Good Friends and Daffodils

May 2, 2017

Just after Easter I had the pleasure of visiting Parsons Reserve, one of the areas under the jurisdiction of the Dartmouth National Resources Trust, which is a non-profit, accredited land trust established in 1971. It is supported by members and donations, and protects more than 5,000 acres of land and maintains more than 35 miles of hiking trails. Parsons Reserve was donated by William Parsons in the ‘90’s and early 2000’s, and its 32 acres sit just outside of the village of Russell’s Mills, MA. And at this time of year it is spectacular. There were over 11,000 daffodils planted at the reserve in the 1940’s, and since they naturalize there are a LOT more of them now.

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I visited with my friend Jinx, who is a Dartmouth resident, and my friend, young adult author and artist Teresa Flavin who was visiting from Leeds, England, where she teaches at Leeds College of Art. One of her books, Jet Black Heart, has letterboxing or geocaching as part of the story. For the uninitiated, geocaching is like a treasure hunt using GPS, and letterboxing is much less high tech, with physical instructions of where to go vs. a map on your phone. And what did we see on our trek trough the reserve? A letterbox! So I had to get Teresa’s photo next to a real live one!

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On our way out we made sure to make a donation to the Dartmouth National Resources Trust so they can continue their good work.

We continued our lovely day out with lunch at the newly opened for the season Bayside Restaurant in Westport, near the sea and across from an Audubon sanctuary. Try their eggplant fries if you go. Who knew?

After lunch we stopped at the always wonderful Partner’s Village Store store in Westport Center, where hilarity and horror stories ensued after we spotted this pillow.

We also visited the Dee Dee Shattuck Gallery on the same property, and were surprised to find a gift shop with interesting, beautiful and unique jewelry and gifts along with a well-curated gallery space. Ms. Shattuck is delightful and since it was a quiet day we were able to have a long and interesting conversation with her. Well worth the stop.

The Westport and South Dartmouth/Russell’s Mills area of Southeastern Massachusetts is a well-kept secret and worth the time for a leisurely drive. Especially with good friends and daffodils.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Octavia May 2, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Oh my stars. Eleven thousand daffodils planted in the 1940s = 88,000 today (i bet)! I am doing my part in a local yet hidden public park, planting 700 bulbs on a wooded hillside over the past three years. Daffys, Siberian squill, grape hyacinths, and species hardy tulips…The Parsons Reserve is something to aspire to – thank you.


Jane Monteiro May 6, 2017 at 12:08 pm

The Parson’s Preserve is magnificent. The Audubon property across from Bayside has miles of trails too. Walked it multiple times back when I could walk. 🙂 Destruction Brook also has miles of trails as well as the Slocum River Reserve that has such beautiful views. So many great trails in that area.


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