Walktober 2020 – Julian’s Bower

DSC_0007I’m joining Robin at Breezes at Dawn for her annual Walktober post. I was surprised to note this is my 8th Walktober! Wow, time flies!

Anyone is welcome to join in, just write your post and leave a comment or pingback to the above link. From her site, she writes, “…you do not have to walk. Most of us do, but there might be some reason you are unable to walk. Or you might prefer a drive or a bicycle ride. Maybe you want to cruise along on your longboard or paddle out on a kayak. Whatever your means of locomotion and/or transportation, you are welcome to join in. The dates for participation are October 3-18th. If you need more time, let me know.”

DSC_0031This year, I chose to visit Julian’s Bower in Shutesbury, MA. Julian Janowitz, who died just a year ago (June 5, 1929 – Oct, 22, 2019), bought the property in 1976, built a Japanese-influenced house next to the pond, and over the next 40 years created trails, boardwalks and numerous indoor and outdoor sculptures that grace the landscape. In addition to the link above, here is another newspaper article, both were written when he was still alive and had recently designated the property to be preserved through Kestral Land Trust.

It was a beautiful autumn day in the 60s(F) (18C), with a few puffy clouds drifting overhead. If I’d not been shown where this gem was by my son and his partner, I’d probably have not found it. What a hidden delight it turned out to be. Over a hundred acres of pond, bog, woods and nature trails which culminate at the top of a boulder strewn, forested hillside with a view extending 65 miles west to the Berkshire Mountains.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As the trail winds through the woods at the edge of the pond and bog, occasionally you come upon a laminated poem written by Julian, attached to a tree or stake. Here are a few:


“These twenty-five years Strolling past this dwindling trunk, I, too, wear away. My bark, too, Wrinkles and sheds. Liver spots Spread on my branches. Moss and shelf fungus Overhang my ears. Large holes appear year by year (who knows what lives in my crevices). We go, tree and I, Aware and feeling loss. Does it make a difference Who goes first?”


“A squirrel has been here, out of the skitter, sitting on so buxom a green pillow, melted enticingly out of the snow crusts. A place to unfocus the eyes lean back against the leaves nosh a plump acorn.”


“Twenty-five years now Sharing this time and place With this rock. We see the seasons through together (if rocks could see) My mind sees all that the rock has ever seen (if rocks could see) A tumble down the mountain To its position of repose In a bed of scree and sand. The patient wait now for the next glacier (a long wait for me)”

The trail comes to a glacial cobble just beyond this boulder, where remarkably, Julian created steps out of massive stones to ascend the hillside where a sweeping view of the pond and out to the foothills awaits the climber. If you look closely, you can see the circular, white glass sculpture at the far edge of the pond.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below are some of the illuminated glass sculptures, which surround the house (now privately owned, separate from the trust land). Visitors are asked to be respectful when viewing the artworks. It must be wonderful to see them at night all lit up.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A wide diversity of plants and animals make their home here. I saw frogs, salamanders, ravens, hawks, geese and a beaver dam. Moose are frequently seen here as well. Remarkably, I noted few invasive plant species, which plague so much of the land around us these days.

Thanks for joining me for this year’s Walktober. I encourage you to click Robin’s link above to see other bloggers’ Walktober posts and add your own if you are so inclined.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
This entry was posted in Country Living, Field Notes, My Photos and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

104 Responses to Walktober 2020 – Julian’s Bower

  1. I love the poetry, and the trail, trees and moss. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Irene says:

    What a glorious place for a walk. 😊

  3. Wow, thanks for taking me on your excursion! What a special and refreshing place.

  4. Karen Lang says:

    Such a beautiful idea 💚🌈

  5. dawnbirdau says:

    Thank you for sharing this precious piece of land and legacy left behind by someone with a vision. I walked with you.

  6. What a fabulous place! I love the combination of nature and sculpture. Somehow the contrast is so arresting. That huge rock is mighty impressive, too. Thanks for taking us along on this beautiful hike.

  7. Vicki says:

    What a beautiful poem written by Julian. So full of meaning and sense of alignment with the refrains of nature.

    So glad to share this walk with you.

  8. This was such an enjoyable read, it was the perfect match for my morning coffee this cold Wednesday morning ❤ Thank you!

  9. krispeterson100 says:

    How wonderful that scenery is and how lucky you are to have it nearby. I enjoyed the poetry too. I long for 60 degree day-time temperatures and may just take a long walk myself if/when we get a few days like that.

  10. I visited here once but time was short and the Meadow Beauty was in flower so I got lost in those, maybe a few hundred of them, and missed all the else that you have shared. You’ve encouraged me to return, Eliza. 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      It is a remarkable place. I can imagine April/May would offer lots of wildflowers, I saw some bunchberry, and there are probably orchis and violets, too. June would be drifts of laurel, as his poem alludes. Sadly, only cross-country skiing is allowed in winter to keep the trails intact, so I won’t see it then.

  11. Lovely photographs of a splendid walk

  12. Robin says:

    I love, love, love this, Eliza. The poetry, the beautiful images, and just thinking about the time, care, and love put into the area by Mr. Janowitz. Thank you so much for taking us on this walk. ❤

  13. Beautiful landscape, art, and words to reflect on – all good things to share. Thank you.

  14. Treah Pichette says:

    What a treasure! Quite a beautiful place. And so nice to see everyone, even at a distance!

  15. Very nice series of images Eliza! Enjoyed seeing them!

  16. maryjane678 says:

    Hi Eliza. Love the poetry!

  17. A very enjoyable walk through the northern woods. It brings back lots of memories.

  18. Alice says:

    What an amazing area that is! Loved your photos, read the article & another one as well, with some different photos. The rocking chair is incredible! What a beautiful piece of land and how it got to be. Julian was an incredibly talented man. The biodiversity, the 1000′ boardwalk, the sculptures. I hope his two children adjust to his wishes.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Alice. I think he chose the best route for the greatest good, ensuring that this place be preserved in perpetuity. A marvelous legacy.
      His kids wasted no time selling the property, so I guess they have.

  19. Wow, this is certainly a beautiful place. Thanks for the virtual tours…the only thing we seem to be able to do these days… (Suzanne)

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Suzanne. I know, seems that way. At least we have local places that are pretty to enjoy. I can’t imagine living in an urban setting and not allowed outside!

      • We live in a large city and we are allowed outside either walking on the streets or in the various urban parks. We were allowed to go out of Montreal for a while but recently they have restricted our movements outside the city. At least Montreal has some beautiful parks where you feel you are in nature a little bit…

  20. Debbie says:

    What a pretty place for a walk — and what a great way to preserve one’s poetry for posterity! Thank you for letting me tag along.

  21. wspines says:

    I love it where is Breezes. I am looking for walks which I can do.

  22. Tranature - quiet moments in nature says:

    What a glorious landscape Eliza, thank you for letting us walk along with you here! xxx

  23. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    A little bit of heaven.

  24. Oh, Eliza!! What a glorious post!! I’ve been here a long time just soaking up not only your pictures but your words. These especially hit home:
    “These twenty-five years Strolling past this dwindling trunk, I, too, wear away. My bark, too, Wrinkles and sheds. Liver spots Spread on my branches. Moss and shelf fungus Overhang my ears. Large holes appear year by year (who knows what lives in my crevices). We go, tree and I, Aware and feeling loss. Does it make a difference Who goes first?”
    No, it matters not who goes first for we all are connected somehow and all that we love on this side of the veil we will be with on the other side of the veil as well.
    Just loved this post!! Thank you so much for putting so much effort into it.

  25. A stunning place to do your Walktober this year! I enjoyed tagging along, Eliza!

  26. I forwarded your post to my sister, who has a home in the Berkshires and whose husband is a psychiatrist. I see why you chose to do your Walktober strolling there.

  27. It looks like a very special place, Eliza. Love those autumn hues!

  28. Thank you for sharing this beautiful walk and place! Wonderful photos to capture the amazing landscape and I loved his poems!!

  29. Gorgeous! and glass sculptures! and fall colors and huge rocks. Rocktober. Loved joining you on your walk.

  30. Enjoyed the walk and your terrific photos.
    A fine legacy.

  31. aFrankAngle says:

    Eliza – There’s something special about Walktober, and you captured it. The colors and your tone are in sync with the season. Well done … Love the dancers sculpture!

  32. Cathy says:

    What a beautiful place Eliza. So natural and serene, and extra special with autumn colour too. Ah, my favourite season!

  33. Wonderful pictures of a beautiful place. Wish I’d been walking there too! Walktober is a great idea.

  34. Very great series of images, Eliza. Thank you for sharing!!

  35. Jet Eliot says:

    This was a fantastic stroll for Walktober, Eliza, thanks so much. Julian Janowitz, what a remarkable and talented man. I so enjoyed this park and his poetry and all the wild living that he encouraged.

  36. Adele Brand says:

    What a lovely place! A haven for wildlife as well as artistic thoughts.

  37. What a beautiful, quintessential autumn walk! And what a remarkable man Julian Janowitz was. Thank you for introducing me to his land and his poetry. The one about the dwindling trunk brought a tear to my eye. That’s a very impressive glacial erratic there! Loving your photos and finding myself missing the woodsy autumns of inland New England. Thanks for sharing this wonderful walk and magical place.

  38. Kathy says:

    A hidden delight indeed! Love your big beautiful pictures. The bigger the pictures in WordPress, the better for me. Then I slow down and look at all the majestic pictures. For some reason don’t pause and admire as much with smaller photos. Glad you found this gorgeous land and that you memorialized it here during your Walktober sharing.

  39. Rupali says:

    Wow! a wonderful walk with excellent images.

  40. This looks like an enchanting place to walk Eliza, thanks for sharing it.

  41. katchat17 says:

    Beautiful walk, great pictures (the rest of your site is amazing too) and thank you for sharing Julian’s poetry – what an inspiring place to visit!

  42. Natalie says:

    Thank you, Eliza, for sharing your Walktober and let me see such a beautiful place through your lens.

  43. Debbie says:

    Eight Walktobers already?!? Eliza, you’re a rock star!! Thanks so much for taking me along — I so enjoyed it! Great photos!

  44. arlingwoman says:

    Oh, Eliza, this place is astonishing. And your pictures are beautiful. I have been thinking I needed to get to Western Mass. at some point, and you keep giving me more reasons. Have you been to Innisfree? It’s in New York, not a bad drive from Hyde Park or Rhinebeck, off the Taconic Parkway. This place reminds me of it very much. Thanks for taking us along!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Lisa! It was a magical spot.
      I’ve not been to Innisfree, but the video looks wonderful. Maybe post-pandemic I’ll get out that way. Something to look forward to!

  45. dawnkinster says:

    What a lovely place, and a beautiful post. Thank you for taking us along with you.

  46. What a beautiful place for an October walk! Great observations and cool sculptures too!

  47. Samuel Clay says:

    Eliza, you picked a perfect month to visit. My wife Brittany and I are the owners of the home and we’ve been busy relighting all of Julian’s art as well as beginning the long process of maintaining the trails near the house. I invite you to come back near dusk to see the art lit up while it’s still bright enough to walk around. We keep the lights lit from 3pm to 10pm nightly. And next time you come by, stop by the house and let us know! We’d love to chat about the land and the art.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you for reaching out, Sam. I think we met when we walked through that day. You were working on the white circular structure and told us you were getting married the following week. You had beautiful weather as I recall… bet that was memorable!
      My son lives near Wyola, so I told him about your night lighting and he’s looking forward to seeing them. I hope we can meet again, thanks much!

  48. Sam says:

    I live around here and you didn’t see evrything. There’s also a pair of doors with a bell that has an interesting history and is super cool. It also has a path leading to the peek of the mountain. The big crest you have a photo of lights up at night too. Many more to this place. Glad you found some of them though.

Comments are closed.