Recently, 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, the 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, where 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 straight 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 – but 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. 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 I 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!