Fresh bread on rainy mornings – #berkshireweekend

Ice Glen feels like its own world. You walk through a gap in the rock, and the land changes — steps and caves, boulders covered with moss and fern. I am only a short scramble from the Housatonic River, and on a November day the path is wet and green with half-submerged pools and evergreens.

It looks like Endor, says the family who passes me on the path, or the planet where Yoda lives — Dagoba. But I’m thinking of Celtic legends where women protect wellsprings and change shape into barn owls, and trees talk, and the Sidhe, fair folk, spirits live in the hills.

There are still hemlocks growing here taller than my eye can track, though I can see more than one fallen tree on the steep slope, and they’re broad enough in the beam to make me think they were here before my grandmothers were born.

Maybe this path makes me aware of more than one rhythm of time. I stand nose to nose with a feathery fall of moss, and I’m not thinking this is a fantasy world, but that it holds my attention close in this one. And it has its own magic. It’s an indelible place.

I’m carrying it with me when I walk into Hilary Knight’s new exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum (with art from Eloise and more) and see the book cover he imagines for a gathering of fabulous monsters — a being with a human form and tapered horns and green shadows on their skin holds a hand to their heart, carrying a winged frog in their hair, and I wonder whether they would feel at home here.

Late fall weekend rambles

Hemlock needles for fine strokes against the in November sky in the Ice Glen in Stockbridge.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Hemlock needles for fine strokes against the in November sky in the Ice Glen in Stockbridge.

A walk through the Ice Glen brings a touch of magic to a November day, and local bakeries bring home comforts, from Sweet Sam Bakes in Williamstown and Bohemian Nouveaux in North Adams to the Lost Lamb in Stockbridge and Berkshire Mountain Bakery and the Sweetish Baker in Great Barrington …

Events coming up …

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

A boy and a lamb walk by the pasture at Hancock Shaker Village.
Apr 17 2024 @ 11:00 am
Hancock Shaker Village welcomes visitors to meet their newest farm babies – lambs, piglets, calves, chicks and kid goats, and enjoy events and activities throughout the Village.
Wildflowers bloom on Stone Hill with the Clark Art Institute in the distance. Press photo courtesy of the museum
Apr 17 2024 @ 1:00 pm
Celebrate spring and Earth Day at the Clark with an art-making activity that incorporates indigenous pollinator seeds that you can take home and plant.
A local exhibit of poems celebrate the Hoosic River on the suspension bridge at Tourists Welcome in North Adams.
Apr 17 2024 @ 6:00 pm
The Hoosic River Watershed Association invites everyone in the communities along the river to celebrate the waterway and write haiku inspired by the river and its surroundings.

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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