Tomorrow will be a stormy day. That made the sunny skies and mild temperatures of today unavoidably tempting. Helaine, Doppler and I took off for Hamden’s longest, thinnest, most used town park.
I’ve heard this trail called everything. It’s the Linear Park, the Canal Line and Rail-to-Trail. Google Maps calls it the Farmington Canal Heritage Tail. Mostly it’s just “the trail.”
We picked up the trail at Brooksvale Park, a more traditional park with ball fields, playground equipment, a pond and open space. Oh–and animals.
Brooksvale Park has a menagerie of small farm animals. Around twenty years ago the USDA forced the town to build a fence around the fence that penned in the goats, sheep and ponies. Kids could no longer get close to the petting zoo wannabes.
I’m a liberal, but even I’ll admit big government took the fun out of this part of the park. Are you happy now bureaucrats?
We left the park crossed Brooksvale Avenue, then a small bridge and were on the trail. It is a one lane blacktop strip with woods and wetlands on either side.
Before the trail this was the right-of-way for the long defunct New Haven and Northampton Railroad. Earlier still it was the route of the Farmington Canal.
Our section of the trail is flat!
We walked north toward Cheshire.
The trail was loaded with bikers, skaters and walkers. Many like us had brought dogs along. Doppler made a few friends. There are more small dogs here than on Sleeping Giant.
We saw two spectacular small birds up in trees. They were black with orange accents around their shoulders… if birds had shoulders. My cellphone camera was unable to get close enough for a good look, but they were pretty. We weren’t the only ones to stop and gawk.
Later this spring the trail will gain a canopy of trees. Today it was still open to a mainly blue sky.
This is the best time of the year. This is the weather conducive to everything.
6 thoughts on “The Trail”
Sounds like you came across Red Wing blackbirds:
(and Doppler looks happy that there wasn’t hills 😉 )
Thanks Brett. That’s exactly what we saw. Probably my masterful ornithological description, right?
LOL – red wing blackbirds were a favorite of my grandmother – I don’t know of another bird that fits their description in Connecticut!
sorry – that should be “Red-Winged Blackbird” – I’m always leaving off the -ed!
I never knew birds had shoulders- but we knew what you meant!
I have seen several lovely and colorful birds last summer and hope to attract them again. I have been hanging many different shaped and sized feeders and buying seeds that attract all different types of birds and I will say I have seen the brightest yellow birds..small like a Finch but looks more like a canary…black birds with a bright orange splot on each shoulder or top of the shoulder wing, and also some black ones with white too. Im a bird lover. I have 4 birds as pets large and squaking…but even they are wonderful to have as pets.
The Friends of Brooksvale are raising money for a new barn so that the animals will not be in those pens and old shelters anymore. Not sure about how much “petting” will be allowed but should be a better environment for animals and humans alike and allow for more public education and access. They are trying to raise about $200,000 to make this barn a reality. They are on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brooksvale-Park/132631843466733 and the web http://www.brooksvale.org/ if anyone is interested in learning more about the Park, the barn, volunteering or making monetary contributions! It is a great park.