Back in 2001, the Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) acquired the landscape found in the heart of busy Harwich Port. The more than sixty acres of upland and wetland comprise a long since retired cranberry bog system bordering the slow moving waters of Cold Brook that meander to Saquatucket Harbor on Nantucket Sound.
HCT had studied the potential for bringing back cranberries, but site conditions and a market surplus from areas like the mid-West made bog renovation unrealistic. So, HCT started on a path of ecological restoration.
“I take Boomer out and try to do a mile and a half to two almost every day,” Patti says. “We do the medium trail there. It’s nice. You see other people along the way. It’s beautiful. I’ve even . . . ”
These walks take place close to the summer full moons in May, June, July, August, and September. For the First People, the full moon phases signaled seasonal changes in activity. They lived in concert with the elements and were not bound to a clock or calendar because the moon phases don’t fall on the same day and time annually. While we will likely not see the full moon during our walks, we will experience and discuss its influence. Choose any of the three dates to explore the many ways the natural world transitions from diurnal (daytime) to crepuscular (dawn and dusk) to nocturnal activities as day turns to night.
Local Students Explore
Robert F. Smith
Cold Brook Preserve
“We survived!” one fifth grader exclaimed as she jumped up and down. Her class at Monomoy Regional Middle School was playing a game about the life cycle of the American eel, taught by Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary School Programs Coordinator Spring Beckhorn with curriculum in part created by 30-year veteran science teacher Valerie Bell. The students from Harwich and Chatham were learning about the Robert F. Smith Cold Brook Preserve owned by Harwich Conservation Trust (HCT) in the heart of Harwich Port. HCT and Wellfleet Audubon are partnering to connect Monomoy students to local conservation land, water, and wildlife, thereby educating future generations about the importance of being sensitive stewards of Cape Cod’s natural heritage.
Vision, luck, persistence, compassion, patience, flexibility, fate—just some of the elements that form the origin of the more than 80 rolling acres of forest and wetland that beckon within the Island Pond Conservation Lands. This conservation assemblage with walking trails traversing old cartpaths bordered by bicycle trails near the Town Center has been assembled over 20 years by a partnership among Town Meeting voters, HCT, and landowners with the courage and will to make a difference for land, water, and wildlife.
It all started 30 years ago, when a truck went into a ditch in the snow in the snow forcing G. Rockwood Clark and land owner George Canham to get to know each other better while they walked for help. Rocky was looking for Harwich land to buy. Canham, a sheep farmer, then in his 80s, wanted to sell his acres to people he liked and who would appreciate the land, so he gave Rocky and his then wife Cynthia a deal.
The Wilsons bring owls that are found locally including great-horned owl with golden irises, red morph screech owl and the soda can-sized saw-whet owl. They also showcase owls from around the globe, including the Eurasian eagle owl (largest owl species in the world) and the South American spectacled owl. The barred owl with its dark charcoal-colored eyes and the striking snowy owl will also make an appearance. – See more at: http://harwichconservationtrust.org/eyes-on-owls/#sthash.l69lwALO.dpuf