July 10, 2021
This Saturday my husband wanted to get into some serious hiking, and since my foot, knee and hips aren’t happy with that kind of stress, I decided to do a road trip on my own… oh wait, no…. never on my own these days… ALWAYS with a plastic pony!
We had visited Freeport in a previous year and I was not particularly impressed with the town center.. too much ritzy shopping and no tack shops or toy stores with plastic ponies.. but I decided to give the area another try by visiting a nearby park called Wolf’s Neck Woods State Park. I needed a good adventure partner, one that would brave the woods, and my buddy Fritz came to mind…
Fritz is a social butterfly, and sometimes has more speed than brains, but I thought he would make a fun companion for my road trip adventure 🙂
Off we went into the great highway into the.. sort of.. unknown 🙂
I found a few antique stores on the gps route to our destination. I’ve been looking forward to finding some retail stores that might have Breyers for sale, 1st or 2nd hand, so these seemed to fit the bill.
I was delighted when, at the first place we found, was a GIGANTIC Indian statue.. sooo typical Americana! I was thrilled 🙂
“Whoohooo!!! Look at that dude! He’s soooo BIG!!!! I wanna say HI!”
“Fritz, the indian is a statue. He won’t respond to you”
“Awww.. He must be sad standing there all alone.. for.. well from the looks of him..a loooong time!”
“Well, I’m sure he’d appreciate a good wave or head toss”
Fritz was quickly on board with that and gave a hearty head toss and a bit of a buck just to emphasize his good wishes. The indian was not amused.
“Great Stuff! Let’s see what great stuff is there!!”
“Ok Fritz but wait for me. We don’t want to accidentally knock anything down :)”
Don’t tell him, but Fritz is a bit of a bull in a china shop… don’t tell Knosses either (the 2021 Breyerfest special run bull) he might be offended 😉
We had fun exploring the corners and crevices of this store, though sadly we did not find any “Great Stuff” (which in this situation was narrowly defined as.. plastic ponies!!). Right up the road was another one…
“whooahhh.. he’s soooo.. colorful!!.. can I bring him home for a pet?”
(Giggling within) well, he’s not alive.. he’s just a big ‘ole heavy paperweight, and we don’t have need for a paperweight at the stable.”
“Too bad for him. He might have a long wait if that’s all he’s good for.. he sure is PRETTY though”.
“Indeed he is.. I’ll keep an eye out for something cool and colorful for you though if you like”
“AWESOME.. thanks mom-o”.
“Hey Mom! Where’s my saddle? this one’s cool.. kind nooo-stall-jeeek you call it…?”
“That’s great Fritzy but don’t you think it’s a little big for you?”
“pshaw!! I’m a big boy!”
“In personality you certainly are my big boy, but let’s keep exploring, shall we?”
He nodded as he raced off to other interesting items…
We did some more browsing in a few more stores, saw an Indian Pony for WAAAY too much money, and just enjoyed all the fun photo ops. Time was moving rapidly, so we headed out to the state park, which was our main goal for the day. On the way, I caught sight of a cool group of animals..
“What the HAY?!? What kinda horses are they mom?”
“Those are not horses, silly horse, they’re cows, more specifically a cool breed called a Belton Galloways”.. A quick lesson (which he did NOT want to stand for, but knew he wasn’t going anywhere until he heard me out):
(taken from Wikipedia): The Belted Galloway is a traditional Scottish breed of beef cattle. It derives from the Galloway cattle of the Galloway region of south-western Scotland, and was established as a separate breed in 1921. It is adapted to living on the poor upland pastures and windswept moorlands of the region. The exact origin of the breed is unclear, although the white belt for which they are named – and which distinguishes the breed from the native black Galloway cattle – is often surmised to be the result of cross-breeding with the similarly-coloured Dutch Lakenvelder breed. Belted Galloways are primarily raised for their quality marbled beef, although they are sometimes milked or kept for ornament.
This particular herd was owned by “Mitchell Ledge Farm”
“They are BIIIG lawn ornaments!”
“They certainly are Fritzy.. for sure!”
Our next impulsive stop was to a small art gallery with a big personality. Looking from the road you could see a big barn with the doors opened and lots of light and colors streaming out. Turns out Fritzy found his soulmate there..
“Lookit that great barn mom!! Let’s go, let’s GOOO!”
“Alright alright, let me get out of the car!” Like a small child, Fritz can test the patience of a saint at times! Reminds me of me when I was little.. and maybe sometimes now.. like waiting for Breyerfest purchases to arrive 😉
The place was really fun.. It was all a similar art form.. not particularly “deep” but full of bright and cheery colors. Once I introduced myself to Stephen the artist, we had a pleasant running conversation as Fritz literally ran around..
Stephen I shared a love of photography of small things. Among his lobster and other seaworthy artwork, was a batch of photos of matchbox trucks, which, just like we model horse photographers, was a carefully executed balancing act between foreground and background, with the purpose of making the subject look as realistic as possible. We enjoyed our conversation, and I left with a card and a lobstah stickah 🙂
“you happy Fritzy? Did I find cool colors for ya”
“oh yeah!! That was sooo much fun I like that dude.. he’s better than that craggy ‘ole indian”
“indeed” I smiled as we climbed back in the car.
Not far from the park now, we hit the gas to get there while the afternoon was still young. I got there just a tad before 2:00, and the ranger stationed at the gate mentioned that there was an Osprey viewing hosted by the rangers there at 2pm, and that it was a quick walk to get there from the parking lot. Fritz was all for the adventure, and I was anxious to get out into the fresh air and lovely piney trail.
“oooh.. what’s over the hill?”
“Well keep going and we’ll see!”
Just over the top of the trail was the water.. oh.. we just love the rugged Maine coast! Although today the water was pretty calm, and there were plenty of people taking advantage of the day to play on the rocks.
We quickly arrived at a sign stating “Osprey Nesting Area” and quickly introduced myself to ranger Andy Hutchinson, who was setting up a BIG scope. Fritz was not impressed, but I was in AWE of the huge birds before us, made to look mere feet away from us with the help of the scope. I spent an HOUR watching the osprey family through my binocs and that scope, chatting with the rangers, and even acted a bit like an ambassador, catching people passing by and enthusiastically encouraging them to take a look….and feeling gratified to watch their reactions.
Unfortunately though I could see them great through binoculars and scope my phone just didn’t have enough power to make a good photo. Here’s a few online pics to fill in the blanks 🙂 These are really close in accuray to what I was privileged to see that day!
To his credit Fritz sat (sort of) patiently (sort of) while I enjoyed the natural display, and he too got a couple appreciative glances from passersby. I sheepishly responded to inquiries (to a grown woman with a small plastic “toy”) with “yeah…I call it creative photography”. Fritz was not amused.
So, after our osprey show, we went off for the long awaited hike along the coast. Fritz was quite the photogenic pony..
Along the way we met some teen girls on their own walk, and we had a pleasant exchange about what I was doing. They asked if I was online, and I suddenly realized that there IS still room for business cards or at least one (that they can take a photo of!).. to list facebook, Instagram, WordPress….and made a mental note of that as I spelled out “Clover.Lake.Acres” for them to look up my Instagram account.
Around “shrooms” and over roots we walked.. or ran.. or jumped…
until we made a big circle and wound up at the first watery vista we passed on our way in. Clearly it was a popular spot – we could hear families hooting and laughing, splashing in the water (which is rather brave in the ocean in Maine!).
“yes, look at that neat little stream coming out of the woods and down the rocks to the water”
“can I go wade a bit ma?”
“Sure, just don’t slip.. we don’t want your finish all scraped up”
“Gotcha.. slow.. and splishy!!” he laughed as he leapt away from me like a frog to a likely puddle.
Before I knew it that little critter had run like the dickens and was have a grand ‘ole time on top of the rocks!!
“Hey… ya little racehorse.. watch where you’re going!”
He snorted a snicker at me, and after a few playful splashes, made his way back down to me to continue exploring the beach together.
“oh my gosh! That was sooo much fun maa!!”
“I’m glad you’re having fun little man. I’d better put you on another shelf tonight because I’d bet you’re going to fall right over and into your shelf mates once you get home!” He gave a quick headshake as if to say “nahh.. I’ll just shake the tirreds outta me”.
As I slowly walked the beach, Fritzy wandered about along the rocks and was absentmindedly pawing a some rockweek when he was rudely disturbed.. by a
“AAAAHHHHH MONSTER MONSTER!! GIT IT OFF ME MAKE IT STOP FOLLOWING MEEEEE!” Fritz called out.. trying to scramble up the nearest cliff…
“It’s OK Fritz.. look at him… he just jumped back.. he’s as afraid of you as you are of him!”
After hyperventilating for a moment, Fritz looked back and indeed the monster seemed to be hesitant.. as if there was a forcefield between them.. The monster-dog wandered around him and then tried a frontal approach but by then Fritz had gotten his courage about him and reared up at him to let him know he was a BIG HORSE!! That was enough for monster dog, who quickly backed off and wandered back to his owner (who I incidentally had a nice conversation with as this drama was unfolding!)
We proceeded to explore the rockweek in the tidal zone. Another quick lesson, this time from Google search:
“The defining characteristic of the intertidal zone is that it is submerged with water during high tide and exposed to the air during low tide. The zone can take many forms, from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs. It is common for the intertidal zone to change frequently, since it is constantly battered by crashing waves.”
In our case, at Wolfs Neck, the intertidal zone was covered to the max with rockweed. I warned Fritz to be careful, and he slowed about a nanosecond from full speed as he inhaled the freshening ocean air.
“AHHHHA!” I yelled as I swooped down on him and caught him up in my arms.
“AAAAAHHH” he cried out, not sure if he wanted to yell at me in rebellion of his capture, or laugh with me as we swung around for a selfie together.
With that, we took our leave of the great ocean, and walked back to the car.. but not without a quick pitstop in some all too tempting ferns..
and a quick pic on the way out to record the location of our great outdoor adventure together…
And so ended my bonding time with Fritzy the wonder horse. We had a wonderful adventure, got to meet new people and pups, and Fritz got to see a little bit of the big wide world outside his lovely shelf at Clover Lake Acres.
But wait! there’s a surprise.. I had a sweet little lady who also rode with us that day, the ying to Fritz’s yang, waiting patiently for her own one on one time with me and nature…. next up… a saunter through the field with Lady Fox…