I’d driven from Thetford to Meriden in case anyone wanted to go on the hike I was to lead last Sunday. My wife, Ann and I waited at the French’s Ledges Trail (Northern) on Colby Road for a few minutes after one. No one came.
We started up the trail in a light pitter-pat of rain. Like everyone else, we like sunny days but a little rain doesn’t deter us. There are some advantages on rainy days; we got to test our rain gear and it worked well, we saw no one else, it was pleasantly cool for hiking, and we focused on close up views and were rewarded.
We saw at least 18 varieties of wild flowers that we could identify – some past peak, others just right and some yet to come. To name a few, we saw red and painted trilliums, marsh marigolds, toothwort, foamflower, sharp lobed hepatica, trout lilies, Indian cucumber root, wild oats, false Solomon’s seal, rose twisted stalk, and star flowers as well as more common bluets, violets, wild sarsaparilla, wild lily-of-the-valley, partridge berry and strawberries. I’m sure we missed some if only because we were trying to avoid stepping on red spotted newts that were out in force.
The view from the top was of quiet country visible between low lying clouds and softened by the slightly obscuring rain – a scene for an artist. The hike turned out to be a bright spot on a rainy, cloudy day and we knew that as a bonus the exercise was good for our minds, bodies and dispositions. Not bad for a rainy day. Try it; you might like it. I hope to see you on our hike in June.
Roger Hanlon, UVLT Trustee and Sunday Stroll Leader