Winter Walks near Boston


The big challenge of winter isn’t the cold – it’s the short window of daylight. If you work a 9 to 5, a walk to the store or to a friend’s house can still happen after work, but probably not a walk in the woods. Those are relegated to the weekends.

We’ve been trying to take advantage of our opportunities. The photos in this post were taken at Estabrook Woods and Mt. Misery. Both spots are beautiful, easy hikes. I’d describe them as dog-friendly alternatives to Walden Pond – they’re close to Concord, free, and feature little waterways and ponds. And I loved walking them in January.




I would like to nominate blue, underdog of the forest’s color palette, as winter’s winner. Summer is all about green. And gold, orange, and red get their heyday in autumn. But look at that icy cobalt water, and the cool blue shadows stretching behind the tree trunks, and all the sky visible behind bare branches.




Oh yes, and we walked past the most beautiful barn. Maybe it was the setting sun, or the quintessential New England stone wall, but the scene spoke to me. Among other things, wouldn’t it make the best wedding spot?



Kickoff to the Summer Schedule

Yesterday kicked off the start of my summer work schedule – longer hours but only 4 days a week. I’ve never had this setup before, and I want to make the most of a summer full of Mondays.

I think they’ll be perfect for tackling that elusive middle range of the to-do list continuum (see below). This portion of the continuum, located somewhere between “feed pets” and “take a ride on a hot air balloon,” is made of adventures and projects that have been waiting on the back burner. What’s hanging out there on your continuum?

First I took Sam on a rainy walk through Middlesex Fells, a huge swath of previously unexplored green on our Boston city map. It was beautiful and peaceful. Now that Sam’s getting on in years he doesn’t run off long animal-tracking detours anymore; just trots behind me on the path, sniffing.

We met an older gentleman and his golden retriever Cider, and they escorted us down their favorite path to the prettiest pond. The man – I never did get his name – wanted to talk about 3 things: Cider; hiking; and his very favorite movie, Anne of Green Gables. That VHS tape got a lot of play in our house growing up, so I quoted him my favorite lines which went over really well. Haha.


Middlesex Falls (c) MaryMactavish

After lunch I started pinning and cutting out pieces for a vintage dress pattern. I can’t remember if this one came from Gramma or an antique store, but according to this pattern cheat sheet it’s from the 1940s. It illustrates how far vanity sizing has come…Size 12 for a 30 inch bust?? I had to beef up the size of the pieces.

Once my camera gets here I’ll take photos of the finished dress. I shortened the hem, lowered the neckline, made the front one solid piece (I hate sewing buttonholes), and added a zipper to the back.

Butterick 4838 - 1940s

And finally, I pledged a small monthly donation to our local public radio station, WGBH…something I’ve wanted to do for a long while. I mean, how great is public radio? Every week when they play the latest StoryCorps on my drive to work I’m guaranteed to cry (try listening to this one…but watch out, I warned you).

It was just the right timing, because among the many gifts new donors could select, I saw Markets of New England! I’ve been coveting this book since it came by Whipup on its blog tour. Now it looks like I’ll be visiting some markets on my Mondays.