A Summer Day at the Anthony Lawrence Wildlife Preserve

The photos in this post were all taken on July 8, 2019.  Some photos were taken along the trails, others, such as the photo of the deer, were taken in the marsh.  The marsh is a vast expanse of marsh grass and cattails.  The Seven Mile River and Tannery Brook enter the marsh separately, then join together.  It is possible to walk in the marsh when the water level is low, as it was on this day.  However, one must be sure-footed as the terrain is very lumpy and your foot may suddenly sink in a wet spot, especially as you near the river.

Marsh at Anthony Lawrence Wildlife Preserve    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Seven Mile River at Lawrence Preserve    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Cattails    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Mulberry tree    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Black raspberries    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Wild grapes    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Wild strawberries    Image credit: C. Adler

The Photographic Legacy of Martha Nickerson

Martha L. Nickerson was not only the donor of the 48 acres of land that is now the Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve.  Her life was filled with accomplishments.  She held a doctorate in education and served as a school librarian and teacher, not only in Attleboro, but at U.S. military installations around the globe.  On her travels she excelled at photography, capturing what she saw in color slides.  Those images are now in the care of artist Kalliope Amorphous, who has been posting them on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/marthanickersonarchive/

 

Get to Know Your Watershed on August 10

Guided Walk:  Getting to Know Your Watershed

Location:  Larson Woodland, corner of Watson Avenue and Riverbank Road (across from Willett School), Attleboro

Time:  9:00 – 10:30 am, Saturday, August 10 (Rain date: August 11)

Chances are that a drop of rain falling in Attleboro will eventually find its way to the Ten Mile River, which runs through the center of the city, then flows into the Seekonk River, which eventually flows into Narragansett Bay. Ben Cote, of Friends of the Ten Mile, will host this introduction to the river.  He will explain the importance of the river and its watershed to past, present, and future generations, as well as to the plants and animals that thrive in its habitat.

Guided Walk on July 13: The History of Barrows Farm

Guided Walk:  The History of Barrows Farm
Location:  Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve, 577B Wilmarth Street, Attleboro
Time:  9:00 – 10:30 am, Saturday, July 13 (Rain date: July 20)
The Attleboro Land Trust is sponsoring a series of guided walks at its nature preserves in Attleboro.  The first, at the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve, will be a journey back to colonial times, when the Barrows family lived off the land through farming and the manufacture of wood products.  Leading the walk will be Bill Lewis, who will point out evidence of the various activities which once took place on the land.
The Barrows House, built in 1708, still stands on the Richardson Preserve.  Note:  The guided walk will not include the interior of the house.
See 2019 ALT Guided Walks – Flyer for information on the complete series of guided walks.

Sensata Team Makes a Difference at Richardson Preserve

A team of Sensata employees returned to the Richardson Preserve on May 23 to install 270 linear feet of split-rail fencing.  This completes a boundary fencing project begun by the same team last year.

The Attleboro Land Trust appreciates the hard work of Sensata employees Tom Simbron, Tyler Hanna, and Harshad Tadas in completing our fencing project and the commitment of
the Sensata Corporation in making projects like this possible.    Image credit: C. Adler

Sensata employees completed the final phase of a boundary fencing project on May 23.    Image credit: C. Adler

The Attleboro Conservation Commission provided funds to purchase the materials for this project.  Generous support was also received from National Fence of Attleboro and Liston Portables.

Seasonal Changes Bring Colorful Displays to the Richardson Preserve

Each week brings changes to the Richardson Preserve, some from native plants that are flowering, others from plants cultivated by Deborah Richardson when she lived and practiced her horticultural skills here.

 

The Glen at the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve, April 25, 2019    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Pink Azalea bordering The Glen at the Richardson Preserve    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Skeletal tracery is all that remains from a clump of grass that ornamented Deborah’s Garden last fall.    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Ornamental grass in foreground at Deborah’s Garden, with Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) in the background    Image credit: C. Adler

 

Daffodils at the Richardson Preserve    Image credit: C. Adler

Thoreau’s Journals Provide a Wealth of Data for Climate Scientists

Spring is coming earlier than it did in the  nineteenth century, a scientific study has found.  One of the indicators of spring is the blossoming of trees and flowers.  Author, naturalist, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau was deeply interested in the unfolding of the seasons.  On his daily walks in Concord,  Massachusetts, he took notes whenever he observed such seasonal changes.  He wrote in his journal “I often visited a particular plant four or five miles distant, half a dozen times within a fortnight [2 weeks], that I might  know exactly when it opened.”  An entry on May 5, 1855, notes “High blueberry beg[in] to leaf in some places yesterday.”

Highbush blueberry in bloom at the Colman Reservation    Image credit: C Adler

Biologist Richard Primack has mined Thoreau’s journals for these observations and compared them with current data.  In 2010, for example, highbush blueberry first flowered in Concord on April 7.  Comparing 32 plants from Thoreau’s time to today, Primack found the first flowering dates were now occurring an average of 11 days earlier.  According to a United Nations panel, human activity has caused average global temperatures to increase 1.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  In Concord, a suburb of Boston, the increase has been at least 2.0 degrees Celsius because of the “heat island” effect of dense development, pavement, and energy use compared to rural areas.  Plants are responding to this warming by blooming earlier.

A page from Thoreau’s Journal, May 5, 1855

 

Birds that migrate long distances, such as this Great Crested Flycatcher, have not adjusted their schedules to stay in sync with the earlier arrival of spring in Massachusetts.    Image credit: C Adler

In recent studies, Primack has found evidence that insect populations shift their schedules in sync with the plants they feed on, which is not surprising.  However, the arrival of birds who winter in the tropics has not, on average, shown much of a shift.  As a result, one of the consequences of climate change may be a mismatch between bird populations and the availability of the insects they feed on.  In 1852, Thoreau voiced a similar awareness of the importance of climate in the circle of life, noting that an unusually long winter could have deadly consequences for returning birds.  But he did not foresee the steady retreat of winter that we now face.

Landscaping with Native Plants

Grow Native Massachusetts, based in Waltham, is a great resource for anyone interested in gardening and landscaping with native plants.  They hold an evening lecture series every year from February to May at the Cambridge Public Library.  Videos of past lectures are available online.  They also have a plant sale coming up in Waltham on June 1, 2019.

Volunteers Needed for Ten Mile River Clean-Up

The city’s 13th annual Ten Mile River Clean-Up will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, rain or shine.

Volunteers are needed to help clean up along the river banks and walking trails.

Sign-up will be at the Community Garden on Riverbank Road, just off Hayward Street. Trash bags will be available.

Free refreshments will be supplied by Dunkin Donuts.

Sponsors include Mayor Paul Heroux, the Attleboro Land Trust, the Conservation Commission, Friends of the Ten Mile River, and Dunkin Donuts.

Volunteers and groups can sign up on the day of the clean-up.

Barrows House Offers View Into Attleboro History

Bill Lewis got involved with the Deborah and Roger Richardson Preserve through serving as a site steward along with other members of the Attleboro Geocachers Alliance.  After helping to repair the exterior of the Barrows House, his passion for history led him to dig deep into historical records for the property and the family that lived there for more than two centuries.  Drawing on these records, as well as a general knowledge of how colonists were able to survive and prosper using the technology of the times, Bill has developed a detailed history of the Barrows House and farm.

He shared this story at a meeting of the Attleboro Historic Preservation Society on March 21.  For a short interview with Bill, check out this YouTube clip by our local cable company, DoubleACS:

Barrows House Video