Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Watertown NY’

20140907-161018.jpg

The waterfall behind the Burrville cider mill. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

On Sunday, we took part in our yearly September ritual – visiting the Burrville Cider Mill for apples, cider, and apple cider donuts.  As always, we had to visit the beautiful waterfall in back.  The smell of the cider press and donuts was intoxicating!  And yes… we shared some of our donuts with Bee.  That either makes us the best parents or the worst…  I haven’t decided…

After that, since it was such a gorgeous day, we went to Sackets Harbor for a picnic near Lake Ontario. It was relaxing just to be there next to such a lovely body of water.  Another ADFer recently blogged about making pilgrimages to various Great Lakes; she refereed to them as “ladies of the lakes.” There’s certainly a lot of divine energy there.  Bee had fun visiting the different trees in the park.  We said hello to the ancestors at the battlefield monument.  We also met a lovely butterfly.  Summer lingers, but autumn is definitely coming into power.

20140907-161036.jpg

Lake Ontario as seen from he Sackets Harbor battlefield. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

Read Full Post »

 

 

We weren’t the only family enjoying a nice walk by the pond on the trail. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2014.

If you live in the Watertown area of Jefferson County, NY, and you’re looking for an easy hike to commune with nature away from the crowds that usually populate Thompson Park, I highly suggest the Calcium Trail.  Right off Rt. 11, it’s very accessible and relatively private.  There’s a parking lot and the trail is very well-maintained.  We went in the early afternoon.  While there were a few other people jogging, it was a very quiet place.  Several markers line the gravel path indicating the length you’ve traveled or highlighting the biodiversity.  There’s a lot of that: wildflowers, songbirds, squirrels, waterfowl, and rodents (we saw a few dead voles… were they hit by bikers in the dark?  Kind of weird…)

The Calcium Trail is 2.1 miles all the way.  Since we’re getting back into shape and had Bee with us (snug in her carrier), we decided to walk half the trail and turn around.  In total, we walked roughly 2 miles.  It is not a loop, so you’ll have to plan on turning around regardless of whether you walk the whole length or not.  Along with the trail makers, there are some places for you to stop and enjoy the natural surroundings – wooden bridges, benches, and a gazebo area with picnic tables.  If you are in the Watertown area and seeking a quiet place to meditate or commune with nature that isn’t very busy, this seems like an excellent trail to visit.  While we just went to walk and enjoy nature, I definitely want to revisit and do some meditation.

A few caveats:

1) There wasn’t a restroom at the end we explored, so make sure you take that into consideration.

2) There is also a very small playground at the gazebo area, meaning you may go expecting quiet and discover some noisy children playing.  That said, there are plenty of other quiet areas to enjoy.

3) There isn’t a lot of shade on the Rt. 11 end, so dress appropriately, especially if you’re bringing a little one along for the ride!

4) Fire is not allowed.  If you are hoping to do a private or small group ritual, you’ll need to find an alternative to bonfires or candles.  Given the picnic table, a small birthday cake style candle probably wouldn’t attract much negative attention.  Otherwise, don’t forget that the sun is the Earth’s original sacred fire!

5) Similar to the fire rule, visitors are asked not to leave anything.  This is a conservation area, so keep that in mind if you intend to make an offering.  Consider charging some water with your gratitude so as to not disrupt the environment.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Three Cranes Grove, ADF, did an “Earth-Along” last weekend with people all over the world.  You didn’t need to  be part of Three Cranes, or even ADF, to participate.  The first day was of service to the Earth Mother and Nature Spirits.  As I said recently, I take a bag into the woods with me every year right after the snow has fully melted.  It tends to come around Earth Day.  What perfect timing!  So I joined my brother and sister Druids around the world and went into the forest to do what I could.  A bit of styrofoam here, a broken toy there, a stray decoration here, a plastic bag there…  The hardest part is saying, “enough.”  There’s still more, but I can’t do it all by myself.  Whenever I visit the woods, I make a point to take three things back with me for the trash or recycling bin, yet rubbish continues to find its way in…

Yesterday, a few of us from Northern Rivers Protogrove  attended The Thousand Islands Land Trust’s Arbor Day Celebration in Clayton, NY.  It was a lovely time and gets better each year!  Kudos to my friend, C, for organizing so much!  I led several children in an active meditation in which we used our imaginations to become trees.  It was basically the Two Powers for children but much more secular.  It was a hit and I will definitely do it again next year!  There were many other family activities such as making peanut butter and birdseed pinecones, leaf rubbings, and visiting animals from a local organic farm. One of our grovies helped children write environmental goals on a mural, and a few others helped to plant some trees.  After that was lunch and chatting along the majestic St. Lawrence River.

Today, my husband, my daughter, and I joined with others in Thompson Park in Watertown, NY for an “Earth Week Celebration.”  First was a discussion on sustainability lead by  Mr.Juczak, founder of Woodhenge in Adams, NY.  Then we broke into groups to clean up the park.  My family found so much litter!  It was hard to help with a baby in a carrier, but I pulled my own weight.  It felt great to give back to Nature and the community.  For many of my urban friends in the area, Thompson Park remains one of the most accessible natural locations so it’s important to keep it clean.

As I explained to one of my fellow cleaners today, as someone who reveres the Earth, it’s important for me to truly practice what I preach.  It isn’t enough to send out healing energy and give offerings of seed and herbs.  You have to embrace sustainability as a lifestyle.  That can mean many different things to different people, and the important thing is that you start to take baby steps to live in better harmony with the Earth and Nature Spirits every day.  With that in mind, I remind all of my readers that we shouldn’t leave service to the Earth Mother and Nature Spirits to Earth Hour, Earth Day, Arbor Day, or Earth Week.  We need to live and breath it!

May we honor the Earth Mother in all we think, say, and do!  So be it.

Read Full Post »