A spot of mid-winter color

Even in the middle of winter, an observant hiker can be rewarded with a spot of color while walking on one of the Attleboro Land Trust’s nature preserves.  This is British Soldier lichen, Cladonia cristatella, photographed in February, 2007, at the Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve.  The species gets its name because of the red caps that are a reminder of the red coats worn by British soldiers at the time of the American Revolution.

Like many lichen, this lichen is actually a combination of fungus and algae living in a symbiotic relationship.  The fungus provides structure for the algae, while the algae turns sunlight into food which is shared with the fungus.  The red caps contain reproductive spores.

North Attleboro’s Rural Landscape…Viewed from All Angles

On November 14, a group of more than 20 hikers met at the Chorney Property on Ellis Road to enjoy a rural landscape that has so far avoided development, despite being close to population centers.  The hike was organized by the North Attleboro Land Trust Steering Committee (NALTSC), a group of citizens who want to help ensure the preservation of such landscapes.


Hikers crossed a bridge over the Seven Mile River.

 


Guide Gary Krofta led hikers to a spot populated by beech trees, which retain their leaves all winter.

 


Hikers headed north on Ellis Road, past working farms like this one.

 


Guide Jill Miller explained various state programs that provide economic help to farmers who want to preserve their land.

 


Approaching the historic Angle Tree Stone.

 


Getting closer.

 

The Angle Tree Stone is protected by bullet-proof glass.  (This photo by Scspaeth https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Angle_Tree_Stone_2016.jpg.  All other photos by C. Adler.)

 


Guide Ann Chapdelaine describes some of the history surrounding the Angle Tree Stone.

Timing Is Everything: A Talk by Climate Scientist Tara K. Miller

Climate science tells us that spring is arriving earlier than it used to. Wild plants and animals follow nature’s clock as they move through annual cycles of migration and reproduction. Climate change is changing the timing of some of these cycles, and disrupting the interdependent web of nature.

Tara K. Miller

Our guest speaker at this year’s annual meeting, climate scientist Tara K. Miller, will share some of the latest research on this topic, describing how some of the plants and animals that populate our bioregion are no longer in sync with each other, and what that means for our future.

The 2021 Annual Meeting of the Attleboro Land Trust will be on Tuesday, November 16th, at 7:00 pm via Zoom and is open to the public. The Zoom link is:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85322417648?pwd=c1JwSHFSa0tHY2hsZUd4clJOYlpYdz09

Meeting ID: 853 2241 7648 Passcode: 572462
Audio Only +16465588656,,85322417648#,,,,*572462#

Sensata Comes Through Again!

On October 28, a team of three employees from Sensata completed two important fence construction projects for the Attleboro Land Trust–within a single day.  One fence was constructed along a property boundary at the Colman Reservation.  More fencing was installed around the parking lot at the Richardson Preserve.  Thanks for a fine job to Tom Simbron, Tyler Hanna, and Harshad Tadas, who returned as a team after having completed similar fence projects for us in 2018 and 2019.

The Sensata partnership with the land trust goes back to 2013 and has included boardwalk and fence construction at three nature preserves, as well as construction of raised beds for the Attleboro Community Garden.  We appreciate the enthusiastic support we have received from Sensata and its employees for our conservation mission.

Hike to Angle Tree Stone

The North Attleboro Land Trust Steering Committee invites you to join them on a guided hike of the Chorney Property and nearby Angle Tree Stone on Sunday, November 14th at 2pm.

The Chorney Property is town land managed by the North Attleboro Conservation Commission.

The Angle Tree Stone is a nine-foot slate monument made in 1790 by a father and son team that manufactured gravestone markers. It replaced an actual tree that had long been used as a boundary marker between the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies. Today, the Angle Tree Stone marks the border between North Attleborough and Plainville, as well as the boundary between Bristol and Norfolk counties.

Hikers will meet at the parking lot for the Chorney Property, on Ellis Road across from the intersection with Metcalf Road. The hike will first walk the Chorney trails, through three open fields and over a boardwalk which crosses the Seven Mile River. Hikers will then walk 1.3 miles, via Ellis Road, High Street, a side road, and a path, to the Angle Tree Stone monument. After viewing the monument, hikers will return by the same route to the Chorney parking lot. The total length of the hike will be 4 miles.

Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The rain date is November 21.  Any cancellations will be posted on the Attleboro Land Trust website: attleborolandtrust.org

Questions, please contact Susan Taylor at [email protected] or 774-251-4616.

Here is a map of the hike area:  Angle Tree Hike – Map

O’Donnell Preserve to open on July 24

On Saturday, July 24, the public is invited to a new nature preserve to be opened by the Attleboro Land Trust. The 14-acre Joseph and Margaret O’Donnell Nature Preserve is located on Bishop Street. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 10:00 am to thank Dr. Robert B. O’Donnell, who donated the land in memory of his parents. Attendees should park and gather in the Finberg Field parking lot on Bishop Street next to the preserve.

After the formal ceremony, Evan Foster will lead a guided walk of a new 0.7 mile trail which leads through red maple and pine forests and past wetlands to a stand of beech and birch trees. The opening of the O’Donnell Preserve and trail is one of several projects completed by Foster during a seven-month term of service with the land trust under the TerraCorps program, which is affiliated with AmeriCorps. The project included photographic and GPS documentation of the baseline condition of the property, a property management plan, and a trail map generated using a digital geographic mapping system that Foster built for the land trust.

Rain date for the event is Sunday, July 25, at 1:00 pm. Event updates will be posted on this website.

A most agreeable feathered favourite

Visitors to the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve will notice something new:  six birdhouses designed specifically for Eastern Bluebirds.  This beautiful bird migrates south for the winter and returns in the spring.  The birdhouses were made by Scout Eric Carey in 2014 as part of an Eagle project and placed in the meadow at the Nickerson Walking Woods Preserve.  However, not many bluebirds took residence in them.

This year we decided to move the birdhouses to the Upper and Lower Hayfields at the Richardson Preserve, where bluebirds are more common.  (Thanks to the volunteers who made this happen!).


Male Eastern Bluebird – Photo by Lee R. DeHaan

John J. Audubon wrote admiringly of the bluebird as follows:  “It adds to the delight imparted by spring, and enlivens the dull days of winter. Full of innocent vivacity, warbling its ever pleasing notes, and familiar as any bird can be in its natural freedom, it is one of the most agreeable of our feathered favourites.”