Sunday, November 25, 2007
Bailey's Great Expedition to Hubbard Park
A sunny and cold Saturday afternoon. Bailey, our four-legged mom sets off in Dad's little PT cruiser for West Peak, a small mountain down the road. Hubbard Park was bequeathed to the town of Meriden, Connecticut by Walter Hubbard, president of the Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company, many years ago. Hubbard had built a castle (which he called "Castle Craig") on the property and laid out the estate, which occupied most of the mountain, with the help of the architect, Frederick Law Olmstead.
In November, the place looks a bit spooky, with howling winds and bleak ledges of orange-black basalt. Then, there is also the disturbing legend of the BLACK DOG. Bailey did NOT want to meet the black dog!
Well, this is as good a place to start as any.
First stop: Mirror Lake. The late Monsieur Hubbard's minions have decked the place out with lighted swans and a full panoply of Christmas decorations. I wonder what this will look like at night?
(We're cheating! Dad and Mom returned later to check out the lights.)
Maybe there are truffles buried here.
Okay, it's time to do some serious walking.
We'll head up toward Lake Merimere! Yes, it's pretty, but it's really a desolate glacial basin without vegetation or life, giving it an eery aquamarine color.
West Peak marks the terminus of the glacier 25,000 years ago, but it was also once a volcano! That goes back a bit in time...about 200 million years, when Connecticut was attached to the continent of Africa. Bailey was wondering if there may be a wandering Giraffasaurus Rex around...
Well, time for some more exercise...there's a golden retriever ahead, at least!
That ocre-colored basalt is everywhere, but there's also...
Vesicular lava! Not exactly what the Romans saw at Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted, but lava nevertheless. This stuff sort of seeped and oozed all over the place, forming the "hanging hills" of Meriden.
There's Castle Craig! Seems a little bit out of place, here--maybe Bonny Prince Charlie's Connecticut legions are lurking up in those hills waiting to bring the throne back to Edinborough.
Stone crags everywhere! We Kerry Blues love to leap on top of things, perch for awhile, and bark commands.
You've got to admit...this place has a little bit of everything. Wetlands, grasses, even a weird sort of bamboo...
The trees appear to have been carved by elves.
What a cool place for a swim! Except that it's just about zero degrees centigrade, and the wind is kicking up.
Hmmmm..... I wonder what this is...
(Dad's cheating again!)
Are these supposed to be beaver?
It's a good thing that we Irish dogs have a vivid imagination. Otherwise, nothing would make sense!
Okay, I'm thoroughly exhausted. Time to get in the car and go home!
What a day...
There's only one honorable thing to do!