Just passing through!
Busy with my Boys

November Nature: A Quaking Bog & Solstice Hill

Our Homeschool Nature Club met for its November meeting yesterday and it was truly a fantastic experience! The reservation we explored was breathtakingly beautiful, and the day itself was just perfect for November ~ bright, blustery and brisk. Considering all the dank, dreary weather we've had recently, we really lucked out! 

At this month's meeting we explored a pond, a "quaking" bog and the highest hill in the county. I hope you enjoy these pictures from our day ...


A narrow but sturdy boardwalk allowed us to journey through the bog out to a large open pond. On either side of the walkway the dampness was pretty deep! (See the walking stick below - it had just been stuck in the ground beside the path.)


At this time of year there was not much still growing, but the moss was plentiful. 


As you can see, the afternoon sunlight made the bog shimmer in an almost ethereal way ...


A few things we noticed on our walk out to the pond ...


A tiny solid drop of sap ...


A carnivorous pitcher plant!


Tiny cones/seeds of some kind.


A few mushrooms popping up here and there.

Finally we reached the end of the boardwalk and the quiet pond in all its late autumn glory:




Two of my intrepid explorers. :)

By the way, the reason they call this bog "quaking" is because it is literally a mat of vegetation resting on water-logged muck. When the children jumped on the semi-solid earth next to the walkway, the trees around us trembled (or quaked) in response! As you might guess, this unique site really captured the kids' collective attention!

After thoroughly exploring the bog habitat, our group headed uphill ...


Stopping to climb a tree on the way ...


And take some pictures of the lovely setting ...



We passed through a beautiful, golden wood ...


And finally found ourselves at the very top the hill, the highest point in the county. 


A set of "solstice stones" rests at the crest of the hill, marking the four cardinal directions, as well as the points of the solstices and equinoxes.


The kids mostly enjoyed clambering all over it. ;)

But it was the view of Boston in the distance that really amazed me ...


*Note: This picture was not taken by me, but by my friend, Beth - whose awesome camera I covet. ;)

While the kids ran around and had snacks, the moms chatted and walked about, enjoying the pretty surroundings.

I spied a gorgeous birch tree ...


And a crabapple (?) of some sort. Very autumnal looking, don't you think?


But before we knew it, the late day sun was slipping behind the trees and the air was growing colder ...


We piled back into our cars and headed home in all different directions, each family taking home another nice Nature Club memory.

Thanks for stopping by everyone! I hope you've all had a good week ... it was another busy one here! Really looking forward to Turkey Day next Thursday - and there's plenty to do to get ready - but I'll be back here again just as soon as I can. :)