Over the weekend in order to combat a little bit of cabin fever, we decided to hop in the car and go for a nature walk in a new area. This decision did not come easily. If you have ever experienced mud season during the spring in Western Maine, one must choose their battles wisely. During this time of year, the trails are not only covered in mud but ice as well. This combination can make for a not so enjoyable outdoor experience. To top things off, navigating the roads can be a little tricky as well. Have you ever driven on roads with several frost heaves? A half-hour drive can turn into an all-day event!
Also, due to the current circumstances, we had to make sure we wouldn’t find ourselves in a heavily populated area. Even though the forecast had called for sunny skies, it ended up being partly cloudy. It was still pretty warm outside and we knew everyone would probably have the same idea about getting outdoors for fresh air. We chose on making a short drive down to Farmington. When conditions improve, we hope to venture farther from home.
We decided on taking an easy stroll through Bonney Woods.
Bonney Woods is part of a trail network that includes the nearby Flint Woods and Village Woods under The Powder House Hill Trails Network. We have walked through Flint Woods a couple of times before and I have yet to explore Village Woods. Perhaps, we will do so in the near future.
Bonney Woods is located near downtown Farmington and has a 0.7-mile well-maintained trail system on nine acres. What makes the area so incredibly picturesque are the one hundred plus-year-old hemlocks and a variety of deciduous trees that can be found in the area. The trails are enjoyed by the community all year round.
We came across a bit of snow and ice at the entrance to the woods, but then it got somewhat easier to get around as we made our way around the trail. We lucked out and almost had the place to ourselves. There were fewer than ten people on the trail, who probably had the same idea as us. A nice and quiet place with as few people as possible. I hope you enjoy the view.
We stumbled upon a cemetery along the trail. I’m not a big fan of photographing individual headstones. In my opinion, I think doing so can be a bit disrespectful. At these angles, I think the identities of the deceased are unidentifiable.
Another view of the cemetery in the woods.
I was particularly attracted to this area of the trail. The hemlocks gave the trail such an appealing view. I ended up taking several photographs here and I settled on this image as well as the next for this post. I like two different views.
We finally had a glimpse of the sun through the trees and then this would be the last we saw of it for the day.
The day was still young, so we decided to venture down to one of the fields located near downtown Farmington and along the Sandy River. I believe the field leads to our local rail trail as well. We have driven past this field numerous times, hoping to stop one day to explore the area. I always thought this would be a good place to photograph owls and hawks. We didn’t get to see any of those this time.
As we were walking down the road to the field, we were greeted by three German shorthaired pointers. They had just been let out of their crates in the back of a vehicle. I was even kissed on the lips by one of them and he also left nice big muddy paw prints on the front of my jeans. His mother apologized for his forward behavior, but I didn’t mind because the mud he left on the front of my jeans now matched the mud on the back from all of our walking around. No worries, nothing the washing machine couldn’t remedy. They moved on ahead of us and it was quite entertaining to watch the dogs running around the field unleashed and without a care in the world.
A view of the Sandy River.
Sumac (Anacardiaceae) growing along the river.
A flock of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) returning to the area.
I made a few attempts to get a photograph of an American robin (Turdus migratorius). Every time I tried to capture a photograph of this bird, it would become even more obscured by the branches. We have plans to come back down to the area, so maybe I will get a second chance. There were several of these berry bushes growing along the field and I believe this would make a great area for bird photography. The forecast is calling for snow and rain this week, but hopefully, in the next coming weeks, we will get the chance to see this area with a bit more sun and the return of the foliage. A second chance at better bird photographs would also be nice as well.