Crystal Spring Farm Preserve

Columbus Day was a CrystalFarmOct15.1beautiful, sunny day, so I decided to visit the Crystal Spring Farm in Brunswick. Crystal Spring Farm was interesting in that not only is it a CSA farm, where members can purchase shares and receive a weekly supply of fresh produce, but the farm itself is leased from the Brunswick and Topsham land trust. The land trust maintains several miles of trails surrounding the cultivated section of the farm.

A small path veered off from the parking area, bordered by cleared farm land on one side and grazing sheep on the other. Once this dirt lane intersected with the trail, I decided to turn left towards the woods, leaving the Quarry Trail for another visit. On this portion of the East Trail I would travel along both the Ravine Trail and the Blueberry Loop.

Not far into my travels, the trail descended towards the next section of farm, now devoid of produce. From my vantage point, I looked down towards a small pond and discovered a few wild CrystalFarmOct15.2flowers still holding on to their summer colors. Behind me was a stone pile with the rusted remnants of some farm equipment peeking out from the top.

While I was studying the landscape, a pair of women passed me on what seemed to be a daily walk. They disappeared as the trail descended towards the field but I spied them again as they were ready to enter the woods. They had paused to look at some vegetation bordering the field. I noticed tufts of white fluff CrystalFarmOct15.4flying through the air and realized that they had discovered the open seed pods of some milkweeds and were helping next year’s generation of flowers on their way. It was a light moment that reminds us of our childhood days.

I followed them into the woods a short time later and came to a sign identifying two trails. One was blocked off by orange cones so the decision having been made for me, I headed off on the Ravine Trail. I encountered different trail intersections similarly blocked off and soon realized that the trail was probably marked for some kind of race. This was reinforced by the white paint I saw on the ground along the way.CrystalFarmOct15.5

Once in the woods, I studied the still green ferns growing down the slope towards the ravine. The trail continued through the mixed wood forest. I stopped from time to time to admire the remnant of some plant, its artistic form holding my interest for a time. During my journey I encountered several bridges crossing over streams. It was not long before the trail exited the woods, continuing through a blueberry field. Here too, I found plants with smaller versions of the milkweed seeds, waiting to be dispersed with the next breeze.

Although I did not retrace my steps, at some pointCrystalFarmOct15.3 I entered back into the woods and soon found myself back at one of the dormant fields. I meditated on the fall beauty before turning to finish up my journey. In the field, not far from the path, I saw a small fox and I paused to study it. The fox had seen me however, and decided to cross the trail in front of me before disappearing in the woods. I thought it had been a wonderful day. A new trail, women enjoying milkweed fluff, fall colors and a fox; it had been a good day indeed.

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