May 18, 2019 – Long Hill – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, my Mom and I Adventured to Long Hill and Sedgwick Gardens in Beverly, Massachusetts.  This property is a 114 acres in size, the former estate of Ellery and Mabel Sedgwick.  It is currently owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservation.  The property includes:  gardens, the brick estate, trails, an orchard, a child’s garden, the “Food Project”, and a library specializing in horticulture.  Tours are available in certain seasons.

We had a fragrant Adventure to Long Hill on a gorgeous, sunny spring day.  It was exciting to find yet another dog friendly garden, what has become the theme of our recent journeys.  Upon arrival we located printed property maps and started on the nearby path.  Almost immediately we were greeted by a beautiful tulip garden, although a bit past peak, lovely in is own way.  We walked around leisurely finding many colorful blooms, and a bright red tower feature, highlighting the Japanese gardens.  There were footways in different directions leading to unique landscape features and just about every color that you could imagine, from yellow, to pink, to blue, to purple, to white.  We soon arrived at the brick estate, as expected surrounded by flowers, trees, and lovely landscaping.  It was almost a magical experience as if we had been transferred into another culture.

We found a perfect, shady seating area next to the estate to relax and enjoy the gardens.  We conversed for a bit before Wilma and I decided to take a hike on some of the trails, while Shadow rested in the shade with my Mom.  Shadow and Wilma were not too pleased to be separated, but we felt this was a good for both of them, as Shadow appeared a bit warm in the heat, and Wilma quite energy-filled.  So we carried on with the plan knowing it was best for both.  The trails were simple, and overall well-marked.  There were maps along the way and signs marking various trails.  Somehow we became a bit lost when missing an expected turn but soon found ourselves back on a familiar trail.  As planned our walk was fast paced and energetic.  We soon returned with Shadow and Wilma quite thrilled to be reunited with one another.  Sweet kisses for all!

After our walk we savored a picnic as we smelled the aromatic flowers and gazed the beautiful property, watching visitors passing through.  My Mom rocked her sun-hat fitting right in to the lovely scenery.  While Shadow particularly enjoyed a cool dirt corner, Wilma chased after some bubbles floating by.  It was therapeutic, peaceful, and quite tranquil.  From there we ventured to our last stop, an area scattered with flowering fruit trees.  We sauntered through the gorgeous trees, many of them exceptionally fragrant.  Shadow, Wilma, and I sat under the trees as my Mom snapped some photographs.  It was hard to leave not wanting the spectacular Adventure to end.  However, we eventually headed out, another memorable Adventure.

So as you may guess this is yet another property I discovered through the Trustees of Reservations.  We loved our Adventure to Long Hill and will expect be back (Rating:  Gardens – 4, Trails – 3).

PS – A rolling video just for you Liz!

 

 

 

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May 13, 2019 – Farandnear Reservation – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Farandnear Reservation in Shirley, Massachusetts.  The Farandnear was the former estate of Arthur Banks who was a well known professor and political scientist.  It includes 2.7 miles of trails, and an Arboreteum.  The Park is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a bird-singing Adventure to Farandear Reservation on a very cool spring day.  I was excited to explore a new local spot.  Upon arrival, and throughout our visit I could not have been more impressed.  We began in the Arboretum, however, decided to explore the trails first before finishing up with the flowers.  There were maps available, and the trails were clearly marked, even full photo maps along the trails.  We were greeted by the proud landscaper/property manager who gave us some fun tidbits about the reservation, and was very friendly.  The property was absolutely perfect from start to finish!  There was a singing ravine, adorable boardwalk bridges, meadows, paths through the reservoir, and bogs.  It was another spectacular Trustees of Reservation property, where around every corner a new landscape appeared.  We enjoyed the lovely wildflowers, and lots of green framing the trails.  We even saw beaver dams, a heron flying by, and of course soaked in the continual songs of birds.  There was not a sole around and the reservation was so peaceful, and therapeutic, awing at all of nature’s creation.

After exploring the trails for some time we headed over to the Arboretum.  There were bright color flowers, fun trees, lots of tulips, benches to relax, and landscape features along the way.  There was even a spot for learning, and inspiring those little minds you may have in tow.  We sat in the Arboretum and relaxed savoring the smells, sights, and fresh air.  We did not want to leave but our Adventure eventually came to our end.

If you may be wondering, I located The Farandnear through the Trustees of Reservations.  I would encourage you to check out the Trustees of Reservations, as you can search for properties in your area.  Many of the land, trails, and properties are absolutely lovely, and the Trustees of Reservations does wonderful work to preserve the land and history throughout Massachusetts.  I was quite fond of The Farandnear Reservation and will definitely be back (Rating:  4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 6, 2019 – Stevens-Coolidge Place – Massachusetts

Tonight Shadow, Wilma, My Mom, and I Adventured to the Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover, Massachusetts.  The Stevens-Coolidge Place is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.  It is a garden and a historic home that includes a museum.  The past residents included the Stevens family, one of the founder families of North Andover.

We had a floral Adventure to the Stevens-Coolidge Place in North Andover, Massachusetts.  I was excited to start Mother’s Day week spending time with my amazing Mother.  She has joined us on many of our Adventures, and we were excited to explore a garden location on a lovely spring evening.  I had been curious about the Stevens-Coolidge Place for some time, having seen that it was a dog-friendly garden area and also not far from home.  I had read that they had a recent tulip event, so was hopeful for lots of beautiful color and blooms.  I think my expectations were a bit high as I thought there would be numerous flowers all over the property.  However, there were only small amounts of blooms, although still gorgeous.  We wandered around to different areas finding a singing fountain, appreciating the lineal landscape, and enjoying the architecture of the home.  Our favorite feature was the gorgeous center area that had tulips of all colors.

We took many photographs, had lots of laughter, and enjoyed breathing in the fresh spring air.  It was so nice to see the sun, something we have not seen for awhile in Massachusetts.  Throughout the evening Shadow and Wilma participated in many rolls and appreciated any and all guest attention.  Simple but just perfect.  We might just have to come back for a visit when there are more blooms (Rating:  3, Company – Perfection!)

 

 

May 4, 2019 – Ravenswood Park – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Ravenswood Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  Ravenswood Park is a 600 acre nature reserve made up of over 10 miles of trails.  It is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

We had a dreary, yet inspiring Adventure to Ravenswood Park on another rainy morning. Expecting to have the place almost to ourselves, it was a surprise to arrive with not one parking space available.  Luckily we soon found a guest leaving so we were able to park and begin on our journey, quickly grabbing a map as we entered the reserve.  I was disappointed to have to weave through some out of control dogs before we began exploring.  However the moment we arrived on our first trail we felt at peace in the great outdoors.

We began our hike on the Magnolia Swamp Trail, then traversed some small trails in between before finishing on the Ledge Hill Trail.  The Trails were clearly labeled, a common and helpful perk of the Trustees properties.  It was thrilling to see the bright green of spring, even feeling joy from seeing weeds, moss, and “normal” leaves.  There were boardwalks surrounded by Fiddlehead Ferns and beautiful Canadian May flowers. Throughout the Park we observed boulders off all sizes, one even appearing to have green hair, causing me to chuckle.  As you may guess my favorite aspect of the Park were the long boardwalks throughout the swamp area. One unusual feature we also located was a mini quarry along the trail.  There was even a spot with a view of Gloucester Harbor from afar.  It was as if the more you walked the more diverse the experience became.

Yet another dreary, walk in Massachusetts, but still a wonderful hike in Ravenswood Park.  If you may be wondering, I located Ravenswood Park through the Trustees of Reservations.  I would encourage you to check out the Trustees of Reservations, as you can search for properties in your area.  Many of the land, trails, and properties are absolutely lovely, and the Trustees of Reservations does wonderful work to preserve the land and history throughout Massachusetts.So glad we could visit Ravenswood Park today (Rating:  3.5).

 

Throwback Adventure – Highfield Hall and Gardens – Massachusetts

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

In April 2017 Shadow, My Mom, and I Adventured to the Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  We had a nice visit to the Highfield Hall and Gardens, a stop on our way to our final destination.  As many of you know my detailed memories of Throwback Adventures are not quite as thorough as one might hope.  However, I remember going for a walk in the Beebe Woods with Shadow while Mom explored the indoor exhibits.  We walked for a bit and found a pond for some swims.  We wandered around the property, and I took some adorable Shadow photographs along the way.  I especially loved the Sunken Gardens, bushes shaped in picturesque style.  I always enjoy finding Adventures that include culture and dogs.  Although Shadow was not allowed in the mansion, there were many opportunities to explore.  It appears I only took a few photographs, but a brief summary of our stop at the Highland Hall and Gardens.  So glad we could visit this unique location.

 

 

April 28, 2019 – Thunder Hole – Maine

Yesterday we Adventured to Thunder Hole in Bar Harbor, part of the Acadia National Park in Maine.  Thunder Hole is a popular location where the ocean waters crash into the rocky shore.  The Hole is an inlet that occurred naturally, causing the water to sometimes shoot up to forty feet in the air.  There is a small cavern under the water that intensifies the experience.  A Thunder sound is often heard, leading to the name.  A fenced viewing zone is in place, creating an up close experience.

Yesterday we had a thundering Adventure to Thunder Hole in Maine.  This was our second visit to Thunder Hole as Shadow, Buster, My Mom, and I had visited previously.  On our first visit it was warmer, greener, and foggy, while today bright, cool, and sunny.  We were pleased to see less visitors to this spot today, although still an overly popular area.  Upon arrival we noticed that the area directly next to the “Hole” was closed due to unsafe conditions.  This was a little disappointing, although we were still able to get pretty close to listen to the loud thundering sound and watch the waves.  On some days the water splashed high above and into the viewing area, however it appeared a bit calmer today.  We found a spot a little above the “Hole” to watch, before walking along the rocks.  Due to the recent torrents of rain some of the rocks appeared to be little brooks, flashing me back to our mountain Adventures.  Shadow and Wilma sure did enjoy this added bonus with fresh water drinks.  We wandered through these streams before finding a quiet area with a little cool cave and shade to sit and relax.  Shadow enjoyed the comfort of the cave, and laying in the sun, while Wilma stood watching every movement of all things short and small.  The shore view was gorgeous, the water perfectly blue, and the waves crashing in sound.  The rocks in this area tend to be more square in shape then circular, and brown in color, creating unique tones to this spot.  It was nice to feel the sun on this spring day, almost too sunny for great photographs.  We relaxed for a some time before heading off to our next Adventure.  I will include some photographs from both of our visits, and two videos from our visit yesterday.  And although I do not prefer tourist types of natural attractions, Thunder Hole is definitely worth your visit (Rating:  3).

 

 

 

 

April 27, 2019 – Seawall – Maine

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Natural Seawall in the Southwest Harbor of Acadia National Park.  The Natural Seawall is a natural piece of granite and loose boulder rock.  There are views of Cranberry Island from this Seawall.

We had a gorgeous visit to the Natural Seawall on our last stop of the day.  I was ecstatic to see the sky FINALLY turn blue near the end of our visit.  We walked along this lovely rocky area until arriving at the large granite rock.  We stumbled through the small rocks before landing on the Seawall.  The waves were crashing against the rock creating a wonderful site, and a sound of peace.  We stayed for awhile on the rock enjoying the song of the sea.  It was such a pleasant surprise to see the sky turn blue, literally before our eyes, causing much anticipation for future Adventures.  The only disappointment of this location was that the Seawall was located right along the main road.  However we were so pleased to visit the Seawall today, a beautiful spot (Rating:  4).