Yoga at the River’s Edge happens every summer on Saturday mornings at various outdoor sites.

Summer is just around the corner. It’s the time of year when many of us want to be outdoors as much as possible, and lucky for us, there is plenty of opportunity to do so. Why not grab your hat, sunscreen, bug repellant and water bottle and check out the following:

Eat Outdoors. Many area restaurants offer al fresco dining, and some are right on the water. You can enjoy everything from fine cuisine to clam shack fare, often with a view (although you might be viewing a parking lot). You can bring your meals outdoors at home too. Lunch and dinner are often served on the patio, but why not breakfast too? Or consider a picnic.

Sleep Outdoors. Myles Standish and Wompatuck State Parks offer campsites, or consider pitching a tent in your backyard. Wake with the sun, and the birds, and the other sounds of the natural world. My parents converted an old pool shed into “the casita,” a rustic cabin in the backyard that contains a bed and a bookshelf. Guests actually request to sleep there, even though the nearest toilet is a hundred-foot uphill walk away.

Shop Outdoors. Cohasset, Marshfield and Plymouth all have weekly Farmers’ Markets, where you can purchase seasonal fresh produce, baked goods, live plants, crafts, and even lobster. Many of the local arts festivals scheduled to take place this summer offer artisan booths with a variety of art prints, jewelry, home decor, and quirky gifts.

Count Fireflies – for a cause. The Museum of Science, along with researchers from Tufts and Fitchburg State College, is starting a citizen science project to study the fate of fireflies. They are trying to get as many people as they can to become firefly watchers. It involves — once a week — counting the number of fireflies you see in your backyard in a ten second period and reporting your findings on the internet. Even if you see no fireflies, that data is important.
Find out more at

Go for a Walk. Each town on the South Shore offers a number of different walking trails. From the coast to the forest to a meadow to a lakefront, there are seemingly endless choices. Check out one of the area’s newest trails, on the Driftway in Scituate. A new walking path runs from the Driftway Conservation Area, along the edge of the marsh behind James Landing, and then connects with a leg of the former Old Colony Railroad, just south of the current railroad’s terminus. You can walk far out into the marsh along the old railbed, and enjoy some unique perspectives.

Get Out on the Water. Rent a canoe or kayak — or bring your own — and explore the area’s many rivers. The North, South, Herring, Green Harbor, Jones, Back, and Weir Rivers all have navigable portions with public access. Or test your mettle at the NSRWA’s Annual Great River Race (watch this newspaper for more details).

Go swimming. There are public beaches all along the coast, as well as inland ponds that welcome swimmers. My favorite “secret” swim spot: the South River from the rear of Rexhame Beach in Marshfield. It’s relatively warm and shallow, and the view is spectacular. Just beware of the current, and never swim alone.

Practice Yoga. Join the NSRWA and certified yoga teachers for the twelfth season of Yoga at the River’s Edge, Saturdays from 8:30-10 AM at various outdoor sites along the North and South Rivers. It’s the perfect way to begin a summer day!

Walk in the rain. When I was a child, my friends and I would don our bathing suits during a warm summer rainfall (not a storm) and walk around the neighborhood barefoot. The cooling asphalt smelled so good, and the rain was so refreshing! You can wear “real” clothes to do this too.

Pick Blueberries. Come July, many local blueberry farms will be open for business, where you can grab a pail or bucket and pick your own. Kids seem much more apt to eat fruit when they’ve harvested it with their own hands. Sometimes you can pick raspberries too.

Eat Ice Cream. There’s nothing quite like cold ice cream on a hot summer day. My favorite ice cream stand, Dairy Twist in Pembroke, offers traditional ice cream, soft serve, frozen yogurt, sugar-free ice cream, and even slushes and sorbet for the lactose-intolerant. There’s something for everyone. Also check out some of the other great, independently-owned ice cream shops in the area: The Latest Scoop in Brant Rock, Heidi’s Hollow in Hanson, FarFar’s in Duxbury, and Peaceful Meadows in Whitman and Plymouth.

By Kezia Bacon-Bernstein, correspondent
May 2008

Kezia Bacon-Bernstein’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to the preservation, restoration, maintenance and conservation of the North and South Rivers and their watershed. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit