|Delicate fern moss (Thuidium delicatulum) etched with frost|
Then we set off to climb Brister's Hill, following the ever green course of Brister's Spring winding its way through refreshed mats of watercress amidst the muted tones of forest floor.
At the crest of the hill, we encountered a shelter on the way to Thoreau's Path, a trail inscribed with Thoreau's reflections that circles over the sandy, rocky cap of an old landfill now preserved and reviving with the pioneering growth of pitch pine and gray birch stands, Brister's Hill/Walden Woods, map and trailside quotations.
|Inspired shelter on Brister's Hill|
|Earth star fungus (Astraeus hygrometricus)|
|Pink earth lichen (Dibaeis baeomyces)|
|Close-ups of the lichen's pink fruiting bodies (apothecia)|
Sandy Hook Remembrance
After these beautiful hours spent with children immersed in exquisite wonders just underfoot, I arrived home to hear of the tragedy unfolding in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT. My own sense of place awakened first in Sandy Hook, where I lived with my mother and two generations of grandparents in the early years of my life and attended the kindergarten in the school now so much in our hearts and minds. In these last few hours, I am astonished at how vividly I recall our home on Dayton St., perched above the beautiful Pootatuck River and flanked by the rocky woodlands of what is now Rocky Glen State Park. Our gardens, greenhouses, and chicken coop were my early outdoor enticements and I spent memorable evenings with my grandfather watching the stars and hot summer days walking with my great-grandfather to the Sandy Hook country store for ice cream, a route that looks surprisingly the same 55 years later.
|With Granpy Denninger on Dayton St., Sandy Hook|
|Sandy Hook Elementary School, 1956|
|My kindergarten classroom, Sandy Hook|
So many delicate experiences to be held in the heart in a single day...