On a trip to the Connecticut shore last week we started at Harkness State Park. We almost skipped it because we hadn’t seen much activity the last time we were there. This day there was plenty of ruckus with six school buses of middle-schoolers on a field trip.
Walking away from that crowd down to the marsh I was rewarded with a glimpse of this colorful fellow, oblivious to the din from the picnic area..
Further along, there was this fleeting view. The underbrush there is dense, with new growth coming up through last year’s left overs. The park service mows a wide path which allows human visitors to avoid the prickers.
The marsh inlet was alive with activity: Geese, Mallards, an active Osprey nest, and an elusive green Heron.
A Snowy Egret gave a good show hunting for lunch, then we moved on to Rocky Neck State Park where the Egrets were even more plentiful and active.
The snow is down to just patches along the CT side of the Long Island Sound. Eolia, the one-time mansion of the Harkness family, and its grounds are now showing off details that can only be seen this time of year. Some, like the ceiling, aren’t fully hidden during summer but could easily be overlooked when the vibrant gardens catch your eye.
These underpinnings of the gardens and the views through the trees will soon be obliterated by the plants and trees that make the gardens and grounds of Eolia so wonderful in the warmer months. It’s been a rugged winter and budding leaves will be a welcome sight.
Eolia Manion, Harkness Memorial State Park
New London Ledge Light seen through an elegant glassed in room of the mansion.
View of entrance to New London Harbor
Wrought iron support
Long Island Sound over the wall and through the vines.
Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Connecticut is home to Eolia, formerly the summer mansion of the Harkness family. The park includes 230 seaside acres of sweeping lawns, with stately trees and spectacular gardens.