As the sun broke on Sunday, I scooted out for a rideabout. There's some bucolic sections of Belchertown, (namely in the southern areas), that I've often driven through on the way here or there, but never really slowed down to take in.
Until now. This area is conveniently close to where I live one town over, and it was about time I stopped to smell the er, roses, as it were.
It was feeding time at a dairy farm that supplies a large local milk brand. As a life-long, major milk consumer, I was mighty glad to see that the cows looked happy and healthy. (especially after a recent viewing of the movie 'Food Inc.' ...check it out...)
I'll be sticking with this brand.
The terrain here appears to be mainly rocky pasture land, with stones still half emerging all over the place, and criss-crossed all over with those classic 19th century New England rock walls.
Thankfully many of those walls have persevered during a century and a half or so of housing boomage and/or neglect. I assume they were originally retained for their continued usefulness in marking off divided and subdivided property lots and possibly more recently, retained for their classic New England character and consequential boost in property resale value. I know that for one, I would love to have yard bordered by one of these...
Either way, the sheer amount of work that would be involved in dismantling the heavy walls helps their preservation. They just don't build them like that anymore.
In other cases, the walls still serve their original purpose holding back various farm animalia, some with a little additional help from electric fences.
There are plenty of horses roaming the broader tracts of land, and tucked away in a clearing is an old 4H clubhouse.
This is one of the few examples of those classic old farm windmills in our area, once used to pump water or anything else an enterprising farmer could think to harness wind power to...
I could be wrong, (and feel free to correct me if so), but there aren't very many of these left in the valley...
Other than old pasture land, the more obvious food production in this section of Belchertown appears to be the ol' apple. Though not as many as there used to be, there are still many orchards spreading up and over the hilly terrain, and there's one big section that appears to be owned and cultivated by UMass.
With the moon getting high and the sun getting low, it's time to meander back.
But with this beautiful space now fresh on my radar screen, it'll be on the short list for some return visits, maybe when the coming snow blankets the area...