My Marshfield hike

Rings of warmth from the Gulf Stream keep water off southern New England's shore as much as 15 warmer than that of northern New England. On one such balmy late October afternoon, I visited the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield, Massachusetts.


These geese were among the many grazing on their way south for the winter.
This 476-acre sanctuary for threatened grassland species was formerly a dairy farm. Species found there include pearl crescent butterflies (Phyciodes thoros), bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), and rough-legged hawks (Buteo lagopus). See photos of them here.
An acre is 43,560 square feet, or 208 feet (69 yards) by 208 feet. Since a square mile is 5,280 feet on each side, a square mile contains 640 acres.

acre [ME<OE cer, field (akin to Goth. akrs, OHG. acker, G. acker) <IE. base *agros, field, lit., place to which cattle are driven < *ago- (L. agere), to drive, do; akin to Sans. jrah, plain, country, Gr. agros, country, L. ager, field]

A solitary cherry tree stood at the top of a low rise, its leaves a fiery gold. The air smelled of fresh grass and comfort.

Some of the rushes were still green.

The Daniel Webster Wildife Sanctuary is at the end of Winslow Cemetery Road in Marshfield, MA, 02050.

You can get driving directions to it here.


The river had become perfectly still.
The surrounding oak-hickory forest has native ferns, aster wildflowers, invasive Japanese barberry, eastern screech owls, southern flying squirrels, Virginia opossoms, and common ringlet butterflies. And, of course suburban houses. These forests produce a lot of nuts.

The peak time for autumn foliage is last week, or October 20. But there's still some nice leaves.

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