A cluster of tiny Eastern Phoebe chicks sit snugly in their nest as their protective parents, flitting amongst the nearby blossoming wildflowers, look on. Pots of strawberry rhubarb jam gently simmer on the stove. Children peek in on carmel-colored bunnies that look as soft as velvet. The most raucous this scene gets is the giggling coming from an 5 year-old’s birthday party, the sound of the laughter only occasionally punctuated by the croak of a Bullfrog. Where, may you ask yourself, is this Valhalla of sweetness and light? Welcome to The Green Briar Nature Center, part of the Thorton W. Burgess Society in Sandwich – a living ode to things past.
The Green Briar Nature Center boasts a little pond, a gorgeous nature trail, a century old jam kitchen, a wildflower garden, and many other treats that will delight visitors of any age. Thorton Waldo Burgess, born in Sandwich in 1874, was a self-described “amateur naturalist” and an author of almost 200 children’s books, which follow the numerous adventures of Peter Rabbit, Grandfather Frog, Reddy Fox and many, many other nattily-dressed, fun-loving woodland creatures. The sweetness of Burgess’ stories can be felt in every inch of this wonderful place. From jam making workshops to tours with a naturalist, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Or you can just do what I did, which is lazily, and joyfully, wander around checking things out and planning my return trip to get another taste of this gentle world.