Tag Archives: snake

Pond Meadow Park (Braintree, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 4 & 5, 2018

Locations: 470 Liberty Street Braintree MA, 390 Summer Street, Weymouth, MA

Hours: Open daily year round from sunrise to sunset.   The entrance gates are open 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (or sunset) during the summer, and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (or sunset) during the winter

Cost: Free

Parking: There are two parking areas.  The main parking area at the address listed for the park is in Braintree.  There is another parking area in Weymouth as well.

From Weymouth, vehicle parking is available in the parking lot off Summer Street.  From Braintree, vehicle parking is available in the upper lots near the park office, and the lower lots near the start of the bike path.

There are about 5 or 6 parking spots in front of the gate in the Braintree entrance.  So you can park and enter the park before the gate is opened at that entrance.

Trail Size/Difficulty: 320 acres/easy difficulty

Highlights: wildlife, pond, easy trails, biking paths, benches, tents, benches, snow shoeing,cross country skiing,boating (non motorized), fishing

Website: Pond Meadow Park

Pond Meadow Park Trail Map

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Since 1976, Pond Meadow Park has been a source for fun, adventure and beauty for generations in the Braintree and Weymouth (MA) area.

Initially built as a flood control project for the Weymouth Landing area, Pond Meadow officially opened as a park in May of 1976.  While the park has changed over the years, especially from its initial design as a flood prevention.  But the dam is still there.  In fact, you can actually walk along the dam.

IMG_9270There is beauty all around at Pond Meadow Park.

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Benches with phrases on plaques attached to them for loved ones who have passed are located along the trails.  They are located in peaceful areas at the park.

While I was hiking the trails and taking my photographs, I met this nice lady who had an interesting story about this park.

Dawn has been coming to this park ever since she was a kid.  Her mom loved the park as well.  She still comes to the park regularly for a hike and to look at a bench.  It turns out the bench I was photographing and the plaque on it was dedicated to her mom.

She was kind enough to sit on the bench dedicated to her mother with her friend (possibly her significant other but I’m not one to assume) and her dog Toby, a 10 year old rescue Beagle.  “Always In Our Hearts” and Dawn’s mother’s name are inscribed on the plaque on the bench.  What a wonderful way to remember someone.

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Along the trail near the entrance is a rock dedicated to Joseph D’Ambrosio, an avid cyclist and engineer who was instrumental in the development of the bike and walking trails at the park.  So, next time you are cycling along the trails at Pond Meadow, don’t forget to thank Joseph!

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There is an abundance of wildlife at Pond Meadow.  During my visit I saw a swan,

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a rabbit

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A snake.  This is the “non deadly” North Atlantic Water Snake but it also bears a striking similarity to the venomous Water Moccasin.  They are both common to the New England area, although the North Atlantic Water Snake is more common.  And they do look similar.  So do be careful and don’t go trying to sneak up on them and photograph them.  Oops.

 

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A frog

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You don’t see the frog?  How about now?

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How about now?

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Don’t get too close to the other side of the pond, buddy.

And, of course some cute chipmunks, or this may very well be the same one in each photo for all I know.

A pretty butterfly

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and, of course, there were also Canadian Geese and ducks at the park.

There were some other cute animals there as well.  The trails at the park are easy with very few inclines for your dog to walk and play on (try the Ranger Trail if you do go).  The dogs below had a wonderful time on the trails.

Lincoln is a one and a half year old Boxer.

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Molly is a 2 year old mixed breed dog.

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Oakley (on the left) is a 4 and a half month old Golden Retriever and Cooper (on the right) is a 6 month old Chocolate Labrador.

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Parsons Reserve (Dartmouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 23, 2017

Location: 50 Horseneck Rd, Dartmouth, MA

Hours: Open everyday, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free, but a $2 donation is appreciated

Parking: There is a free parking area across the street from the reserve for about 50 cars.  Since the daffodils are a big attraction there, it filled up by the time I left and people had to wait to get the next available spot

Handicapped Friendly: No, the dirt trails have some slight inclines and the wooden planks used to walk over the streams are very narrow

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: daffodils, wildlife, family friendly, easy trails, vernal ponds

Lowlights: Parking is very difficult unless you leave early on the weekends during daffodil season or go during the weekdays.  It is not as busy after the daffodil season has ended

Website: Parsons Reserve

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Undoubtedly the highlight of your trip to Parson Reserve has to be the sea of yellow and white daffodils.  The short daffodil season (the season usually begins the second week of April and ends the first week of May) is one of the busiest times of the year at Parson.

The entrance to parson Reserve is not easy to find if you don’t know where to look,  So, keep your eyes open and use the address listed above in your GPS.

A stream empties at the entrance to Parson reserve.  A nondescript entrance is located just past the rocky stream.  A short walk (about half a mile) along a well defined trail with a gentle incline and signs pointing to the daffodil field as well as a bench for weary travelers leads to the daffodil field.

Rows and rows of daffodils greet you at the end of the trail.

Bunny, a 6 year old Chocolate Lab who was adopted during Easter, enjoyed the daffodils!

One of the great things about my visit to Parsons is that there are also lots of trails to explore at the reserve which I had not expected.  The easy flat trails have some pretty trees and, I assume when they bloom, flowers.

There is also a vernal pool.  The staff who were there handing out maps, said they are supposed to be tadpoles there this time of the year.  I did not see any.  But, I am sure they’re there!

There were lots of critters at Parsons.  I saw this cute little guy, a garter snake, as I was leaving the reserve.  This is why I always take the less used trails (or go off trail).  A lot of wildlife gets scared by the crowds and noise and consequently, you have to explore a little to find the good stuff.

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There were also a lot of birds at the sanctuary.

Just to re-emphasize the issue of parking.  Try to arrive at Parsons by 10 on the weekends during daffodil season.  I am an early riser.  So, I found a spot with no problem.  The parking area has room for about 50 cars and it fills up quickly on the weekends this time of the year.  When I did leave around 10:30, there was already a line of cars waiting to get in to the lot.

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When I drove by even later (around 3) the entire side of the road was full of cars and the lot was full.  So, the best time to go is early in the morning or on a weekday.  But, it’s definitely worth getting up early for!