October 14, 2018 – Bradley Palmer State Park – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, Massachusetts. This was Shadow, and my second visit to Bradley Palmer State Park as we had been to the Park with Buster in February of 2016. Bradley Palmer State Park is a 736 acre Park on the Ipswich River. It is a former estate of noted attorney Bradley Palmer. Bradley Palmer State Park is popular for hiking, horseback riding, bicycles, canoeing, skiing, and the Willowdale Estate.

We had a wonderful Fall hike at Bradley Palmer State Park on another gorgeous Fall day. I did not remember that we had been there before, but as soon as we drove into the Park, I immediately had memories of my visit with Shadow and Buster. We started our Adventure heading over to the former estate of Bradley Palmer, a pristine building often utilized for private events. I snapped some photographs and then headed over to the nearby boardwalk trail. The boardwalk was covered with colorful Fall leaves, surrounded by the River and varying display of Fall foliage. As you may have observed, boardwalks are one of the many features I find myself drawn to, and this was no exception. I even took a little video, which you can view below.

After leaving the boardwalk we headed over to the River to check out the water’s edge. The River was simple, but the reflection vivid. We spent some time near the water before heading back to the trail. These areas gave me flashbacks of my previous visit with Shadow and Buster, as we too spent some time at this area. Back on the trail we noted that it wove through the Forest, and along the River, however we chose a path off to the right and up to a sunny trail. Shadow and Wilma appeared enthused by the sun, both enjoying some rolls in the the field, before we turned around to head back to the trail. There were no labels on the trails so we did not venture far, but returned to the boardwalk to again delight in this picturesque spot.

Next we decided to try another location of trails. On the way to this trail we encountered some small, attractive horses getting prepped from their day out on the trail. I definitely would not describe myself as a “horse person”, but was quite drawn to their majestic frame and distinct colors. After stopping for a bit we continued to the trail. This particular trail was between two areas of shallow water, and appropriate for bicycles as well as hikers and other visitors. Another gorgeous Fall scene with leaves scattered along the path. There were ducks in the water, lily pads, and lovely Fall colors. We hiked for a bit before turning around. Although I had a complex map in hand, I did not see any labels on the trails. However, it did not bother us as we chose to visit different areas for shorter spells, versus a long official hike.

It warmed my heart that all three pups were able to visit this stop on our Adventures, even if it could not be commonly. A lovely Fall day at Bradley Palmer State Park (Rating: 4).

February 2016

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October 13, 2018 – Bicentennial Giant Chair – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma an I Adventured to the Bicentennial Giant Chair in Gardner, Massachusetts. This current Giant Chair was built in 1976, approximately twenty feet in height. It is located in the small town of Gardner, self proclaimed as the “Chair City of the World”. Gardner is known for its manufacturing history, therefore embracing this well known landmark.

We had a short, and entertaining visit to the Bicentennial Giant Chair. We parked nearby and headed over to to the chair for some photographs. Shadow and Wilma appeared to be looking for the highlight of this Adventure, but eventually took a good sniff of the chair. Too high for climbing or posing on the chair, I snapped some photographs from the distance. It was a fun little stop on this beautiful Fall Day (Rating: 3).

October 13, 2018 -Erving State Forest – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, My Uncle, and I Adventured to Erving State Forest in Erving, Massachusetts. Erving State Forest is a Forest located along Laurel Lake, a 51 acre body of water. The Park is popular for swimming, fishing, hiking, and camping.

We had a lovely Fall Adventure to Erving State Forest. We were so happy that the rainy day had cleared so that we could meet my Uncle for a hike. We began our afternoon heading down to Laurel Lake to check out the scenery. There were still a couple sprinkles in the sky, but we did not let that stop us. The Lake had a beach area with a concession stand, and a modern boardwalk down to the shore. We explored the area noting the nice set-up for summer beach outing. Shadow enjoyed a roll in the sand, while Wilma had fun with some chaotic digging. Some wonderful beach energy to start our afternoon.

From the beach we headed over to a bright colored bridge to view the Lake. The sun rays went in and out of the clouds shining down on a lovely Fall scene. From there we headed on our hike, up a slope, the road plastered with gorgeous colored leaves. We caught up with great conversation, stopping to check out different highlights along the path. It was a cool day yet our steady walk created the perfect temperature.

I find the best time for a hike is a beautiful New England October day! The smell of leaves, the spectacular colors, and a temperature are all just right! We had a lovely hike at Erving State Forest (Rating: 4, Company – Just perfect!)

October 9, 2018 – Drew Farms – Massachusetts

Tonight Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to Drew Farms in Westford, Massachusetts. Drew Farm is a family owned and operated business that specializes in apple picking, and family activities. They have a small farm stand, mostly made up of pumpkins, apple bags, and mums. Apple cider and cider donuts are available on weekends.

We had a delicious Adventure to Drew Farms. It always makes me smile when I find a dog-friendly activity, that is not always known to be dog-friendly. It was exciting to finally go apple picking, a MUST in the New England Fall. I bought my bag for apples and we began up the hill to the apple orchards. We picked some apples and headed around, finding a little pumpkin patch, and straw-seat area for some scenic Fall photographs. Sauntering up and down the rows of apples we searched for the perfect pick, colorful apples covering the ground. There were some benches under a beautiful Fall tree, some colorful flower buds, and many apples to choose from. I think this was the first time Shadow and Wilma had been on an apple picking Adventure, creating quite the special memory on this evening. Looking forward to soon cooking some apple filled treats (Rating: 4).

October 8, 2018 – The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, in the area of Boston, Massachusetts. The Arnold Arboretum was established in 1872, and encompasses 281 acres of land. The Arboretum maintains a record system of which all plants on the ground are tracked, while research is ongoing. The Arboretum is free and open to the public, offering outreach enrichment to people of all ages.

We had a splendid Adventure to the Arnold Arboretum. So fun to find a local Arboretum that both allows and welcomes dogs. We spent about three hours exploring the trails, paths, and roads throughout the park. The gates were closed to cars, which was a huge plus. We begin our journey heading toward the Fog x Hill, containing a “fog sculpture” made up of pure water vapor. Little did I know at the time that this was a man made feature, so quite magical at fog appeared to have taken over the trail. I tried to capture this on film, but we arrived close to the location when the fog was almost dispersed. Still a fun and unique “show” that captivated our attention.

Next we headed toward the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden, walking along a trail through the woods, along a scenic wooden fence. On arrival to this Garden the area opened up and we headed toward the Garden. Our ear was drawn to peaceful Asian music and the dance of two performing their cultural art. The music was relaxing, calm, and appealing to the ear. We watched the couple perform for a bit, snapped a quick video and headed on through the scenic garden. Most of the flowers were past their bloom, but I was able to catch a couple beautiful buds on film.

After leaving the Shrub and Vine Garden we traversed various trails and areas throughout the park, including: the beautiful Conifer trail, The Bradley Rosaceous Collection, the ponds, and many additional pathways. Although it was definitely off season for this beautiful park, there were still gorgeous scenery throughout. Most of the time you could not even tell you were in the city, instead feeling one with nature. We definitely will have to come back to the Arnold Arboretum in the high season seasons of bloom. So glad we were able to enjoy the Arnold Arboretum today (Rating: 4).

October 7, 2018 – DeCordova Sculpture Park – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma and I Adventured to the DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts. This was the second time Shadow and I had visited as we had been there with Buster, My Brother, and niece in February of 2016. The DeCordova Sculpture Park encompasses nearly 30 acres including: landscaped lawn, gardens, and forests. It is on the edge of Flint’s Pond, and contains up to 60 sculptures at a time. The collection includes art by significant twentieth and twenty-first-century artists. DeCordova also has an indoor museum, gift shop, and cafe.

We had an artsy Adventure to the DeCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Massachusetts. On our first Adventure there is was a very cold day, while today, it was an unusually hot Fall day. We were excited to spend another day exploring. We began our time at the Decordova Sculpture Park at a trail along the Lake, the beautiful Fall leaves adorning the trail. We hiked for a bit to get some steady exercise, before turning around and heading to the check out the Sculptures. We were provided a sculpture map on admission, but decided to be spontaneous and wander with our senses. The Sculptures varied from tall, to short, from large to small, mixed with different material and colors. We sometimes could visually see the theme, while others sculptures were quite abstract. We looped around the museum, and through the beautiful gardens. It was fun to walk around the large property and search for the Sculptures.

There were benches throughout the property to sit, and relax. We lounged at one location to sip some water, and a rest from the heat. We then continued wandering around stopping to take photographs of many of the sculptures that crossed our path. Such an appealing park full of art, and culture. So glad we could visit this magnificent park, a special treasure in our New England (Rating: 4).

Today: October 7, 2018

February 2016 (I may add some additional photographs at a future date)

September 13, 2018 -White Farms Homemade Ice Cream – Massachusetts

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to White Farms Homemade Ice Cream in Gloucester, Massachusetts. White Farms Homemade Ice Cream just recently opened in April of 2018.

We had a delicious Adventure to the White Farms Homemade Ice Cream stand. I was hardly up the steps to the window when the employee asked if the dogs could have some ice cream. Of course I agreed, and Shadow and Wilma quickly gobbled up their ice cream as we both watched the adorable licks.

The menu was unique with flavors grouped by colors. I was anticipating ice cream, but decided to order an orange sherbert shake, as there were no seating opportunities for guests. The perfect to-go treat that I savored on our drive home, just delicious (Rating: dog ice cream: 4, Shake: 4, Location: 3).