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A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke

By Stephen Clarke

In accordance with Stephen Clarke's personal reviews and with names replaced to "avoid embarrassment, attainable felony motion, and to avoid the author's legs being damaged through a person in a Yves Saint Laurent suit," A 12 months within the Merde provides excellent leisure for Francophiles and Francophobes alike.

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The half-circle village green is framed by a few buildings, most notably the Congregational Church, which dates back to 1785. I once went up to the steeple to see first-hand the wooden wheels of an ancient clock. It once used a 417-pound boulder as the pendulum. Phillipston is just to the northeast of Petersham; take Route 32 north to Route 101 east. 52 Massachusetts For a hilltop view, try the Swift River Reservation, about 2½ miles south of Petersham down Route 122/32, opposite the dam at Conners Pond.

Phillipston is just to the northeast of Petersham; take Route 32 north to Route 101 east. 52 Massachusetts For a hilltop view, try the Swift River Reservation, about 2½ miles south of Petersham down Route 122/32, opposite the dam at Conners Pond. ) By following the trail that parallels the river in a downstream direction, you will enter a forest of old-growth pine and hemlock. Wildlife you might glimpse here includes beaver, weasel, porcupine, deer, fox, coyote, ruffed grouse, great horned owl and various hawks.

Peak foliage is expected from mid- to late October. Highlights: Rattlesnake Ledge, Stepping Stone Falls, Old Mill, hiking, Ell Pond, antiques, small farms, sweeping views, ospreys, Great Swamp, horseback riding, Historic Wickford, Silas Casey Farm, Gilbert Stuart House and Mill, Smith’s Castle, coastal drive and more. I’ll confess that I wondered if I’d find the country roads in Rhode Island that offered the autumn views and activities we discovered in the other states. On my fifth weekend of searching, I found what I was looking for in the southwest corner of the state.

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