Tag Archives: nature

Cape Cod Nature Trails

2016 came and went with quite a bit of mixed emotions.  Another year older, another year of supposed wisdom. Yet, I find that with everything that happened in 2016, I still had a sense of helplessness and odd mix of anxiety about what this year held. Another year older and yet i don’t know that I have much to show for myself.  Another year of opportunity lies ahead and I plan on reaching again. If I don’t, then next year I will have even less to show for myself.

One goal for 2017 is to get out more.  Living on Cape Cod provides so many opportunities to get out into Nature. Some even believe walking in the woods is as good as getting therapy.  Everyone knows about the pristine beaches, but there are also many acres of preserved woods and trails all over Cape Cod that are free to the public.

We started the day after Christmas and have been off discovering trails we know and trails we have never even heard of.  It’s been fun exploring the beauty of the Cape in a new way. The woods have been relaxing and a personal experience, yet sharing the walks with family has been nice too because we are able to share in the beauty of the place we call home.

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Ocean Blue – Learning to Conserve

The arks were successful in getting us off the planet before it completely died. Five years after we left, the probes reported that all remaining life had perished and that there was no sustainable environments for us to return to.  I was a child when the arks took off, just 10 years old.  I’ll be celebrating my 25th birthday here floating through the sky, living on this metal makeshift planet.

The years in space have not been all bad.  We have adjusted to everything and we have managed to communicate with the other arks, keep track of where they are, since all the arks went in different directions to search for a new home planet.  We know it might take generations to find it, but what other choice do we have?

Throughout the first five years or so, there was quite a learning curve.  While the Red Source was sustainable and a powerful energy source, more powerful than originally thought, there were fears that it would be used up before long.  The arks had strict rules of placed in effect, “for the safety of our precious and sacred mission,” that dictated so many different aspects of our lives.  The Senate that oversaw all laws of the ship were the ones to draft the ark’s charter, though most of it thought of these laws as more of a covenant, again, finding comfort in the truly ancient histories.

It made things feel more safe having these laws in place, knowing that there would be order.  Knowing that even though no one was left behind, there had been a kind of change that occurred in the hearts of everyone.  We were all orphans now.  All without.  All lacking a place to call home.

The first section of the charter, after the general we cannot kill, steal, or the standard run-of-the-mill kind of laws.  After those were clearly stated and understood, there was a section on conservation.  After leaving our planet as a barren ball circling the sun, the Senate knew it could not be tolerated again.  The laws in the conservation section were strict but we accepted it.

Water was subject to the strictest of the regulations.  There was a strict limit on the time of any type of shower.  The ark had showers that automatically shut off after two minutes and then started again in five minutes and ran for another two minutes.  The water was frequently tested to make sure there were no pollutants and the acceptable limits.

Lights were another regulated energy.  Each apartment was provided with “daytime” lights that were run by the ship.  They were like our sun.  They slowly got light in the morning and then got dark in the night, giving us the illusion of sunlight.  They used minimal energy and use the true light technology to help us not suffer from lack of natural light. If we require more light at night, we are able to use one of our smaller lights that run on rechargeable batteries.  If we need even more light than what is given by those lights, we must use one of the many common areas where the lighting is left on for work.

Energy consumption is kept to a minimum and while it took some time adjusting to using less, we have accepted it.  We have no other alternative.

This post was written as part of January 2013 NaBloPoMo.  This month’s theme is energy and today’s topic was “What is the most creative way you conserve energy in your home?”   Today ties into Monday and Tuesday’s posts where I kind of got stuck in a story…it’s a little different than my normal posts but I’m having fun.

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Ocean Blue

Barren.

That’s what it is now.  As far as the eye can see.  There is no green.  There is no blue.  It’s just varying shades of brown.  The wind blows the brown around the dusty blue sky, which isn’t even really blue when you look at it.  It’s the mind’s eye that makes it blue, a shared memory, passed down through the generations.

The vastness stretches for thousands of miles with newly exposed mountain ranges and crevices, once hidden by the blue oceans, are now the predominant landscape.  There is nothing but the harsh jagged edges of the rocky terrain, thirsting.

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The buildings are standing and inside, there are histories that talk of the once great planet that was here.  The diversity of life was like no other planet known.  The species that evolved and adapted over time could not adapt to the damage that was done in the long run.  It was just too much.  The pictures in the books and the film discs leave these amazing images though of the splendor of what this planet once was.

Earth Space Photo

There were oceans that stretched from one city to another, filled with creatures, plants, minerals that kept the planet alive.  Now, they were dust and death.  They once overflowed and reclaimed the planet, but then the skies filled with chemicals and sucked the very essence from them.

In a few more centuries, the planet may restore itself but it is not a definite thing.  The life was choked out of it and now it is forced to reset itself.  The people fled in a biblical fashion but the arcs they created would have put the 40 cubit by 40 cubit ship to shame.

The true question is did they learn their lesson as they fled their home?  Did they realize that they need to preserve the ocean as much as the air?  Did they learn how to create energy that didn’t kill? Did they learn to appreciate the most amazing thing they had?

This post was written as part of the January NaBloPoMo. The theme for this month is energy.  Today’s post was “What is your biggest concern about the future of the environment?”  I really played with this theme and think for the rest of this week’s prompts, I’m going to stretch my creative muscles and really have fun with this one!

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Walking Through the Woodlands

Living on Cape Cod, we are blessed with so many preserved pieces of land. Many of them offer trails and the ability to walk through them and enjoy the quiet peace that only nature can give. It’s no wonder that Thoreau wanted to spend time here, exploring and meditating.

Yesterday, since it was gorgeous and we had no Sunday plans, I decided to take the Daughter to the Mashpee River Woodlands and explore.

Back in elementary school, the field trip to the Mashpee River Woodlands was a fun one. We learned about the brackish water that was at the end of the river and how the river flowed from Mashpee-Wakeby Lake to Popponesset Bay and the animals. I will never forget learning about Wintermint and tasting a leaf of it to discover it did taste like my favorite flavor of trident gum!

Wintermint – I don’t know if I would recommend tasting it though – might not be wise and DEFINITELY DO NOT eat the berries!

The Daughter insisted on bringing her camera when we couldn’t find her binoculars which was fine with me. I was bringing my camera, it only made sense. It was such a perfect day for a walk through the woods.

There are three parking lots and depending on how long you want your hike to be, you may choose one parking lot over the other. Also, there are places where you can put your kayak or canoe in and view the woodlands while riding the river. We did this once, back when I was in high school. We took three of our Spanish foreign exchange students who were with us for the summer and oh man…that was one crazy canoe and kayak trip. I wish I had pictures to show you of that…just thinking about it has me smiling.

At any rate, since the water is a little cold this time of year, it is a great time to hike. The fear of ticks was minimal since the weather is getting colder (though we still did tick checks afterwards) and the trees with fewer leaves let more sun in through the canopy.

The Daughter taking a snap of something cool.

You can print out your own map of the trails and then head off for your own adventure. The best of the trails, in my opinion, is the Long River Trail. We parked at the Mashpee Neck Road parking lot and took the Partridge Berry Trail (marked PB on the trail markers) down to the Long River Trail. We turned up the Chickadee Trail and then went the opposite direction down the Partridge Berry Trail to Whitcomb’s Landing.

Along the way we saw a few amazing things:

So many trees were uprooted and down, exposing amazing root structures like this one.

This was deemed the “U” tree for obvious reasons.

At the end of the Whitcomb’s Landing trail where it connected to the Long River trail, there was a bench and a gorgeous spot to just sit and take in the peace and quiet of the surroundings.

Looking down the river, away from the bay.

Where the river bends and curves are known as “meanders.”

The Daughter asked that we come back some day and have a picnic lunch. She then told me I could carry it all for her in her backpack and we would spend all day there, basically, I would be her pack mule on a grand expedition, but I’m quite ok with it . While I agreed that next summer we could do that, I began to think of the possibility of snow-shoeing through these trails if we ever get enough snow. My mother, who came with us, actually said that out loud. I guess great minds think alike.

If you are looking for a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon and it’s not too cold out (or if you don’t mind walking in the cold), take advantage of this underused natural resource. It’s beautiful and peaceful, the perfect recipe for smiles like this:

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