Have you ever heard of Halsey Pond? Neither had I and it is such a treasure of a place that, and I rarely say this, I hope not too many other folks find it. Obviously I am a lover of nature and natural places of all kinds. Halsey Pond, though, is truly magical.
After a short, steep hike up a gravel trail at the end of a dead-end street in Irvington you find yourself on a wide, grassy path encircling this jewel of a pond surrounded by old growth trees and birdsong. And while the setting itself is magical, happening upon such a place at the end of the woodland trail only adds to the feeling.
The kids scooted joyfully around the pond’s perimeter, admiring the mallards, exploring a little waterfall and stone fountain, and playing tag among the trees. They were enthralled by the five brand-new goslings following their mother along the shore and equally enthralled by the “castle” which loomed around the bend. They tossed rocks and searched for fish, but the highlight of the walk was some good old-fashioned playtime with Mick the Diving Yellow Lab. The first enormous splash gave me instant jelly legs because I was sure a kid had fallen into the drink, but it was only Mick, belly flopping off the wall, legs splayed, in pursuit of a big stick his owner had tossed into the pond. The kids followed Mick around the lake, shrieking with joy when he shook his soaking coat all over them, taking turns throwing sticks and a tennis ball into the water for their canine hero to retrieve until his great leaps were replaced by tired steps and it was time to head back down the trail.
That night my daughter said to me while lying in her bed, “Mama today everybody got wet, but nobody stepped in the pond.” A clever observation indeed.
Debbie Allan, who takes incredible photos of our Kids Unplugged hikes, generously offered this slideshow from Halsey Pond today. Click below for the great shots!