Stony Brook Nature Center, a Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk, MA has been without its beloved boardwalk for the past sixteen months, but the wait is now over and the boardwalk is open. Lots of info here on pages 6-7 of the Local Town Pages providing background on why the boardwalk has been closed for so long.
I stopped by in the early morning to get some pictures and see the boardwalk for myself. The footing is surely more solid now, and the boardwalk once again offers great views out over the marshland.
There is plenty of room for groups of folks to gaze out over the marsh
and enjoy the multitude of wildlife that flourishes in this area.
A bunny greeted me as I headed down the trail toward the boardwalk.
Wild grapes are still small, but growing on the vines that drape the stonewalls along the path.
Signs of the recent construction are evident in several spots where cat briar has been cleared out and the ground is bare. But these spots will soon fill back in with plant life.
Purple loosestrife is invasive, but added some bright color to the marshland.
The loosestrife next to the boardwalk was covered with bees searching for nectar.
A great blue heron perched on a duck box not far from the boardwalk, and gave me time to get a few shots of him preening himself.
Mute Swans looked sleepy, still waking up from a night’s rest in the marsh.
A juvenile catbird hopped along the railing of the boardwalk, remaining just long enough for me to grab a few pictures of him before he hopped into the bushes.
The sun soon heated up the boardwalk, and I headed back, only stopping to admire the birds wheeling about in the open field near the entrance of the wildlife sanctuary. My guess is that these were purple martins, which have taken up residence in the special purple martin birdhouses in the middle of the field.
I spotted the summer flowers in the garden next to the visitor’s center. There are many other private corners of this jewel of a spot that I’ll make sure to visit next time. Today’s focus was the boardwalk. And yes, it is wide open, waiting for visitors to come on by! For more information about Stony Brook Nature Center, head over here.
Marjorie Turner Hollman
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,” and “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! Marjorie is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com