IMG_2526I’ve been inspired by A Forest Garden post to join the Walktober challenge at Breezes at Dawn. Every October Robin sets forth the challenge for folks to post a walk they have taken, then she links them all together for a cross-blog stroll. What a fun idea!

Today my spouse and I went to for a walk at Bullitt Reservation, a property managed by The Trustees of Reservations. From their website:

Once a poor farm, and then later part of the country retreat of first U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union William C. Bullitt and his daughter Ann, this eye-pleasing blend of fields and farm buildings, mixed woodlands, and streams forms a crucial link in almost 3,000 acres of protected land.

IMG_2477Less than a mile long, the trail starts at the farm near a beaver pond, crosses a field and enters a sloping woodland forest. For the first half of the trail, we walk past many old-growth sugar maples with girths four to five feet in diameter that tower overhead. Big grandmother trees! I had to take two photos to show the whole tree. My husband provides scale to give you an idea of how big this one is. I love old maples and this wood has many fine ones.


IMG_2492Sadly, a few of these trees have begun to die, some due to rot and old age, others to wind or ice storms. Pieces of broken trunks and rotting limbs can be seen throughout the first quarter mile. Covered with mushrooms, lichen and moss, nothing ever truly dies in the forest. It just changes form and becomes something else.



We passed a hemlock tree stump riddled with holes probably made by pileated woodpeckers that love the soft wood, making gathering insects within an easier job.

Near the top of the trail there is a large glacial erratic boulder that was deposited by the last receding glacier 10-15,ooo years ago. It is referred to as ‘The Pebble.’ In the photo, my husband humorously pretends to be Atlas holding up the earth. That gave me a good idea for a Halloween costume. You could get one of those inflatable globes and somehow attach it to your shoulders. Or perhaps creative types could fashion a globe out of a balloon covered with papier mache and painted to look like the earth. If you try it, send me a photo!

IMG_2503Once past The Pebble, the trail wends its way back down hill. There were golden-leaved beech trees as well as russet oak trees in peak color. Pine and hemlock added a deep green. As we came out of the forest, the hillside across the valley became visible.


Out in the field the vista opens up and you can see for miles across the valley to the hills beyond. I am not great at judging distances, but I would guess you could see at least ten miles. If there are any geographers out there, correct me if I am mistaken!

The Trustees are great trail blazers and thoughtfully put a bench at the top of the field so we could rest and enjoy the view. I took a photo this summer from this same spot and posted it, so you can look back and compare the views. Maybe I’ll snowshoe out here this winter and again in the spring, so you’ll see all four seasons. The change in three months is quite amazing!IMG_2522

Although this photo doesn’t show early autumn’s glorious peak of maple trees and white birch, it does show the rusty red, ochre and mustard of oak, beech and poplar. The clouds were pretty dramatic, carried along on a brisk wind, creating spots of sunlight racing across the hills. It was too cold to tarry long, so we made our way down across a large hayfield, through a few trees to complete the loop back to where we started.

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This is becoming one of my favorite walks due to its ease of hiking, not too long and with beauty everywhere I look. What is not to love?


The farmhouse and barn reflected in the beaver pond.


About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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43 Responses to Walktober

  1. mk says:

    You should have a “dude ranch” for city slickers like me. A knowledgeable naturalist leads the guest through woodlands… she spots local birds and other critters that she knows the name of… no police or traffic helicopters. Wow, what a glorious place to visit!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Funnily enough, I have thought of that. Friends often make the same comment. It is fun to share what I have learned. It is easy doing the things you love to do.

      • mk says:

        When I go on vacation, I always check RoadScholar.org to see if there’s a guided tour to a destination that I have in mind. I just now checked their Massachusetts trips,
        and I don’t see anything like the beauty and expertise that I see in your posts, Eliza. I actually did do a weekend RoadScholar event here in Los Angeles – it was a forensics expedition. I got to do fingerprinting, and here the Sheriff talk about how crime scenes are inventoried. It was fun & fascinating. The grand finale was a bus trip through the big crime spots of L.A. including lunch at the same restaurant where Robert Blake took his wife on the day he “didn’t” murder her.

        Anyway, if there were a nature & photography event in the woods of Massachusetts, I’d be all over it!

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Well, as I have said before, if you come, consider me your personal guide. 😉 I know lots of awesome photo opps!

  2. Wow! What a gorgeous walk! I love “The Pebble.” Your husband does a great job of holding it up, providing scale, and making me smile. So glad you included him. Your last photo of the pond and its reflected landscape is my favorite, Eliza. What a wonderful post! Thank you for the link, Best wishes, WG

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, E. I am glad you prompted me to join in. It got me ‘out and about’ – 🙂

      • Any reason is a good one 😉 Just how cold is it??? Nearly 80 here today…. Looks like you are on the cusp of winter already from your photos! WG

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Today was a balmy 65, but snow showers are predicted for the weekend. I am NOT ready for that.
        Nov. is long, gray and brown. The ground freezes in early Dec. and the snow stays after that, unless the wind comes from the south to melt it all. I miss summer already. 😦

      • Snow for you, and 30s for us this weekend. Too sudden. Yes, November is long, gray, and brown; wet and cold. And then the sun peaks out again 😉 Hope you’re beginning to feel better. Hugs, WG

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Each day it gets a bit better. I am slowly adjusting, but it feels like a long road. Thanks for thinking of me. Hugs back. 🙂

      • Thank you, Eliza. We both need them at the moment. Yes, a long and winding road- but we never walk it alone. Keep summer in your heart 😉 WG

  3. Jewels says:

    Just lovely…

  4. livblumer says:

    Maybe it’s the angle but those humongous maples look like the redwoods of the northeast!.

  5. Rebecca says:

    What a wonderful idea, Eliza. I hope you get to enjoy more walks like this. The photos are beautiful as always. Take care 🙂

  6. ladyfi says:

    What lovely peaceful beauty!

  7. Robin says:

    Thank you so much for joining the Walktober event, Eliza! That’s some pebble! lol! The maple trees are amazing. I saw some grandmother maples when I vacationed and hiked in Nova Scotia a few years ago, but I don’t think they were nearly as impressive as the trees you photographed. I miss the sugar maples we had in northeast Ohio (where we moved from). We don’t have as many maples in general here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland (where we live now). I was happy to spend a little time with your grandmother trees. 🙂 That view is amazing, and the reflections in the pond are stunning.

  8. Pingback: Wonderful Walktober Walks | breezes at dawn

  9. Dawn says:

    What a beautiful place! (I’m here from Robin’s blog) I’d love to explore there. The views are wonderful! Thanks for taking us along. Now I have another place to visit on my ‘want to go there’ list!

  10. aFrankAngle says:

    An outstanding walk … and given the hills, western Mass?

  11. dorannrule says:

    What a splendid place for a walk and your photos are lovely.

  12. dogear6 says:

    I can see why you like walking there – how very nice! It looked a bit cold the day you went, although that’s far better than the very hot and humid that we get here. Thanks also for the link to the Bullitt Reservation. I’d not heard of it before, but wow – what a great place!


    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Nancy. I’m glad you enjoyed the tour. Bullitt is a fairly new acquisition of the TOR, it is a special place to be sure. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  13. Okay, this was a great idea. I loved watching the tour “unfold” and I thought the pics with your husband were a great addition! I like how there were so many different things to see on such a short hike.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      And there were so many pics I had to leave out so it wouldn’t be overly long to download for most folks computers. Ferns and mossy rocks, wildflowers, colorful leaves – all for another post, I guess. Thanks for coming along with me. 🙂

  14. Robbie says:

    oh my….sooooo pretty!!!! I think it is even beautiful looking out to the rolling scenery:-) I did not miss all the trees changing-but I am sure they were beautiful. You are blessed to live in paradise not only on your seven acres but nearby! I loved the first pick with the birch(?). It drew me in + I agree( with comment above) your story with the pictures made me feel as if, I was walking along…you captivated the mood! You are a gifted photographer + story teller…:-)

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Robbie, you are so kind! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. It was a dark day, so the slower speed made for grainier photos, but I did my best! 🙂

  15. Heather says:

    It’s obvious why this is a favorite hike. Some of my favorites are short and sweet, too. Those old maples are so cool. I love sharing this earth with living things that are far older than we are!

  16. That’s some spectacular country, Eliza. I loved the comparison shot from the summer.

    Awesome. 🙂

  17. Dymoon says:

    beautiful…. thank YOU what colour to take to dreamland with me

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