Leominster State Forest (and Outback Steakhouse)

, in Travel and Places

44 Miles down the 2 highway lies Leominster State Forest. It is a very pretty spot. The forest itself is typical New England landscape - thin soil covering lumps of granite - except here the granite forms cliffs that attract scores of rock climbers. I don't mind rock climbing as a sport, but it does seem a little silly to climb a bluff that has a walking trail going up it only a few meters away.

Leominster State Forest vista Leominster Start Forest vista from the top of the cliff

The trees have shaken off the blossoms and have gotten down to the serious task of growing leaves. Just look at the colours of the leaves.


Wait a minute; what is that on that tree? Zoom and enhance!

eastern_tented_caterpilla Quite possibly Eastern Tented Caterpillars

Well this is certainly a little creepy. This is the Eastern Tent Ceterpillar or more correctly, a whole bunch of them. Certain spots in the forest were filled with these nests, each a writhing mass of furry wrigglers. They are harmless (except to pregnant horses apparently) but I have to say my flamethrowner-trigger finger got itchy each time I passed close by one.

On the way back, I visited the Outback Steakhouse for some authentic and in no way souless down-under tucker.

Blooming Onion at Outback Steakhouse An Outback Steakhouse Blommin' Onion. This photo does not convey the size of the thing.

This is a blooming onion, battered and deep fried just like the native Australians did while on walkabout. Actually the food is fine, in that corporate-chain sort of way. I was offered 17 kinds of salt and pepper, which seems 15 more than is really required.