More pictures from the Harold Parker State Forest

I know that Dad just posted pictures from our walk, but I had a couple he didn’t. There was a beautiful, fast-flowing stream that Alpha and Butter had to check out. Poor Butter almost fell in when the ice shelf collapsed under her, but she only got a little wet. Dad went down there with them.


A free running stream in the Harold Parker State Forest

It was a gorgeous day. Perfect blue skies, warm weather, and lovely scenery.


I am really looking forward to checking out this park again. Just not when the trails are frozen solid.

Hiking @ HP

Meghan, Alpha, and I have started hiking the Harold Parker State Forest today.  It’s pretty big, it should tide us over for the spring.

Our first leg was beautiful.


Apparently there are beaver in that pond:


This tree has seen a little more beaver-love:


The trails in the HP connect with a ring of trails around metro Boston, the Bay Circuit.  It’s 200 miles from end to end, so we’ll be hiking it for a few years to come.

Its a nice replacement for our old hiking project, along the Hop River Trail.  The four of us hiked from Willimantic to Manchester over the course of a year, the Bay Circuit should take a bit longer.

Sledding at OSV

Alpha, Beta, and I went to Old Sturbridge Village this past weekend to see their Antique Sleigh Rally. Alpha is obsessed with horses so it seemed like a home run in the Dad of the Year game.

Alas, Alpha bored of it in under ten minutes. Even Beta was still having fun when she announced that she wanted to do something else. Wow.

At Beta’s request we made a beeline to the Freeman Farm so we could commune with the sheep and chickens. And there, behind the cooper’s shed, we found my redemption: sledding.

Sledding at OSV

Sledding at OSV

We lived a little on the wild side: both girls tried sledding while standing (pictured) as well as other orientations (backwards, in the lotus position, etc). Alpha was quite proud of herself after her first run while standing, and I was equally proud of her. Don’t tell OSV we did it, though – with no one policing the hill it was much more natural and fun.

Vignettes from OSV

Today, we went to Old Sturbridge Village. They do Dog Days the first weekend of the month during the winter. There were tiny dogs, medium dogs, and this pony. His name is Kloofbear’s Skipjack. Or just Skipper. If you want to drive his parents nuts, call him Skippy.

Skipper looking dignified. It didn't last.

Skipper looking dignified. It didn’t last.

We got to spend a long time with the cows. The oxen were very friendly, and the cows are just starting to show (calves due in just 6 weeks). Very fun.



And, finally, at the gift shop. Alpha, Beta, and Tangent each grabbed a book and settled in to read. All they needed was some hot chocolate.



And then we went to dinner at Cracker Barrel. The food was okay, but the company was awesome. And as we were ordering dessert, Beta came up with this jem:

> Beta: Do you have sprinkles?

> Server: No, we don’t.

> Beta: You should stock up on them. They’re awesome. nods wisely, and wanders off.

Thank goodness we weren’t drinking anything, because that would have been a spit take.

Ice caves!

Under the wanna-be glacier

We had an ice storm last weekend, and I didn’t get a chance to clear my car off until today (took that long to dig out to it). As I was brushing off the dry powdery stuff from last night, I hit a layer of ice. Hard ice. Thick, white ice. “Aw, crap,” I think, “This is going to take FOREVER to get off!” So I continue brushing off the snow, and discover something.

That ice? Was 4″ above the car. In between was another layer of snow. My car had an ice COAT. I took these UNDER the layer of ice.


On the sunny side of the wanna-be glacier

Ice caves! The light is so pretty in these! The car is now mostly clean. It still has a bit of a car-hawk (a Korean punk rocker look or something).



Side shot so you can see how deep the snow was on the car