Places like this took less of a direct hit because of the topography, and the trees crept back steadily as there was less and less need for grazing land and huge acreage for crops. This particular bit of land was scraped down to bedrock by the glaciers, carving large tracks for the melt that followed. I suspect that thousands of years ago there were serious rivers in each valley, all of them heading down to what would someday be towns, and lakes, and larger rivers.
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The biggest concern was the rain: would it?
It started to rain the minute people began arriving for the walk; 35, more or less, amazingly enthusiastic people. It continued to rain while the two tree guys introduced themselves and we huddled like refugees waiting for the walk to begin. It rained harder as we marched off into the woods. Some people actually brought umbrellas =)
we had originally suggested splitting the group into two separate parties, one to go west and one to go east but the organizers felt we needed to stay together.
This is one of the stone walls that divide one pasture from another deep in the woods at the bottom of the valley. to the right you can see how steep it is.
We decided to take the easy route (most of the people on the walk were over 50, some I suspect were even over 80), through the admittedly sloppy valley. At some point one of the wood fellas hopped a wall and we found ourselves trekking upward toward the beech ridge. It was a lot like that part in the Hobbit where the hobbits are inexorably shunted downward, toward the Evil Tree, only in this case we were being somehow propelled up. Since snags and downed trees blocked the way down, over and over, up seemed the way to go. Suddenly we all agreed that since we were here, yes, yes, the beech ridge would be lovely.
this is the end of the beech ridge path, leading to the neighbor's field and the really cool view. He's very generous about sharing the view, and it never disappoints.
And this is one corner of the pasture, (yes, it was still raining. endlessly)
Below that photo is the overlook, on a good day you can see the ocean, 40 miles away.
We turned back, to come back to the main house, all along the beech ridge but going the other way. Once there my husband said, hey, let's take the OTHER walk too and everyone said, oboy and off they went. My jacket was thoroughly soaked, and I was starting to forget what toes feel like, so I came in, stoked up the fire, and had one of my power naps in the rocker.
An hour later they all trooped back, having taken not only the scenic route but the long loop, a complete journey of nearly three miles. yikes.
As they left, the rain stopped. The sun came out almost immediately. Of course. And last night, just to make sure we didnt get too excited about spring, we were given two inches of snow. Nature's answer to "spring? Can't last, don't get used to it..."