World's End

World's End

Photos taken at World's End in Hingham, MA, on June 28, 2008.

World's End is a peninsula extending into Boston Harbor. It was farmland before being landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 1800's for a planned subdivision. The development was never built, and now the land is a privately-owned park managed by the Trustees of Reservations.

Copyright (c) 2008, Sandra J. Loosemore. Photos are provided for personal viewing only; no other use is permitted without prior written consent.

The Hingham bus drops you off by the harbor. I was thinking that on a muggy day, a seaside walk would be pleasantly cool with a sea breeze, but instead I found a chilly fog enveloping everything.
There were some painted daisies growing along here.
Also some yarrow.
And some staghorn sumac.
It's about a mile walk from the harbor to the park entrance, through a residential neighborhood. Once inside the park, I turned right towards the Rocky Neck section of the park. Unlike the main section of the park, this is more or less in a natural state, with rocky, forested terrain.
Some viburnum flowering in the woods. I'm pretty sure this is the variety known as "arrowwood".
This narrow freshwater pond fills the valley between the rocky ridges. I heard no frogs here, but there were plenty of birds all around.
Here's a view of the rocky shoreline. Apparently the fishing is quite good off these rocks. There were several boats anchored in this area.
A flotilla of Canada Geese swim by the rocks.
More rocky shoreline. With the fog, you can almost imagine you really are at the end of the world -- except that you can clearly hear the sounds of boats and traffic on the Hull peninsula beyond.
Still more rocks and fog.
There were roses growing rampant along the trail in the less woodsy areas.
Leaving Rocky Neck, here's a typical view along the main path. The park consists of four drumlins, gently rounded hills deposited by glaciers. The original trees were all cut down in the early days of European settlement; Olmsted's design was for tree-lined carriage paths in sweeping curves around the hills, as you see here.
A narrow causeway connects the far two drumlins with the rest of the peninsula.
This rose was growing in the clump visible in the foreground in the previous photo.
The shore on one side of the causeway was lined with these yellow flowers.
I think the yellow flowers are probably something in the mustard family.
The other side of the causeway had these white flowers growing everywhere. These were growing taller than the yellow ones, and had many small flowers on each plant instead of a few large ones, but my best guess is that these are also some kind of mustard relative.
These bright yellow flowers are St. John's wort.
More St. John's wort.
In some of the shadier areas I found a lot of jewelweeds growing. These are also known as "touch-me-nots" because of the way their spring-loaded seed pods pop open at the lightest touch.
More jewelweed.
More of the viburnum/arrowwood I'd seen previously on the trail.
Unidentified berries. These were also growing all over the park in shady areas. The berries themselves look like currants, but the leaves are all wrong for that, so I was dubious about whether these are edible.
Here's another general view along the carriage path.
Lots of the bright yellow whorled loosestrife growing under the trees here.
I also found a big patch of this false spiraea. From a distance, the flower clusters have a fuzzy appearance because of the long stamens.
More false spiraea.
More roses growing rampant in the grass and weeds along the path. These are obviously a cultivated variety rather than wild ones; whether they were planted here deliberately, or spread here by natural dispersal of the seeds, I don't know.
Another view down the trail. The previous day there had been some thunderstorms with high winds, and this area was obviously hard hit; you can see all the branches down on the trail here. You can imagine that, in time, all of the big trees will come down, and it doesn't seem like the master plan for the park includes renewing the plantings. The trustees maintain the paths and mow the meadows for hay, but otherwise it seems like they are letting things go back to nature.
Back to the causeway after circumnavigating the outer part of the peninsula.
On the other side, I took the shortcut directly up the hill, through what would have been a sunny meadow if it weren't such a foggy day! I figured there would be different wildflowers growing in the grass here than I'd seen along the tree-lined trails.
The purple flowers are cow vetch, a member of the pea family.
A classic white daisy.
Another daisy.
A yellow buttercup.
These plants with the big rubbery leaves and pink-purple flower clusters are milkweed.
When I saw this red spike of flowers towering over the milkweed patch, I thought it looked like a sheep sorrel on steroids. Seriously, I have no idea what it is.
These pretty two-tone yellow flowers are called "butter and eggs".
Here's a chicory flower. These are weeds, but they're very pretty.
Rejoining the carriage path at the top of the hill, here it runs along a stone wall. In this area, I saw many swallows or swifts; fast-flying birds darting around with their mouths open to catch tasty bugs.
As you return to the park entrance, the trail passes by an area where they've cut the grass, making it look more park-like and less back-to-nature-like.
Just after leaving the park, I spotted Peter Cottontail along the side of the road.

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