Sunday, February 26, 2017


Visit #1061, Sunday 26 February 17, 7:10-8:50AM, 3.4 miles.
Temps in the 30's, mostly cloudy with a chilly breeze.

Every once in a while my weekly agenda in Hubbard Park gets grabbed by the horns and wrestled in a direction that wasn't planned. This was one of those weeks.

I planned on a simple clockwise loop of the trails, starting at the parking lot by the playscape and picking up the trail behind the bank of daffodils. I began to collect so much litter and it consumed so much time that there was no way I would be able to cover the distance of that clockwise loop in a reasonable amount of time.

I can only assume the excessive amount of trash I picked up was buried under snow all winter, which means I must have slacked off in my duties, prior to the snow cover. Guess you can call me a slacker!

So I spent Sunday covering all the trails on the south side of I-691, closer to the park.

By the time I reached the small parking area in the northwest corner of the park near Mirror Lake, I'd already accumulated a full bag and had to return to the parking lot to drop it off.

A couple gems I found among the usual:

Clue me in; is this figurine related to Wallace and Gromit?

Can't forget the obligatory condom shot!

Dropping off that first bag o' trash.

Then I turned around and "litteraly" picked up (pun intended-sometimes I kill myself!) where I left off.

I walked the trail all the way to West Main Street/Belmont Avenue then turned around and hiked different trails back to the park.

Enroute, I came upon this business card secured to the rock.

I think this is worse than last week's flags because it's blatant advertising of an organization.

So, I sent the following note to the member's e-mail address which was printed on the back, and sent a similar version to the church itself:

"I volunteer in Hubbard Park, Meriden, maintaining the trails on a weekly basis. See my blog at . On Sunday I came upon one of your church's "business cards" conveniently placed on a rock on the trail.

You don't have the right to advertise your church in public parks. Not only is it tasteless, it's tantamount to littering. People don't go to the park to enjoy the advertising. I'll consider it an innocent mistake. Please discontinue this practice.


Back at the park, I continued to be amused by my findings. Since I was walking back to the parking lot on the road around Mirror Lake, I thought I'd continue to make myself useful and I picked up trash within the park itself. I came upon this little "shrine" as I don't know what else to call it.

Back at the parking lot, I dropped off my second bag of trash and called it a day. Yeah; I found the bucket too, and filled it with the cardboard.

I'll have to leave this week's curtailed plans for next week.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Man on Fire II

I was on fire today; enough to melt the ice on Merimere Reservoir.

Visit #1060, Sunday 19 February 17, 8:25-10:45AM, 3.9 miles.
Temps in the high 30's, rising to 50 today, mostly sunny.

As I was driving west on I-691 to Hubbard Park I spotted something which prompted me to drastically alter today's plans, so much so that I turned around and drove back home, where I retrieved the proper tools, then returned to the park. Last time I was a Man on Fire was August, 2013.

What irked me so much was this:

Last week I walked across the bridge and the black, white, and blue flags (yes; there was one on the eastbound and westbound lanes) weren't there. So what do they represent? Read HERE.

I'm all for supporting our police (I myself was a police officer in the Air Force), but I won't let someone co-opt public property to promote their private cause-especially Hubbard Park. So I removed both flags.

To compound the irk, whoever hung the flags was SO proud to fly them but couldn't care less where they left the cut ends of the tyraps they used.

Same deal on the westbound lane, including the tyraps.

I've removed other banners promoting private causes too, so don't think I'm singling out one group.

June 2012

September 2012

Okay; after I had unwadded my panties and calmed down, I continued on.

My route lead me up to the road from West/East Peak, which I walked down back to the park.

My original plans prior to my flag diversion were to check on the flow of water from the brook which feeds Merimere Reservoir. A friend was curious whether we had enough snow to replenish the reservoir to pre-drought levels and I decided to see what's up. I think there will be greater water flow once the ground thaws.

These Canadian geese didn't seem to mind the ice nor the cold water, doing their version of a penguin plunge.

On the way back to the park I noticed a few sections of road where last week's high winds had either dropped trees or branches. The sections were cleared by others.

It was also during my return trip to the park that I chanced upon my Find of the Week. I don't think I'll get use out of it for the remainder of this winter, but I can count on it for next year.

Back at the park I dropped off my trash for the week.

The time wasted for the trip home to fetch tools to cut the flags down had to be addressed. In the past I've needed similar tools for short-notice work in Hubbard Park and was empty handed. Today was the day I did something about it. So on the way home I stopped at the store and equipped myself for the future.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Double Dump

I wasn't the only one who didn't mind the weather. Some people know fun can be found in Hubbard Park even in the midst of snow.

Visit #1059, Sunday 11 February 17, 8:15-9:45AM, 2.8 miles.
Temps in the 20's, snowing with 4" forecast, changing to freezing rain.

You'd think with 10" of snow dumped in Meriden on Thursday and another 4" expected today, that I would just stay home and not bother with  my weekly duties in Hubbard Park.

Wrong. If I'm not in search of litter, I can still enjoy a decent hike. So I grabbed my snowshoes and set out before driving became too dicey.

Tracks in the snow on the walkbridge over I-691. Nice to see others people getting out there even if walking was a slog. I only saw one other set of snowshoe tracks.

The beehive fountain reliably streams water, even in the coldest conditions.

The trampled path to the Halfway House.

While I knew I wouldn't find any litter on the trails, I decided I would police the parking lot before I left, as I saw some trash when I arrived.

While I can't remember the man's name, I've met a person who walks the road around Merimere Reservoir and carries a plastic grocery bag with him. On the outbound leg of his walk, if  he spies any litter he'll place it roadside. He'll pick it up on his return leg. I'm guessing that's his bag of trash as he probably dropped it off while walking laps within the plowed roads in Hubbard Park.

I hope I was right because I picked up the bag of trash and threw it away!

And I was not to be denied my own bounty. I didn't find it all in the same location, so I don't think there's a story here.

Afternoon rain showers are forecast for Wednesday, but I think it will leave enough snow to put on the 'shoes next weekend, too. Don't wait until then to experience winter in Hubbard Park; get out there!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Deep Winter

Visit #1058, Saturday 4 February 17, 9:00-11:00AM, 4.8 miles.
Temps in the high 20's, sunny with a chilly wind.

Thanks to Paul Bernier for joining me this week, venturing out cold weather to help keep Hubbard Park clean.

In the deep of winter, I don't expect to find much trash in Hubbard Park. But I head out there weekly anyway; it keeps one from getting lazy.

And the LAST word I'd use to describe Paul Bernier would be "lazy", which is why he joined me despite the cold.

We walked the road from the park all the way around Merimere Reservoir. A section of the road has been in a state of collapse for many years. This year, it is scheduled for repair. If you view the photos in the newspaper article, you'll see gray paint on the Jersey barriers-THAT'S MINE! I painted over graffiti several years ago.

My only hope is the repair work includes maintaining the aesthetic of the original stone wall.

Paul and I walked the road all the way up to West Peak. No matter there was so little trash to be found; we enjoyed ourselves anyway, and we stopped long enough at West Peak to take a few photos of the view.

We returned to the parking lot, dropped off our trash for the week, and went back into hibernation.