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2009.10.13

October 13, 2009

By Saturday everyone was feeling better, but still a little weak, so we stuck pretty close to home.

The weather and our constitutions had improved by Sunday, so we ventured out on what was probably our last day trip of 2009:  the EcoTarium in Worcester.

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The EcoTarium is what you get when you combine one part zoo, one part science museum, and a dash of children’s museum.

It’s small, and was nearly deserted when we were there.  Not sure if the cool fall weather was a factor, or the Red Sox playoff game was, or both, or neither.

They have the only polar bear in captivity in New England.

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This is Kendra.  Viewers of a certain age may remember Major, the polar bear who was at the zoo in Stoneham for many a year.  Kendra is his daughter.

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They had a few other small and mostly native animals (foxes, skunks, raccoons, oppossums) and a fair assortment of birds of prey – owls, eagles, hawks, falcons.

It took us an hour to get there, and we probably spent less than two hours there, but oh well.  It was a fairly nice day, and the boy was feeling well enough to enjoy running around out in the fresh air.

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Yesterday was Columbus Day, and while I had the day off, Larry did not.  I had planned to basically lounge around, but when my mother called and asked for a ride to the cemetery, I took a look outside at the brilliant autumn sun and grabbed my keys.

Okay, that sounds morbid.  I should probably say that the cemetery in question is no ordinary cemetery; we were going to Mount Auburn.

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Mount Auburn was opened in 1831, and was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.   At 175 acres, it was the first large-scale designed landscape cemetery that was open to the public.   According to their website, its popularity led to the creation of public parks in this country.

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It’s 175 acres of unbelievable scenery, headstones notwithstanding.   Many of the monuments are works of art unto themselves.  Some pretty famous people are buried there.  And it’s one of the best bird-watching spots in the country.  They have self-guided audio tours, a group tour, and a weekly flyer detailing recent bird sightings.  We saw a Blue Heron stalk and catch a frog in the time it took us to walk halfway around one of the ponds (that’s him below).

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With everything the place has to offer, you’d think it would be kind of a carnival.  But it’s not, not at all.  It’s really very tranquil.  It’s amazing how calm and peaceful you can be there, considering you’re in a pretty congested city surrounded by fairly main roads.

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All that aside, as far as the Peep knows, this is the place we come to so that we can remember my Nana.

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