March 24, 2012 - Hike and Maple Tapping Tour with St. Peters
On March 24 ICO and St. Peters joined for an energy-filled, teen-led hike up to the accessible peak at Doublet Hill in Weston, followed by a trip to Weston's maple "Sugaring Off" festival. Two St. Peters staff members-- Culi and Alex, a junior counselor-- joined 11 middle school boys and four Boston ICO volunteers for what started as a one hour nature hike in the Weston Conservation Lands. We stopped along the way at a pond. Challenged with finding signs of spring, we examined the pond for frog eggs, noticed little brightly-colored blossoms close to the ground, and spotted plants that on hot days smell like skunks. Not only did we enjoy listening to the sounds of our surroundings during 10 seconds of silence (where birds, the wind and even route 95 were cited), but we were soon rewarded at the top of the hill with a breathtaking view of the Boston skyline that left some of us speechless for a little longer! For some, it was the first they'd seen the city in this way. We later found out that at least 4 of the kids had never hiked before.
Next stop was to the Land's Sake sugar shack at the Weston Middle School, where middle schoolers gave us a great tour of the maple sugaring process. While listening to live folk music, we worked up a bit of an appetite taking turns pedaling the stationary bicycle to power a blender-- and enjoyed maple smoothies as the fruits of our labor. Then we hit the nearby basketball courts, shooting hoops and throwing around footballs before lunchtime. The day ended with a brief and educational but (thankfully) otherwise uneventful visit to the Land's Sake bee farm, where we saw where the bees lived. The photo at left was taken before we left for home, while posing underneath a gorgeous blossoming tree.
Thanks to ICO first-time volunteers Andrew (who took the majority of the terrific photos) and Chuck, and for Allison and Rucker for co-leading.
And, thanks to our Poet-Photographer Andrew, we have an historic first: A Trip Report Poem!
The Tree and Seeds of the City
by Andrew Kinlock
And she answers by being Ally to Sons,
Few hear the call of the tree,
Flooding-- one of nature's and weather's many talents.
Because by his nature he calls upon Allys to fill in Rucks with help from the woodChuck,