We had a great hike at the Shelton Land Conservation Trust's Nicholdale Preserve on Rt. 110 in the White Hills on Saturday. It was one of the required hikes for the Shelton Trails Marathon Challenge, so we hope that everyone who attended is trying to complete that and earn a special trails medallion. It was particularly fitting given that this was the closing weekend of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
A lot of people view "The Challenge" as a fitness test, to see how many miles they can do, or how fast they can do the trails. Which is fine; two guys who were on the hike Saturday plan on doing all 13 hikes this fall in one day shooting around town, which sounds crazy, but I think they'll be fine. Whatever gets you out in the woods. Just consider, no matter how fast you go, remember to look around and enjoy the moment.
One of the good things about these hikes on the Shelton Trails Marathon Challenge is that you get to try out new open spaces, new trails, and see things that you may not have noticed before. On the Nicholdale Hike we got to walk around the open fields (on nicely mowed paths) and see a number of wildflowers; Joe Pye weed, Ironweed, Milk weed, and others. Since it was mid-summer there were hundreds of butterflies, moths, bees, and other insects feeding on the wildflowers in the meadows.
guide to Common Butterflies of New England which some of the kids used to identify the butterflies that they saw. We stopped from time to time to check out each one that they identified. It was fun having them explain to us what we were looking at. So everybody got to get some exercise, check off a hike on the list, learn a few things, and enjoy a great summer morning out with friends and family. It's amazing how enjoyable the trails are when you slow down and look around - and it's free. As a Famous Philosopher once said "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it". More photos to come from this hike when our erstwhile photographer gets around to uploading them.