Eagle Project Breaks New Ground

The Handy Street Conservation Area is an 80-acre parcel of land purchased by the City of Attleboro in 2014 with the involvement of the Attleboro Land Trust and Mass Audubon, and a substantial grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  There are trails crisscrossing the area, making it easy to get lost on the property.  The Attleboro Land Trust has designated a main trail route that utilizes some of the existing paths to form a loop, beginning and ending at the main entrance on Handy Street.

Scout Jason Zenofsky (right) with crew installing signposts at the Handy Street Conservation Area.    Image credit: C. Adler

Scout Jason Zenofsky of Troop 61 in Norton has completed an Eagle project that involved the installation of directional signposts at 33 trail junctions along the route.  Digging holes to a depth of two feet for each of these posts was challenging, to say the least.  Sometimes the problem was large rocks.  At other times the Scouts hit hardpan, which is soil that has hardened like concrete and has to be chipped away with a heavy iron bar in the shape of a chisel.  Thankfully, Jason and his crew persevered, and the signposts were all installed.

Scout Jason Zenofsky (next to signpost) with his crew after installation of 33 signposts at the Handy Street Conservation Area.    Image credit: C. Adler

In the spring, the ALT will put the finishing touches on the trail, which will be named in memory of Larry St. Pierre, who served as ALT president from 1991 to 1994 and 1997 to 2001.  A temporary map of the trail is available here.

Seniors Visit Richardson

The Attleboro Council on Aging Hiking Group visited the Deborah and Roger Richardson Nature Preserve on June 22.  The popular weekly event is coordinated by Juliet Teixeira, vice president of the Attleboro Land Trust (in the green Hike Attleboro T-shirt).

Hikers on the Wyman Loop Trail as it crosses the Lower Hayfield at the Richardson Preserve.

For more information, contact the Larson Senior Center at 774-203-1906.

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.

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

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.”