Tag Archives: turtle

Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary (Attleboro, MA)

Dates Of Visits: May 20 & June 19, 2017

Location: 1417 Park Street, Attleboro, MA

Hours: Trails are open daily dawn to dusk.  Office hours are:

Summer:
Mon-Fri, 9:30 am-4:30 pm
Closed Sat & Sun

Spring, Fall, Winter:
Tues-Sat, 9:30 am-4:30 pm
Sun, 10 am-4 pm
Closed Mon

Cost: Free but a $2 donation is suggested for visitors who aren’t members of the Mass. Audubon Society

Parking: There is ample parking inthe main parking lot for about 40 to 50 vehicles.

Trail Size/Difficulty: 1.5 miles, easy

Handicapped Accessible: The nature center and rest rooms are handicapped accessible.  The trails at Oak Knoll are not.

Dog friendly: No, most Audubon trails are not pet friendly

Highlights: wildlife, pond, easy trails, geo-caching, summer camp for children, nature center

Website: Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary

Trail Map: Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary Trail Map

Located about a mile and  a half from Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary, Oak Knoll is a fun trail with with scenic views, abundant wildlife and a few other surprises along he way.

Spring was in the air and a rebirth of sorts was happening on the trails.  During my first visit, I found these two Northern Water Snakes getting friendly.  To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what I was looking at.  But, I did think at the time I did hear the faint sounds of Al Green in the air.  The naturalist at the nature center told me you could tell they were mating by their interlocked tails.

The Northern Water Snake can be dangerous.  Although they usually tend to avoid confrontations, if they feel threatened the snake can bite their predator or perceived predator and their bites can require medical attention.  This is why I always tend to keep my distance (these photos were taken with my telephoto lens) and from behind in most of the shots I took except for the one front facing photo.

During my second visit in June, I noticed this turtle on the trail.  Since it is unusual for a turtle to be in the trail and its even more unusual for a turtle to not flee when they see a human (I could have pet the turtle I was so close although of course I never would at least not int he wild), I notified the naturalist since I thought maybe the turtle might be injured.  The naturalist told me the turtle was most likely laying her eggs as they often do this away away from the water and it was that time of the year when turtles will lay their eggs.

The naturalist also informed me that turtles also tend to lay their eggs on warm areas, such as the side of paved roads.  This is one of the reasons why turtles often get hit by cars on the side of the road.  So, be careful while your driving this time of the year!

 

The trails at Oak Knoll are easy with some boardwalks that pass over red maple swamps and freshwater marshes.  There are a few very slight inclines.  But the trails are primarily very easy.

The main trail at Oak Knoll is a loop that leads to and circles around Lake Talaquega (say that 5 times fast).  There are some pretty views of the lake along the way.

I also spotted this geocache off the trail.  Apparently, a regular visitor at the sanctuary installs these geocaches from time to time.

There are a wide variety of birds and other critters at the sanctuary.  This colorful insect is a six pointed tiger beetle.  I think they call him Ringo.

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There was also butterflies, garter snakes and a variety of birds.

The nature center at the entrance to the trails has amphibians in tanks that are being taken care of while they are rehabbed or are there for educational purposes, particularly for the children who are attending the summer camp they host.  They also have some pretty flowers and trees on their grounds.

Today’s Nomad link of the day is the North Attleboro Fish Hatchery by Trails And Walks In Rhode Island.  Trails And Walks offers informative and detailed summaries of different trails in and around the Rhode Island area.  I appreciate the short but sweet synopsis of each trail and the posts always include one pretty photograph of the area.  I may have also used the website to find some places to visit!

 


Puffer’s Pond/Factory Hollow Pond (Amherst, MA)

Dates Of Visits: May 24 & 29, 2017

Location: Mill St, Amherst, MA (about half an hour north of Springfield, MA and an hour and a half southwest of Boston, MA)

Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a designated parking area for handicapped accessible vehicles.  All other vehicles should park on the side of the road on the right hand side of the road.  There is room for a dozen or more cars to park on this road.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes.  There is a paved path and designated parking for handicapped accessible vehicles.

Dog Friendly: No.  But, dogs are allowed on the Robert Frost trail that circles the pond.

Highlights: wildlife, fishing,trails,pond

Website: Puffer’s Pond

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Once the site of a village inhabited by the Norwottuck tribe, Puffer’s Pond (also known as Factory Hollow Pond, is now a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, nature lovers and hikers.

Puffer’s Pond is a small yet charming pond.  It is only 11 acres large and the water is an average depth of 5 feet deep with a maximum depth of more than 20 feet.

There are several access points to the pond.  The easiest most straightforward way to the pond is to park on Mill St and enter through the main entrance on that street.  There is also an access point farther up on Mill St with a wooden walkway.

The pond is home to herons, mallards, turtles, frogs, a variety of birds and an otter or two among other animals.

Walking through the park, we noticed a disturbance in the water and a head peaking above the water.

It appears to be an otter because when the mammal dove back under water the tail didn’t look like a beaver’s tail.

The views from Puffer’s Pond are beautiful.

The pond is also a great place to fish.  This particular fisherman didn’t have any luck (score one for the fish!).  Better luck next time.

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However, this fisherman had better luck.

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Or, you can go there to look out on the pond with a special someone.

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The Robert Frost Trail, a 47 mile trail that runs from the Connecticut River in South Hadley,MA to Wendell State Forest in Wendell, MA, runs past Puffer’s Pond.  Although it is a very long trail, the section of the trail that runs past the pond is very short (about .8 miles each way).  While dogs are not allowed in Puffer’s Pond they are allowed on the walking trails around the pond.

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Burnside Fountain (Worcester, MA)

Date Visited: March 19, 2016

Location: next to Worcester Common, 455 Main St.

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Just outside of Worcester Common, at 455 Main St, sits an unusual monument.  Also known as “Turtle Boy”, the Burnside Fountain looks like a cross between a Roman sculpture and a high school prank gone wrong.  But, this statue is no prank.  It is a very real monument.  In fact, it is a gift from Harriet Burnside,  a philanthropist and the daughter of a prominent lawyer in Worcester; Samuel Burnside.  In her will, Harriet donated $5,000 to the city to build a fountain in memory of her father.  Harriet Burnside specifically requested the fountain be used as a drinking trough for horses and dogs.

Enter Charles Y. Harvey. Harvey was given the task of designing the fountain.  For some reason that is still unknown, he chose a design called “boy with turtle”.  Henry Bacon, who also worked on the Lincoln Memorial, designed the basin.

In an interesting turn of events, Harvey would take his own life, claiming before doing so that the half finished sculpture was telling him to do so.  Sherry Frye finished the sculpture.  The statue was completed in 1912.

The bronze statue sits on a pink rectangular basin.   The basin has four bowls, two on each side of the statue.

Despite the various interpretations, the statue is not meant to be as controversial.  It was just meant to be a statue about a boy and his turtle.  It was a simpler time.

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