Last time we hiked in Brimfield, it was December and fresh snow was on the ground. Now, it’s April, and on a beautiful sunny day we wanted a hike without too much mud (it rained all week, and snow is still melting) and without too much strain on the legs. Brimfield seemed to fit the bill again.
As you can see, it was a beautiful early Spring day. The sky was rich blue with a bright warm sun, and giant puffy clouds drifted overhead.
We parked at the Route 20 parking lot, and enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun. Temperatures were around 50 but the 20 mph winds made it feel a bit more brisk. There were a handful of cars in the lot, and we passed several families walking with dogs and/or kids, as well as a couple sets of cyclists. We weren’t the only ones thinking today was a good day for the Grand Trunk.
I set out trying to find signs of Spring, but didn’t come up with much. Most of the snow was melted, save for a few shaded areas, but there was still lots of ice on the standing water. We saw no rabbits, no snakes, no turtles, and no frogs — all animals we’d seen on our summer trips here. Plenty of birds were singing, though, and that helped.
As you can see, the trail is broad and flat; it becomes a bit more winding later on but still remains a very bike- and horse-friendly trail.
On both sides of the trail were frequent small ponds, fed by the melt. Most had some ice still in them.
For a good chunk of our walk, a plane flew overhead, perhaps some kind of training exercise. It would do wide banking flyovers at fairly low altitude and then repeat. I’ve encountered this sort of thing before in this area, at the nearby campground and the nearby reservoir. I didn’t get a shot of the plane at its lowest but I did snap one on a higher fly-by.
It was there that we saw the first real new growth of the year we’d encountered — bright green thorn bushes. The first thing to grow is the nastiest? We turned around and headed back at this point, rather than continuing on towards the other end of the trail.
Walking back out of the more wooded areas we entered the broad, flat section again, and were reminded of the total devastation caused by the 2011 tornado. It’s likely that the damage to this landscape will outlast us. We finished our walk quietly, thinking of what the years ahead will bring both to us, and to this scarred section of land.