Weather and Wildlife
We are in the “Berkshire Mountains” at the top of a 200 foot hill. We recommend that our pilgrims check the forecast, but also come prepared for everything. The weather can be perfectly cloudless in the morning, and be a serious thunderstorm (or blizzard in the winter) in the same day. It is not uncommon to have a 40 degree temperature drop or climb in a day.
Rain, Thunder and Lightning: We have frequent storms in the summer, and if there is lightning, there is a chance that mass may be delayed.
Snow: Although most of our heavy snows come from December-March, we frequently have snow as early as the week of Halloween or as late as April.
Along with the rural beauty of our surroundings comes wildlife that some of our pilgrims are not used to.
Turkeys: We have a flock of turkeys who live on Eden Hill, and are often seen year round. They are VERY shy, and will run away (and/or FLY, which is a rare and amazing sight!) if you try to get too close.
Ticks: Although we always have ticks, they appear to be more numerous in recent years, and the incidence of Lyme Disease is on the rise. We ask everyone to please be aware, and to check each night to be sure that you do not have any ticks on you, as Lyme Disease is preventable, and long-term Lyme is very difficult to live with. Unlike many bugs, ticks do not bite you and hop or fly off; they latch on and stay on you until they have had their fill—which can be 3-4 days. There are instructions on how to safely remove them on the internet.
Mosquitos: We have a lot of mosquitos in the summer. Please come prepared.
Bears: We do also have black bears. Black bears are generally shy of humans. Through 2020, we had a mother bear who visited the Shrine a LOT in the summer. Although our sightings have been less frequent of late, we recommend keeping little ones and pets close, so that they might not surprise a bear by accident, or get between a mother bear and her cubs, which are the two situations in which she would most probably charge at a human or pet. Although it is tempting to want to get a good photo, we ask our pilgrims to give bears and other wild animals a wide berth.
Other wild animals: We have red fox, many squirrels of several colors, a host of birds, bats, and occasional deer. We also have a lot of Canadian Geese who visit as they migrate. We have seen bobcats/mountain lions, although it is rare, but we know that they are in the area.
About 20 acres of Eden Hill are “landscaped,” however that does not mean manicured, flat lawns or gardens. This is a rural property with hills, and although we do our best to make as much of it as accessible as possible for all, we HIGHLY recommend you wear sneakers and/or shoes with treads (not smooth soles, high heels, or flip flops) to enable you to negotiate the property easily.