Marteka: Hangin’ with the Stoppleworth Gnomes

It was an amazing decision that my mother, Ann Stoppleworth, made to sell 55 acres of open space to the town of Tolland, Connecticut. To the degree that I supported my mother and helped her carry out the transaction, I am proud to be part of a legacy of creating a beautiful space for everyone to enjoy, including the magical gnomes. From the Hartford Courant:

A shaft of sunlight escapes to the forest floor and illuminates a thick clump of ferns like a spotlight highlighting a singer on a stage.

Gnarled roots from a huge tree uncoil over a rock ledge covered with moss and lichen.

Welcome to gnome country.

We all probably see the same images when we think of gnomes: bearded little forest folk with conical hats, hanging out under a mushroom or smoking a pipe or doing some gardening. (Or going to some exotic destination via Travelocity.)

Gnomes are on my mind as I hike through the Stoppleworth Conservation Area, a 55-acre nature preserve in Tolland. Maybe it’s the moss, the ferns, the boulders shaded by evergreens that have me looking around for the mythical creatures. Or maybe it’s the letterbox — part of a scavenger-hunt system of clues and hidden containers — declaring the preserve as the home of Napoleon Gnome. Whatever the reason, Stoppleworth draws you in as soon as you pass through the split-rail fence from the parking lot. [full text]

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One response

  1. it must be beautiful this time of year.

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