Terrapins, August 29, 2014
Terrapins, September 19, 2012
From the Spring 2014 WCT Newsletter:
The Walker property consists of 8.3 acres of wooded slopes, a maple swamp, and a small pond, which is a certified vernal pool. The conservation plan for this property was completed in April 2012, and walking trails (approximately 0.6 miles in length) are now open to the public. We hope you will explore this new trail!
In spring this trail comes alive with music, color, and fragrance: the gentle chorus of spring peepers, the rhythmic bass of bullfrogs, the sweet scent of blackberry blossoms, the lime-green buds of swamp maples, the lavender blossoms of wild phlox, and the black and orange mosaic of monarch wings covering milkweed stalks. On the evening following the first warm rain of spring, you might even catch a glimpse of mole salamanders gathering at the vernal pool to breed and lay their eggs.
In fact, it is a festival of life and feast for the senses in all seasons. WCT trustee Dwight Estey was so captivated that he was inspired to compose poetry, which will be published on the WCT website. Here is a sample of his verses:
Through trees below, water I saw Glassy, dark with black reflection The Walker Pond below my perch Mirrored nature’s perfection.
Browns, tans and yellows shimmered And upon still waters seemed Like jewels laid out before me A view for kings and queens.
– Dwight E. Estey From Ode to a High Bench, A Poet’s Walk
Will the muses also fill you with creative spirit when you visit the Walker Conservation Land and Trails? If they do, we want to hear about it! You are invited to share your poetry, photography, and artwork with us. Once again, we express our deepest gratitude to the Walker family for working with WCT to preserve this gem.
Access to the new trail is next to 70 Coles Neck Road and marked with a sign.
From the Fall 2013 WCT Newsletter:
“It was seven talks and walks all in one!” “I learned more about my own neighborhood than I ever knew before.” WCT’s Seventh Annual Guided Walk in Wellfleet on September 7th delighted participants with rich information and beautiful views of Blackfish Creek, Drummer Cove, Cannon Hill, Pleasant Point, Lieutenant’s Island and the main attraction, Old Wharf.
South Wellfleet historian Pam Tice introduced the more than 100 participants to Prospect Hill, where the walk began. Don Palladino oriented the walkers after they emerged from the Indian Trail and headed east along Blackfish Creek. Reversing direction, the crowd followed the shoreline to a causeway where Eric Eastman explained the former layout and force of the inlet.
At Old Wharf North, a few stubs of the pilings were visible before the rising tide lapped over them. Bill Iacuessa distributed pictures of the old wharf and of the blackfish stranding of 1884. Dwight Estey discussed strandings in the vicinity.
At Old Wharf landing Brad Kaplan expounded on shellfishing in the Loagy Bay/Old Wharf area. Pam Tice related tales of rum runners and modern day marijuana smugglers. Herb Elio! explained the advantages of the kayak racks provided by the Trust.
After a little trek down the road, Bruce Hurter revealed an intact turtle garden he and others had been monitoring all summer. The diamondback terrapins were soon due to emerge.
Finally Bob Gross, his wife Susan, and Heidi the Labrador retriever greeted the walkers shortly before noon at their historic South Wellfleet train depot home. Moved from its original location along the tracks on the east side of Blackfish Creek, the building retains some of the original character even with its additions.
“Best walk yet!” “Where are we going next year?” “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” echoed over Prospect Hill as the walkers dispersed.
The Annual Guided Walk is WCT’s signature event. Be sure to join us next time!
From the Fall, 2013 WCT Newsletter:
Have you noticed the new WCT sign on Old County Road in South Wellfleet? It marks the trail head of our new trail through the Clover property. As you may remember, this property was the keystone of a plan sponsored by the WCT, the Open Space Committee, and incorporating Community Preservation Act funds, to preserve 8 acres of upland pine woodlands and establish trails connecting with the Cape Cod National Seashore. Throughout the spring, volunteers including WCT trustees and Open Space Committee members have been busy installing, marking, and mapping trails through the Clover property which formally closed last December. The 8 acres are situated in critical habitat areas for Species of Special Concern, and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Program reports three rare animal species living on or near the site. Endangered Mayflowers are among the many outstanding natural attributes of this property.
The land consists of a healthy pitch pine and oak tree forest with full canopy. The shrub layer consists of viburnum, bayberry, shadbush, highbush and lowbush blueberry, and black huckleberry. This understory suggests that while the land may have been cleared (as most of the Cape was by the mid-19th century), it was never plowed. Groundcovers include mayflower, checkerberry, Indian pipes, and other typical native flora.
The house on the property dates back to 1840. After renting the house several summers beginning in 1962, the Clover family bought the house and land in 1969, and it served as their summer home for many years. On the property are the remnants of a pheasant pen, a cartpath, and what remains of Old Bell Road. When the family decided to dedicate the property to conservation, they patiently endured the torts of a long process – for which the trustees are deeply grateful, because this is truly a prized parcel.
From the Fall 2012 WCT Newsletter:
On Saturday September 8th, 73 walkers joined the Trust on the Sixth Annual Walk in Wellfleet around the northern part of Indian Neck. It was an absolutely perfect September day to visit an area many walk participants knew little about. So the combination of exploring new places coupled with talks once again proved to be a successful formula.
The walk started with an orientation to conserved lands by the Trust and Town by Trust President Dennis OIConnell at Indian Neck Beach, and then, after a stop by the newly installed Durand Echeverria memorial plaque and rock by the breakwater in Wellfleet Harbor, we heard a talk by Trustee Ned Hitchcock on past and future dredging in the harbor. David Wright, from the Wellfleet Historical Society added comments on the history of the Indian Neck area, including learning that the area got its name by the relocation of the local Native Americans in 1713. Then, the group moved around Chipman’s Cove and over toward Fox Island to hear about the history of Fox Island Marsh and the cooperation between the State, Town and Trust to preserve this large area.
On Saturday September 8th, 73 walkers joined the Trust on the Sixth Annual >Walk in Wellfleet> around the northern part of Indian Neck. It was an absolutely perfect September day to visit an area many walk participants knew little about. So the combination of exploring new places coupled with talks once again proved to be a successful formula. The walk started with an orientation to conserved lands by the Trust and Town by Trust President Dennis OIConnell at Indian Neck Beach, and then, after a stop by the newly installed Durand Echeverria memorial plaque and rock by the breakwater in Wellfleet Harbor, we heard a talk by Trustee Ned Hitchcock on past and future dredging in the harbor. David Wright, from the Wellfleet Historical Society added comments on the history of the Indian Neck area, including learning that the area got its name by the relocation of the local Native Americans in 1713. Then, the group moved around ChipmanIs Cove and over toward Fox Island to hear about the history of Fox Island Marsh and the cooperation between the State, Town and Trust to preserve this large area. Wellfleet&Conservation&Trust&Online&Newsletter&•&Fall&2012&•&&Page&1& S
On a beautiful Saturday morning, seventy local residents and visitors gathered for the fifth anniversary walk of the Trust’s popular and now traditional annual event.
Starting from the Congregational Church, where Trust President Denny O’Connell noted the steeple clock strikes the hours in eight bells–the only church in the country that continues this early American coastal town tradition–we proceeded to Dr. Clarence J. Bell Square at the corner of Main street and Whit’s Lane. There Trustee Marcia Seeler spoke about the early century significance of the site, dedicated in 1982 to the memory of Dr. Bell, a family physician whose home and office were at that location.
At Uncle Tim’s Bridge we heard an informative talk on the ecology of the Duck Creek tidal marsh by Bob Prescott, Director of Massachusetts Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Janet Erickson then spoke about the history and reconstruction of Uncle Tim’s Bridge, a local historic landmark named after Timothy A. Daniels who died in 1893. Trustee Frank Corbin then led the walkers around Hamblen Park, also known as Cannon Hill where he described plans to rectify serious erosion on the south slope facing the marina, clear underbrush and improve the vistas from this popular walking area.
Denny O’Connell then led the group along the shore of Duck Creek to the Trust’s most recent acquisition, a one acre former residential property behind the Mobil Station on Route 6. He spoke about how the Trust is dedicated to preserving land such as this for generations to come. There’s a story elsewhere in this newsletter about the property. We then circled back along the railroad dike to where the former bridge crossed Duck Creek. There local historian and author David Wright talked about the history of the town along Commercial Street and the role the early railroad played in tourism and the commercial shellfish industry of Wellfleet.
Over the past five years we have visited a different area of our town in places that you may not normally visit and always with individuals who could speak with knowledge about the history and significance of the area. The first walk, in 2007, covered Griffin Island, followed in 2008 by an exploration of Bound Brook Island. In 2009 we walked through the National Seashore where Henry David Thoreau walked over 150 years ago with a stop by the Oysterman’s home where he stayed. In 2010, starting at the Fox Island Marsh and Pilgrim Spring Woodlands Conservation Area we walked along the shoreline of Blackfish Creek and Drummer Cove ending at the Pond Hill School in South Wellfleet.
We’re already thinking about the 2012 walk–any suggestions? And please plan to join us next September.
Nearly 60 walkers took part in the Fourth Annual WCT Walks in Wellfleet on September 11, 2010. The three mile walk started at the Fox Island Marsh/Pilgrim Springs Upland Conservation Area in South Wellfleet, proceeded to Whale Bone Point and then followed a path along Black fish Creek to Pleasant Point and around Drummer Cover to the recently acquired Town owned conservation area and ended at the Pond Hill School. At points along the way there were talks on the history of the area and conservation efforts that have preserved this land for future generations.