Weekly Video/Photo

If you regularly follow my blog, and the weekly/video photo I would recommend skipping on to paragraph three, specific to this week’s video/photo.  I have decided to add a weekly video/photo section to my blog.  This blog will display a video or photo, usually highlighting an Adventure, while I might also sneak in some that are humorous, adorable, or just other fun dog moments.

So if you have followed my blog from the beginning you will know that I adopted Shadow as a puppy, and about a year later adopted Buster as a puppy.  We had many wonderful years together before experiencing the devastating loss of Buster at just seven.  It took a long time for our hearts to heal, but almost a year later we welcomed little Wilma into our world.

Today’s feature is a photo from the Arboretum at Farandnear Reservation in Shirley, Massachusetts this past May.  Shadow and Wilma are posing near one of the gardens.  The Arboretum is simple, and beautiful, and there are extensive trails throughout the property.  A lovely and quiet local Reservation.  You can read more about our first Adventure to the Farandnear Reservation by typing it in the search box,  It is hard to believe the flowers are already gone for the year.  Time for the snow!



July 8, 2019 – Joppa Park – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Joppa Park in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  Joppa Park is a small harborside Park on Water Street.  It has been in the process of being renovated and upgraded for years.  It is rich in history being a previous locations for clamming and fishing operations.

We had a scenic Adventure to Joppa Park.  I found this charming, floral “Park” accidentally as we were driving to our planned destination.  I could not resist stopping to explore this lovely location.  We were lucky to find a parking spot as there were only a few available.  We started at what I believe was a boat launch although definitely low tide.  We waded into the mud, literally almost loosing my shoes.  The view was spectacular with vivid colors from the water, to the grass, to the nearby flowers.  Boats were scattered through out the harbor creating a magical coastal scene.

From the boat launch we walked through the “Park” to the end and back.  There were many other visitors walking through the area.  Wilma immediately jumped up onto the sea wall, amazingly agile.  I found this little moment adorable, as did some others who commented on her athleticism.  Shadow ambled along a bit less enthused, thinking about his next swim, I am sure.  Our walk was short, but beautiful.  I made sure to get a close-up view at all the flowers, and appreciated all the colors.  It is amazing that not too long ago we were in winter, everything white, brown, and dried up.  Our Adventures today reminded me how New England seasons are absolutely amazing!  So not a “Park” that I would travel far too, merely due to the small size, a however spectacular Harborwalk to stroll along if you are in the area (Rating:  4).


July 20, 2018 – Ahern State Park – New Hampshire

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I visited Ahern State Park in Laconia, New Hampshire.  Ahern State Park is a 128 acre park, which includes a shoreline on Lake Winnisquam.  It is popular for beach goers, bikers, hikers, fishers, and boating (non-motorized).

We were quite pleased to explore a new park on a “not-too-hot” summer kind of day.  We drove down a long gravel road before arriving at the beach, and parking area.  We started down the trail parallel to Lake Winnisquam.  The trail was very quiet, with the distant sound of children swimming, and boaters enjoying their morning.  We found several trails down to the shore, for some Shadow swims.  As usual I wished I had brought my suit, but instead Wilma and I watched Shadow float around, cooling down and relaxing.  The trails were a little unclear, so I avoided any complex loops.  We found some fun rocks along the way, allowing us to view the lake from above.  The trail had a little more mosquitoes then preferred, but we did our best to ignore them, and carried on our happy way.  There really was not a lot to see at the park, but as per our usual adventure we reveled in the new smells, and overall experience (Rating:  3).



July 14, 2018 – New Hampshire – Beecher and Pearl Cascades

On Saturday we journeyed to the Beecher and Pearl Cascades in Carroll, New Hampshire.  The Cascades are part of the Crawford Brook, on the Cascade Loop Trail of the White Mountains National Forest.  The Beecher Cascade is a 35 foot plunge, while the Pearl Cascade is a 20 foot plunge.  The trail begins behind the Crawford Depot which is an active station of a scenic railroad.  Follow the “Avalon Trail” which will lead you to the Cascade Trail Loop.

We were elated to start our afternoon with a trip to the Beecher and Pearl Cascades.  The trail was not clear, but again, the research let me know exactly where to locate to the trailhead.  We started following the trail signs to the Avalon trail, before connecting to the Cascade Loop trail, and then to the first Cascade, the Beecher Cascade.  The trail was quite uninspiring, but the anticipation, and nature, allowed us to relish every moment.  We easily located the sign to the Beecher Cascade and followed to sign down to this Cascade.  This Cascade was a beautiful gorge-like cascade, with a powerful stream flowing down the rocks.  There was a little area to hang out in for Shadow to nap, while Wilma posed on some rocks.  I am always delighted when I can get close to a Cascade, a true connection to nature.

The second Cascade on the trail was the Pearl Cascade.  We actually missed this Cascade, and began hiking uphill for awhile, along the very rocky trail.  We found a little area of the Brook where we were able to sit and relax a bit, and revel in the peace of nature.  I eventually decided to ask a fellow hiker and he informed me that we were trekking up on the “A-Z” trail.  We quickly turned back, and eventually made it to the Pearl Cascade.  I am still unsure of how this miscue happened, but we definitely added a good work-out to our day.

The Pearl Cascade was difficult to see from the trail, so we climbed down to the Crawford Brook to check it out.  Somewhat distant in site, the Cascade had minimal water streaming down the rocks.  I was disappointed in this Cascade, but glad we were able to find it before departing.   (Rating, Trail:  3, Beecher Cascade:  4, Pearl Cascade:  3)


Cascade Loop Trail


Beecher Cascade




Cascade Trail



Throwback Adventure – Stanley Park – August 2016

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.

In August 2016 Shadow, Buster, and I visited Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachusetts.  Sadly Buster has passed away since, but he definitely enjoyed his share of adventures.  He was an amazing boy, and will always be missed.  Stanley Park is a non-profit, privately owned park, that is approximately 300 acres in size.  It includes:  gardens, trails, playing fields, and a duck pond.  The park was established in 1945 by philanthropist Frank Stanley Beveridge.

We stopped at Stanley Park after a wonderful visit with family.  The park was beautifully landscaped, and highlights of our visit, included:  a variety of bridges, an old working mill, the duck-filled pond, an old rustic church, and even a live swan!  We enjoyed walking along the trails, and photographing the gorgeous scenery.  This was as stop that I planned, but did not do any detailed research, so we wandered around without a map.  However, I do think we found some of the highlights of this magnificent park (Rating:  4).



June 24, 2018 – Massachusetts – Moore State Park

Today we visited Moore State Park in Paxton, Massachusetts.  Moore State Park is approximately 400 acres, and was a former home to grist and saw mills.  Portions of the park are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It has a pond, trails, and various “Mill Village Features” on the grounds.

This is actually the second time that we have been to Moore State Park, the first time was with Shadow and Buster in July 2013, and the second trip today, with Shadow and Wilma.  My GPS was not too cooperative today, but we were able to locate the Park after an unplanned detour.  We started our journey down a paved road, with beautiful, natural landscape adorning the sides.  We soon arrived at the pond where there were several rustic wooden rocking chairs, picnic tables, and a gazebo-like structure to sit and enjoy the view.  The more we walked I began to have some flashback memories of our initial journey, remembering that we had been caught in a downpour, before relaxing for a bit in the gazebo-like structure.  I believe that visit was a shorter stop, while today we spent about two hours exploring.

I decided to start on some trails, before coming back through the viewing area.  The trails were not well marked, but I was quite glad I had printed a trail map, which helped me navigate the forest, and not worry about getting lost.  We started on Judy’s Secret Garden Loop Trail, and then connected to the Stairway Loop Trail.  The trails were kind of blah, but we enjoyed walking along the pond, and finding some cute rock benches along the way.  The trails were very peaceful, with the sounds of birds singing.  Shadow enjoyed some swims, while Wilma jumped onto all large rocks in her path.  The trails were very quiet, and we only saw one couple walking their dog.  It is always nice to find a tranquil nature trail, away from the bustle of society.

After our walks on the trails we headed to various areas of the park to find some of the “Mill Village Features”, and take some photographs.  These included:  the Old Sawmill, the Bat House, the Chalet Foundation, the Enchanted Bridge, and the Artist Overlook.  I took photographs of four of these “Features” which you can view below.  This was one fun component of the Park.  Definitely a unique Park to explore (Rating:  3)




July 2013:

June 10, 2018 – Massachusetts – Ashuelot River Park, Walpole Creamery, and Beaver Brook Falls

Today we had three adventures in Keene, NH.  It was a beautiful spring day, the perfect temperature for some shady hikes.  Our first stop was at the Ashuelot River Park.  The Ashuelot River Park is a 157 acre park, which includes the River, and adjoining wetlands.  There are numerous trails throughout the park, many alongside the River.  The trails are especially popular for bicyclists.

When we first arrived at the Park we found a well groomed open area, with beautiful flowers, and benches.  We quickly arrived at the pedestrian bridge, and the Old Mill Dam.  We spent a couple hours wandering the beautiful trails, mostly choosing the route neighboring the River.  There were a couple spots along the trail that were near residential areas, but mostly we felt away from the world, and at peace with nature.  The birds were chirping, and the scenery was peaceful.  It was a great Park of which to enjoy the day (Rating:  4).












Our second stop today was the Walpole Creamery in downtown Keene.  I always love finding an ice cream stop with an outdoor window, and dog ice cream available for the pups.  We made our purchase and found a quiet grassy area to enjoy our ice cream, and to sit for a bit.  It is good to note that there were some nicely shaded umbrella areas in front of the creamery, but I figured we would be more comfortable in the grassy shade.  We each greatly enjoyed our refreshing ice cream.  Shadow and Wilma then enjoyed some time playing, and rolling around in the grass.  Definitely the perfect, and energizing break in between our stops (Rating:  4)






Our last stop of the day was at the Beaver Brook Waterfall.  The trail was less then a mile long, slowly sloping upwards, on an old New Hampshire highway.  The trail was not too picturesque, with wires above and the sounds of local traffic nearby.  It was therefore especially pleasant to hear the babbling Beaver Brook, reminding us that we were truly on on adventure in nature.  We walked along the top of the gorge, and could see the Brook far below.  However, I was so disappointed to arrive at the Falls, as I found no viewing opportunities.  We could hear the magical sound of the water, but yet it was so overgrown that there was not a glimpse in site.  Possibly with some steep, risky climbs, but yet with two dogs in tow, really not an option.  So although I feel like I must have missed something, we never did see the Beaver Brook Falls.   I attempt to think like a dog in these times, and just enjoy the moment, and the experience.  Luckily there were some moments to dip into the Brook, a rock to pose on, and I even saw a beaver like creature along the trail.  Glad we attempted to see this waterfall, while in Keene (Rating:  2)