Monday, October 25, 2010


North Andover Fall Foliage in the Rain

Autumn in New England. You get a picture in your mind of red, orange, and yellow maple leaves when I say that. Don't you? Well, we did see plenty of maple leaves yesterday in our autumn tour of a tiny corner of the Merrimack Valley.

First stop on our extremely local tour of "New England Autumn" was the corn field at Barker's Farm. The corn stubble was overrun with hundreds of crows. They were in the field scavenging, perched in trees, flying back and forth, just all over the place. There was no sign of Canada geese, Sandhill cranes, or turkeys, all of whom were fixtures at that spot a couple of weeks ago. The crows seem to have moved into the goose niche.

Next stop was Crescent Farm in Bradford. For some reason, I've now been to Crescent Farm more times in the last 3 weeks than in the previous 30 years but I still haven't done the corn maze. Crescent Farm is a veritable farm theme park, with hayrides, cute animals, a corn maze, pick your own pumpkin fields, pumpkin ice cream, haunted hayride tours, birthday parties ...

Friendly Goat

One of the goats was extremely friendly and nuzzled Nancy's white cane through the fence. The alpaca was aloof, but posed nicely for pictures.

Aloof Alpaca

I've already had my one splurge on pumpkin ice cream for the season, and it was way too cold for ice cream yesterday anyway. Besides, what is Autumn in New England without cider? Hot cider. So once it started to rain in earnest, we went inside the farm shop for hot cider. As we enjoyed our cider, a group of Chinese students were avidly photographing all the different kinds of pumpkins and gourds for sale.


As we looked out over the fields we could see people picking pumpkins while carrying umbrellas, the hayride going by full of kids in Halloween costumes, and the animals chowing down on hay. The corn stubble field across the street from the silo and shop was completely empty of any bird life at all. No geese, no crows. I commented on that to Nancy, wondering why the crows were all at Barker's and not at Crescent.

Hayride and Cows

The best moment of the whole Crescent Farm visit came as we were walking back to the car. I looked out over the fields again and suddenly a flock of about 300 crows erupted from the corn maze all at once. No time for a photo, but it was an awesome sight.

Our last stop for the day was at Anvil Farm in Boxford for some apples and a look at the pigs. The apples were great. The pigs were all asleep in their pig houses.

The Barn at Anvil Farm

A good time was had by all.

More photos of the day on Flickr if you must see 'em all.


Dawn Fine said...

Only one pumpkin icecream? I must have at least three before the season ends.
Looks like you had an awesome day.
Happy Birding!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for mentioning my blog!

I am in the West Indies visiting my grandmother and we all miss autumn at home in Canada, so it was so nice to see all of your beautiful pictures.