Change is in the air…

As we change seasons, Haiku Journey is changing. For a while I’ve maintained, not too regularly during these days of Covid-19, three separate sites. Now I’m paring down and merging the sites into a new single site – look for a name change in the near future.

Regardless of which site you’re familiar with the address will bring you to the main site with all the past content you enjoyed in either Ledyard Walks, Compliancy Write (Garden Odyssey). Going forward haikus, walking, gardening will weave in and out of the fabric of this blog.

I hope you’ll stick with me as we explore this new world…

Not Walking…

Right now we’re not walking as a group. As you can see in the side bar where I list future walks we’ll be waiting for all Covid-19 precautionary measures are lifted before rescheduling Breakfast Walks.

Meanwhile, none of that should stop you from getting out, AND SAFELY, enjoying an outdoors walk.

We’ve done one walk together in the past week and I’ve been out on a short hike recently.

Niantic Boardwalk is a great place to walk. The day we were there we had no problem keeping a very safe distance from other walkers. One, because the boardwalk is now one-way – FROM THE HOLE IN THE WALL TO THE NIANTIC DRAWBRIDGE (that’s opposite to the initial announcement in The Day); and everyone was obeying the one-way requirement (i’m not finding that when grocery shopping). The sun, views, and fresh air lifted our spirits and put smiles on our faces. We had face coverings ready in case we needed them but the safe distancing and one-way traffic didn’t require their use.

Garlic mustard, an invasive, introduced bi-annual from Europe, North-western Africa, Western and central Asia. It is an herb that has been in use dating back to 4,000 BCE.

Yesterday, I took a day to explore some of my favorite trails in Pachaug State Forest. I got there early, walked one loop without seeing anyone. On the next loop there were other hikers behind me for part of the trail but they’d soon branched off. I finished that trail without encountering anyone else. Lots of birds busy in the forest, calling, and flitting around, trout rising and taking flys off the surface, enjoying old favorites and new plants blooming,…

So if you can get out there are things to enjoy and lift your spirits. Please do it safely and respect the safety of others. Distance yourselves from others, have face coverings to wear when passing within a close distance from others.

Be safe, be well!

On, and On, and On…

We go. Not everyday, not unsafely, not always to a trail, park, or other open space. Spaces under blue skies, in the sun, with the breeze blowing softly through the trees. Where birds chirp, woodpeckers hammer trees, the fox trots by, stopping on the woods edge to look back and see your salute to her freedom.

Here in Ledyard, in fact anywhere here in Southeastern Connecticut, there are plenty of places to get out, shake off the cabin fever of waiting for a turning of the virus.

The problem may be the plenty part, as in too many cars at this trail head, too many others already in the park, too many…

But, there are still plenty of open spaces. I walk, now, most often on a few streets near my home. Streets that are safe, there aren’t very many of those in Ledyard because of the traffic even in this time of reduced commuting, and aren’t congested with others walking them.

I only know of one road in Ledyard that has this sign posted but many roads that need it posted and enforced along with enforcement of the speed limit.

I’ve changed the time of day that I’m walking, yes, even those walks near home, to not be out when others without the freedom to pick very early or very late times to get out might want to walk. And, this may be the appropriate time to mention that since we’re not exercising social distancing, or wearing face masks, in the house my wife and I walk together many times – with masks or similar barriers and social distancing ready to use if we meet others on narrow pathways.

Here are some Ledyard suggestions for walks: Colonel Ledyard Park Trail, Nathan Lester Park, Poquetanuck Cove Preserve, Pike-Marshall Preserve, Burton Property, Avery Preserve, and 5 others. Go to the Ledyard Parks and Recreation website for a printable booklet of these hikes.

Crossing brooks in well planned and properly maintained parks, preserves, and on trails is easy

Going further afield there is the Connecticut College Arboretum, Denison Pequot Nature Center and Coogan Farm, Barn Island, Stenger Farm Park, Sprague Land Preserve, Valley Falls Park, and 27 trails in North Stonington. All have additional information and maps available online. Moving even further out are Kettle Pond, Ninigret, and Thurston Pond in Rhode Island.

Wide trails not only provide space for multiples ways of enjoying an outing whether you prefer walking, biking, or horseback. In this time of social-distancing they also provide comfortable space from others.

When you plan one of these outings you should have several nearby alternatives in the event your first choice appears overcrowded. The more vehicles at a trailhead can be a good indicator of trail usage. This is especially true for trails you’re walking for the first time.

I’ll be back next week with more tips and trail suggestions…

Until then; Be Safe, Be Well, Distance, Mask!!

And April is held in abeyance…

I certainly didn’t think two months ago that we’d be where we are today. I hope all are keeping their distance, avoiding groups. As painful as it is when we socially distance ourself from family, friends, and others we may feel guilty about protecting ourselves.

But one thing seems very apparent. This virus moves in ways we can’t predict. It infects some and shows no symptoms. It can treat a perfectly healthy 20 year old as though they were the elderly or immune impaired. So when we distance ourselves even from close family we are protecting them just as much as we might be protecting ourselves.

In that vulnerable age group I show no symptoms, I feel healthy, but… I could be that asytomatic exception. We’ll in Zoom, Facebook, Face Time, however, and pray that we’re all well and stay that way.

Here’s a short prayer that Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry recently shared that might give you comfort:

“Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep. And give your angels charge over those who sleep.

Tend the sick, Lord Christ, give rest to the weary. Bless the dying. Soothe the suffering. Pity the afflicted. Shield the joyous. And all for your love’s sake Amen

Saturday’s a go…

I walked the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve today in preparation for this month’s Pancake Breakfast Walk. The weather report is changing its mind about a storm, maybe some rain Friday night, but walkable on Saturday. Check the sidebar if you’re interested in hitting the Pancake Breakfast for details.

There’s plenty of parking at the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve so if you want to just meet there, here are the directions. Take the Gold Star Highway, Route 184 to route 201, turn North. If coming from Groton, that’s a left, from the 184 rotary it’s a right. The preserve is 1.4 miles from route 184.

If you haven’t hiked with me before please read the side bars and the About page for safety information and the hike guidelines. You also should read the Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability requirement.

Whether weather…

…will impact our Evergreen Preserve walk on March 7th. Here we are a week away from another Pancake Breakfast Walk and wondering, what the weather will mean for Saturday morning? Friday is forecast, right now, to be in the mid to upper 40ºs, dropping to freezing overnight and Saturday only rising to the upper 30ºs. There’s also the possibility of rain, turning into snow showers overnight and into Saturday morning.

Whose home?

In addition to weather considerations we also need to plan for a longer drive from breakfast to the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve on Route 201. In order to start the walk at 9:30 we’ll need to leave Ledyard Congregational Church at 9:00. There is ample roadside parking at the Preserve so car pooling is not necessary although I’ll be happy to provide a ride to and from.

For those of you who want to just meet at the Preserve for the walk, and for those who’d like to know a little bit about the trails, here’s a link to All Trails Hoffman Evergreen Preserve information. Or enter this: https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/connecticut/hoffman-evergreen-preserve into your browser.

I’ll be walking the trail earlier in the week, checking the weather as we get closer, and posting an update Thursday afternoon or evening.

Otherwise, I’m looking forward to seeing on the trail…