Good nights to wink back at fireflies — #berkshireweekend

TThe ducks take off, almost running on top of the water, and we watch them through a screen of cat-tails. The tops of the stalks carry cones of russet-gold we think must be pollen, and in the rushes we can see yellow iris blooming. In more than 20 years here, I’ve never seen this place before.

And yet it’s close to the well-traveled ways into town. We’re standing on the path along Harmon Pond, an easy walk on a Williamstown Rural Lands trail. A friend wanted to swim, and he pulled me away from my computer screen to check out Margaret Lindley Park. And we found the trails along Hemlock Brook.

It’s a quiet Saturday, a muggy afternoon in the flat-out stretch of the year when so many creative places are teeming at once, so many actors and dancers and artists and musicians offering their work, I’m scrambling and wishing for a teleporter.

So many people share their minds with us, often only for a night or two. They are rare and moving, they keep me going — and I needed this too, someone to walk with in the hemlock trees and see the milkweed and crowned vetch and black-eyed Susans the meadow. The highbush blueberries are showing new green fruit along the shore, and the checkerberries taste of wintergreen.

A flame-orange mushroom emerges by the trail along Harmon Pond in Williamstown on a July afternoon.
Photo by Kate Abbott

A flame-orange mushroom emerges by the trail along Harmon Pond in Williamstown on a July afternoon.

Up close …

Come down Route 7, and just as Route 2 heads west into New York, you’ll see the sign for Margaret Lindley Park, a friendly family swimming hole, just past WRL’s center at Sheep Hill. Trails begin here for a gentle walk along Hemlock Brook or through the woods to Harmon’s Pond.

Outdoor events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

A glass of white wine shimmers against dark green trees. Creative Commons courtesy photo
Oct 10 2023 @ 7:00 pm
Naumkeag's horticulturist will lead a after-hours tour of the gardens while sipping on a glass of wine. Each month will offer a different topic for the garden.
The Hoosic River runs through Hopkins Forest in Williamstown. Photo by Kate Abbott
Oct 19 2023 @ 5:30 pm
Justin Adkins and Arianna Alexsandra Collins of HooRWA will lead a walk along the Hoosic River, identifying wild edible and medicinal plants and fungi.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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