

Included are purple New England and Heart-leaved Asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae and S. cordifolium), dark and light pink Cactus Zinnias , white Phlox paniculata and Japanese Bloodgrass (Imperata cylindrica).

I’m linking to our host Cathy’s In a Vase on Monday meme at Rambling in the Garden. Wander over to see what other gardeners are arranging from their garden this week.

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Silent Sunday

Autumn Blueberry

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Wordless Wednesday

autumn leaf

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IAVOM-Equinox

Flower arrangementThe red maples (Acer rubrum) seen above are starting to show their signature colors as the cool temps of the past couple weeks have brought us an early fall, but luckily, no frost. We officially celebrate the Equinox today, ushering in autumn. However, Nature has given us a short reprieve these past three days with highs in the 80sF (upper 20sC). A cool front passes through this evening, so we’ll be back to more autumnal temps tomorrow.

My favorite aster (also seen above lower right), the lavender Heart-leaved aster (Symphotrichum cordifolium) is peaking and I used it as a base for today’s arrangement in my vintage Art Deco vase.

With the garden still producing lots of annuals, I’ve added purple Angelonia (A. angustifolia), Zinnias (Z. elegans), pink and white Spider Flower (Cleome hasslieriana) and perennial pink Phlox (P. paniculata) and a few Christmas fern fronds (Polystichum acrostichoides).

Another simple vase of cherry-red Zinnias begs to be included. I love these colors!

Thanks to our In A Vase on Monday host Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. Click the link to see what other gardeners the world over are arranging this week.

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