Clouds Never Die

Clouds Never Die

Pathfinder is a monthly publication to console, support and empower the modern widow/er. A recent article based on an interview with me on how nature can help heal grief can be found on their website about 2/3 down the page.

For a complete copy of the article, consider subscribing to the magazine.

UCONN SSW Fall 2014 006EcoTherapist Beth Lapin is offering a series of four workshops in May in Middletown, CT. Details:

HEALING NATURE
Dates (Thursdays): May 7, 14, 21, and 28
Times:  6:30 – 8 pm
Location: Camp Building, Ron McCutcheon Park at Crystal
Lake​, Middletown, CT​
Fee: $65
Instructor Name: Beth Lapin  (beth@healingnaturect.com)
Ages: 18+

Description: In our hectic world, discover the calming,
peaceful benefit of nature.  In this program, we will use our
senses to strengthen our connection with the natural world
and be introduced to several techniques to help relax and let
go of daily stress. In addition, we will use our creative outlets
such as writing, drawing, music/sound, and movement, to
express our experiences and address weekly environmental
topics. Come explore what nature can do for you and what
you can give back!

Use the registration form to the right, which can be mailed to Middletown Recreation Division. ​2015 HN Registration Form

​Or email Beth, contact Recreation at (860) 638-4500, or download their brochure.

Maromas Why Hike 2014 012
Earth Day Nature Hike: Hubbard Brook Park

Sunday April 19, 2015

Middletown Recreation & Community Services

On Sunday, April 19 at 10AM, ecotherapist Beth Lapin will be offering an Earth Day hike at Hubbard Brook Preserve in the Maromas part of town through Middletown’s Recreation Division.  We will explore this 75-acre  park protected by an easement from CL+P to CT Forest and Park Association. The Preserve offers protected habitat for plants and wildlife, with scenic vistas of the Connecticut River. The trip should last until approximately 11:30AM.Wear hiking shoes, bring a snack and water, camera, binoculars if desired. Children under age 16 must attend with an adult 18+.

Directions: Hubbard Brook Preserve, turn right onto River Rd, 2.5 miles off Aircraft Rd (exit 10 from Route 9 or off Saybrook Rd/Route 154); parking on left ~1 mile from River Rd/Aircraft Rd jctn

Or: take Route 9 or Route 154 to Aircraft Road (exit 10 from Route 9). Follow Aircraft Rd about 2.5 miles, turn right onto River Rd, parking on left ~1 mile from River Rd/Aircraft Rd jctn

Please email her (Beth@HealingNatureCT.com) if you are planning to join her. Questions that morning: 860 262 2788. This trip will be cancelled if inclement weather.

Linda Buzzell has produced an informative video about ecotherapy. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7V8I6oKWUo

On Saturday, May 3, Beth Lapin will be offering a hike on Higby Mountain as part of the City of Middletown’s rescheduled Earth Day Celebration. We will have a rare opportunity to access the Mattabesett Trail through the city’s water department lands that include Higby and Adder Reservoirs.

Come join her for a three+ hour moderate walk up the eastern flank of the ridge, along the top, where we can snack, and then continue our loop to the water treatment building.

Wear hiking shoes (some wet areas), bring a snack and water, camera, binoculars if desired.

Directions: on Route 66, about a quarter-mile west of the junction with Higby Road (Red Dog Saloon), look for an unmarked driveway on the right (north) with an orange cone that leads to the reservoir. Follow it to the buildings, where there are restrooms and parking.

Please let her know (Beth@HealingNatureCT.com) if you are planning to join us. Questions: 860 398 4470; that morning: 860 262 2788.

Healing Nature WATER 06.21.12 004In our hectic world, discover the calming, peaceful benefit of nature. In this program, we will use our senses to strengthen our connection with the natural world and be introduced to several techniques to help relax and let go of daily stress. In addition, we will use our creative outlets such as writing, drawing, music/sound, and movement, to express our experiences and address weekly environmental topics. Come explore what nature can do for you and what you can give back!

Register online at www.middletownct.gov/webtrac, or at Middletown Park and Recreation, 100 Riverview Center, #140, $65 for four sessions, Thursday evenings, May 1, 8, 15, 22. Questions: Beth@HealingNatureCT.com or 860 398 4470.  2014 Healing Nature Class Registration Form

Route 81 loop 006Ever wondered if plants communicate or how they are so successful? An excellent and thought-provoking program on PBS explores What Plants Talk About. Check it out!

According to PBS: “When we think about plants, we don’t often associate a term like “behavior” with them, but experimental plant ecologist JC Cahill wants to change that. The University of Alberta professor maintains that plants do behave and lead anything but solitary and sedentary lives. What Plants Talk About teaches us all that plants are smarter and much more interactive than we thought!”

Nature Hikes through Middletown Park & Rec

Spring Nature Walk

Wednesday, April 16
11:00 a.m., no charge, Wadsworth State Park, Middlefield, CT; Dress for the weather. Educational walk on the trails of Wadsworth State Park. Children under age 16 must attend with an adult 18+. Register through Park and Rec (Please use 2014 Spring Nature Walk Registration Form)

Questions? email Beth@HealingNatureCT.coom

Healing Nature WATER 06.21.12 004Healing Nature Sessions

Thursdays, May 1,8,15,& 22
6:30-8:00 PM
Ron McCutcheon Park, Crystal Lake, Middletown, CT

In this program, we will use our senses to strengthen our connection with the natural world. You will be introduced to several techniques to help you relax and let go of your daily stress. In addition, we will use our creative outlets such as writing, drawing, music/sound, and movement, to express our experiences and address weekly environmental topics. Come explore what nature can do for you and what you can give back!

Email Beth@HealingNatureCT.com for more information.

Route 81 loop 002On Monday, Cherry and I continued our Haddam trails visits with a hike at what is called Route 81 loop. We found the trailhead on the north side of Beaver Brook Road, west of the junction with Route 9, and began our hike around 8:45AM. It was cool and gray as we crossed a gently flowing stream and wandered through dense vegetation. The trail was initially distinct and we had a map. Keep to the left, we decided, in order to avoid inadvertently leaving the main trail and ending up at one of the other parking areas.

 Cherry talked about nearing retirement and all the activities she’d been pursuing. Between church variety shows and a Master Gardener trip to the Cloisters, symphony performances and trying to clean out her files, she had been quite busy. She affirmed that this was the right decision for her and we laughed about how the timing evolved.

Route 81 loop 003

We found a live oak peppered with pileated woodpecker holes and trekked through large laurel thickets. We had surprise eye delights of swamp pink and lady’s slippers along the way. Cherry said she’d decided not to travel to Buenos Aires, but would be joining a church group to the Holy Land in February. She would have plenty of time to renew her passport and have something to look forward to all winter.

Route 81 loop 007We crossed several small streams cascading over bedrock. With newly emerged leaves, the mixture of colors and patterns, combined with bird calls, the trail was enticing. I managed to discover yet another tick imbedded in me (that made three over the past 24 hours) and another crawling on me. I talked about progress with my city project to convert an old school to a senior center and the improved health of the 90 year old woman I assist (after a fall and stint at the hospital, she was now at the rehab center).

The area was delightful, showing little sign of overuse. However, in a few sections, more bright green trail markings would have been useful, and perhaps a sign indicating the direction of the side trail to parking. After about two hours, we’d returned to the car parked on Beaver Meadow Road, completing a 2.7 mile loop. True confessions? We stopped by a local shop in Higganum to grab a snack, sit at an outside table, relax together, and schedule our next trip.

Haddam Reservoir 04.29.13 001Cherry and I were ready to start hiking again! This time, we decided to focus on trails in Haddam, her hometown. We used www.haddamtrails.org as our guide.

It turns out there were thirteen trails in town, of which we’d already hiked one as part of the Mattabessett Trail. There also were three in Cockaponset and we’d tried some of that already. So, today, we started with Higganum Reservoir Trail. A round-trip of about a mile and a half, we knew it wouldn’t take long.

It was a cloudy day with temperatures in the fifties, which made for a perfect hike. At 8:30, we parked at the north end of the reservoir to look at the spillway, comprised of large brownstone slabs. We then meandered through a nearby cemetery to reach Hull Avenue and locate the trailhead. We talked about Cherry’s upcoming retirement and issues related to continuation of her programs once she was gone. She also shared about a potential trip she might take to Buenos Aires in January, which sounded quite exciting.

We were disappointed that the trail was so far from the reservoir, so we bushwhacked down to it and tried to follow along. We did get a few nice views of the waterway, while we talked about the current state of my writing. I talked about an in-progress short story and challenges in completing it by Thursday and Cherry was encouraging about its plot line.

Haddam Reservoir 04.29.13 002 Seeing no clear way to continue along the reservoir, we returned to the trail and encountered two women walking three barking dogs. We were glad to move past them and find the source of the reservoir, a lovely stream flowing over rock outcrops. Reaching the other trailhead, we backtracked, staying on the official trail. Cherry asked about my recent trip to Stockholm and Denmark and I told her about the various foods and sights we’d seen. By then, we had returned to our parked car.

 Since it was still early, we decided to hike along the railroad tracks along the river in the center of town. Not an official trail, it crossed Higganum Cove (a superfund site containing PCBs, municipal solid waste, and asbestos.) before reaching the river. Being very low tide, we were able to explore the small beach before hiking north along the tracks. After a half hour, we turned and retraced our steps and returned to our cars at 11:30AM.

 Cherry hadn’t been to either of these areas, so we had a nice introduction to Haddam’s trails. To top it off, we decided to lunch at Mamma Roux’s on chili and gumbo. Cherry suggested a plan for future adventures that included selecting a Connecticut town and spending the day exploring trails, shops, and museums, and sampling a restaurant. I didn’t hesitate to agree. We’ll pick our first town after retirement at the end of June. Meanwhile, we’ll head back to Haddam in May to sample another trail or two.