Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Loopy for Lupines

Hi all,
I ran into my old friend Cass today-it's been years since I've seen her. Met her new husband-I didn't know she had a new life! I've been thinking about her all day. It is so nice when people pop back into your life.

Hummer in my garden
Overwhelmed by computer work and petsitting duties, I decided to take a drive to Pudding Hollow and look for the fields of lupines I'd heard about. It was overcast, but bright, and I thought it would be a great day for taking pictures. Pudding Hollow is the name of a tiny old settlement on the edge of Hawley State Forest.

As I followed route 8A north of Plainfield, I noticed that the little brook beside the road was all bulldozed and the banks lined with new-looking rocks, new guard rails and patches of new pavement on the road. There were lots of dead trees and boulders along the bank. This little stream had turned into a raging monster during Hurricane Irene last August. Another stream, tinier yet, had a boulder bigger than a car balanced in it, along with dead trees. Amazing, the force of water!

Can you see that tiny trickle?
I crossed a new bridge, went past Middle Road and drove up the hill to Pudding Hollow. There is an old meeting house and a town building of sorts. The road goes up the side of a very steep hill with beautiful old homes on either side. Beautiful homes, beautiful gardens, beautiful view! But no fields of lupines.
On Forge Hill Rd.
Eventually the road turns to dirt and diminishes to a one-lane trail overlooking a gully on one side. I never ventured up it before, but as I have a Subaru now, I thought I'd give it a try. Surely there were no lupine meadows up here, but maybe I'd find myself on one of the state forest roads. Then it started down, steep, winding and pitted, around a hairpin turn, a lovely house! Then pavement. More houses and suddenly, fields of LUPINES! It was heaven, I stopped and took pictures-50 or 60 of them. I won't show you all of them, though.

After getting my fill of lupines, I found myself back on the new bridge via Middle Road. I had made a big loop in my quest for lupines-looping for lupines! I remember taking Mom and Trisha and her mom, Helen, on Middle Road one time and wanting to take that steep hairpin dirt road. That old car with 4 of us in it never would have made it, and Helen was going to cry if I did it. I turned around and always wondered where it went...

Then I stopped at Plainfield Pond for pictures of the Mountain Laurel on the other side of the lake.

I'd live in this cabin by the lake!

So pretty!  Later today I drove by a small roadside swamp and found this sweet family of Canadian geese.

In the last few days I've spotted a moose, a cooper's hawk, a scarlet tanager & rose breasted grosbeak, many deer, one wild turkey and 6 turkey buzzards. I love living in the country...

Got too excited to focus!
Finally, summer in New England! Just driving around gives me a thrill. The weeds and wildflowers on the side of the road are lush and glorious. The smell of the tiny white wild roses permeates the air--around the next bend someone is haying, and that smells even more heavenly!

Side of the road
One year for a craft fair I made potpourri and pillow stuffing I called "side of the road" - lavender, pine needles, hay, tansy and sweet fern were some of the ingredients. Tansy and sweet fern have scents reminiscent of sagebrush, strong and resiny. Can't resist!

A gentle stream

Confucius said
Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

Happy trails!


  1. What an absolutely wonderful drive! No beautiful countryside to be found here. :/ Hope you are having a great week. Tammy

  2. Beautiful drive and photographic record Sherry. Josh and I were just near pudding hollow on Sunday. Although we didn't know to look for the lupine fields we enjoyed the ride on 8A with the smells of first haying happening. We are so lucky to live here! Take Care.

  3. Dear Sherry,
    what a most wonderful tour you had, those fields of Lupins are fantastic,
    but all your photoes takes my breath away, how did you manage to be that close to the geece family?
    Your potpourri have smelled heavenly Sherry,love the idea of using all those wild plants together with lavender, and pine needles.

  4. Hi Sherry,
    Oh, my favorite part is where you spotted all those animals! I love the photo of the baby geese with their parents.

    What a fabulous time!

  5. Dear Sherry, you always have a way of describing an atmosphere, so we can truly feel like being there - additionally, I love your stunning photography;)
    You know, I pass fields of lupines in bloom on my way to work, there are areas here and there along the highway and the country roads, some larger than others. I have plans on stopping and take pictures one of these days.;)
    have a nice weekend,

  6. Hi Sherry, what a lovely trip, beautiful photos Thanks for sharing

  7. Beautiful, beautiful photos, Sherry!!! One day I hope to get to visit your part of the country - it's wonderful! :)


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