Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Commons

The day started leisurely, with a bit of sleeping in and a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon, fruit salad and several cups of coffee. With no plans for the day, it was nice to have a relaxing morning. I wasn't sure if I was going to run or not, but around 11:00 am, I decided it was too good of an opportunity not to so I suited up and headed over to Bowdoin to run out into the Commons. It was overcast and raw, windy and spitting rain ever so slightly. Brrr!

I took my time, just running at a mellow pace, and was happy to find that my legs felt good after yesterday's 20 even if I was overall feeling a bit tired. I passed the miles away counting ladyslippers, which are typically in abundance out in the Commons at this time of year. I counted 131, although I was sure many more went unnoticed. There was also rhodora, wild strawberries, blueberry bells, violets, starflowers, bluebead lily and an unknown shrub blooming. Very pretty, as always. Got in a good 6 miles for the day and then went home and ate a donut. HA! ;)


Some sort of Chokeberry? 


Love this grouping of ladyslippers

While I was out running, Sam and Neenie worked out in the garden planting the little plants Sam and I had picked up on Saturday at one of the local plant sales. Of course, Sam is dressed in what could only be termed a typical gardening outfit 😂😂  Love this kid!

Just working in the garden...

...wearing a Patriots Santa hat! 

Good gardener!

Hard at work

Later in the afternoon, we finally motivated and bundled up enough to go out for a short walk in the Commons in search of ladyslippers. With five sets of eyes on a 1.1 mile lollipop, we counted 502 ladyslippers! I had figured we would find more than I had counted this morning, but even I was surprised by how many ladyslippers were out in the woods if we only looked around enough to see them all. Pretty amazing! 

Ladyslipper counters!

Pretty deep pink

Just one of the many out there!

A good Commons day for sure!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Weekend Cathance Fun

Lots of time out in the Cathance this weekend! We are incredibly lucky to have such a great place so close to the house for exploration, running and hiking!

Got in a nice 10 miles wandering along the river and out and around the Blueberry Loop yesterday morning. The river is roaring again after all of the recent rain and the wildflowers are everywhere! Saw one red eft, one deer and was startled by one grouse ;)

Red eft crossing

Roaring Cathance

Bluebead lily flowers



Once I got home, Ryan headed out for his long run and then since it was such a beautiful afternoon, we all headed back over to the Cathance for a short hike mid-afternoon. We walked around the Heath and then did a short jaunt to one of the quarry pools in the hopes of seeing some tadpoles and/or turtles but to no avail. But no matter, still a great 1.5 miles out in the woods together!

23 ladyslippers counted today

Happy hikers

Fringed polygala


Blueberry bells


Along the bog bridges

Wild cala lily

Edge of the Heath

Sky reflected

Bunchberry, starflower and fringed polygala

Sun's out, guns out, tongue's out ;)

Happiness :)

This morning dawned clear, cool, bright and sunny and I headed out around 7:15 am for my long run. I ran a loop up and over Mt. Ararat and then out on the powerlines to run the dump loop before returning to the house at 9.5 miles to pick up Ryan for the remaining 10+ out to Head of Tides. It was nice to have company, and good to get in another 20 miler for the month! Although my legs were a bit tired in the final few miles, I was happy to feel solid and strong and to finish off a 3rd 40+ mile week. Saw a Great Blue Heron out at the Head of Tides, and spotted a Scarlet Tananager up in the trees off the top of Mt. A! Very cool sighting!!

Painted Trillium

White Ladyslipper

Carpet of Lily of the Valley at Head of Tides

Lily of the Valley

Head of Tides

Ryan took off after lunch to cheer on our friends at Pineland, while Sam, Mom, Dad and I headed out for a walk out into the Cathance to check out the river, which is truly roaring! Sam spent the majority of our 1.3 miles out on the trails running and telling us we were not moving fast enough ;) Ha. A fun walk in the woods on yet another beautiful afternoon!

Barnes Leap

Big kid

Trail runner

Along the river


High water

Lots of water!


Cutie pie

Us at Barnes Leap

Sam, Neenie and Pip


The girls, with my hands in an odd position and Sam's expression saying 'Pip, no more photos!' ;)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Pink, Fuschia and White

Things are really popping in the woods right now. I do so love this time of year! And at no other time are there more pink and fuschia wildflowers out on the forest floor. Showy colors for springtime :)

Ran down to the river and back on Tuesday morning. It was a misty morning and I was excited to see that the rhodora and wild cala lilies were blooming in the Heath! Lots of fringed polygala adding color too. Saw one deer. A tired 5+ miles.

Misty morning Heath

Rhodora and cala lilies blooming

Fringed polygala

Later that morning, I joined Sam's class for their field trip to Hannaford as part of their nutrition unit. We walked there and back; it was a bit chaotic but the kids had fun and overall we walked 3+ miles! (Yes, I wore my watch because I'm a dork like that ;0)

Paper hats are cool!

Thursday morning I was out at 5:30 am into yet another nice cool morning. Ran the 7 mile loop out in the Cathance and enjoyed all the wildflowers. The air smelled sweet, like honeysuckle and flowering trees, and although the river has receded a bit it is still flowing nicely and looks lovely set against its green banks. Saw one deer and one of the resident snowshoe hares by the vernal pool.

15 ladyslippers this morning

Misty, roaring river

Painted trillium


We received news last week that one of Sam's art pieces from school was being included in a special Art is Elementary exhibit at the Topsham Library. Last night was the reception, and it was so fun to see her artwork up on the wall! We are so proud of our little artist :) A great exhibit with works from both Topsham elementary schools!


The proud artist and her work :)

It poured rain overnight and when my alarm went off, I could hear the rain pounding against the skylights above; there was also thunder and lightening, and so with that, I went back to sleep :) After a morning of errands and some house cleaning, the skies lightened slightly in the early afternoon so I headed out a bit before 2:00 pm to run the 5 mile Highland Green road loop. Windy, misty and a bit muddy on the back dirt road. Definitely not the best, but not the worst!

And now it's onto the weekend!