A Walk in the Sterling Woods

Sterling1Recently, Yang and I decided to take a Sunday morning walk, while it was still relatively cool, in the wooded rail trail in Sterling , MA – right behind the center of town. As you can see from the sign, DSCN2858the name of the trail is  the Mass Central Rail Trail.  It runs about a mile and three quarters one way, so round trip is about three and a half miles – too short for a bicycle ride, but nice for a walk.

 

Parts of the trail are flanked by swamp and marshes like this, Sterling3where we saw tons of Catbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Song Sparrows.  Using our new binoculars, we could watch a Song Sparrow raise his head and liberate a beautiful song.  I just wish we had a camera that could photograph what we see through the binoculars.  We also saw a ground hog pick his way through the underbrush and onto the trail, but he was too quick for us to get a photo of him.

The trail itself is Sterling6straight and flat with packed gravel, perfect for easy walking and so beautifully shady and cool during a summer day – especially in the morning.  We were lucky to see scads of chipmunks and even a few rabbits.  We weren’t so lucky in finding ourselves sometimes accompanied by mosquitoes – Sterling4but they weren’t so bad here as in other woods we’ve strolled through.

 

Toward its far end, the trail passes across a lake.  This area had once been a vacation resort, but now, as a public trail, anyone can go there to fish, boat quietly, or just enjoy the view. Dscn2868 There are some benches in the woods overlooking the lake that afford a lovely relaxing outlook.  Once, Yang and I took our tea and scones there to sit and have breakfast and enjoy the beautiful vista.  We saw scores of dragon flies and baby fish. We’ve also seen a Great Blue Heron here in the past.  I think Sterling7I might even have done some reading.  Where a bridge carries you over the lake, you come out into the sunshine, and it’s such a pleasurable view!

 

 

Yang really enjoyed using our new binoculars!Sterling5

In the parking lot,Sterling10 I saw these lovely daisies and chicory, so I had to photograph them.  One year, I found loads of Baltimore Orioles, male and female, building their nests in the trees along the lot.  Sterling12No such luck this visit.  I might have come too late in the season.  Still, a wonderful walk.

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