When people see my walking books, they often ask, have you walked all those trails? My answer has always been, “yes!” But this latest book, Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, was different. Several members of the Ten Mile River Watershed Council helped me write the book. They helped do the fieldwork, took pictures, verified information, and wrote up descriptions. And in the midst of coordinating all that, I missed getting to a few of the trails listed in the book.
Getting some more copies of the latest in my walking book series from Keith, the watershed council president, was the perfect excuse to head down to Seekonk, to meet Keith at RI Audubon’s Caratunk Wildlife Sanctuary. Somehow I had never visited here. It was a warm day, but not as beastly as it’s been. I packed up all my hot weather gear (cooling scarves, ice, spray mister, hat, and drinking water) and headed out.
Thankfully, we found shaded paths overlooking Cole’s Brook, which feeds into the Ten Mile River. We took a short walk,
discovered a resting snake perched atop some shrubs beside the trail (good eye, Keith!) and
spotted at least one Monarch butterfly amongst the milkweed and thistle plants near the entrance to the sanctuary.
The open field is looking pretty grown in, but when we spoke with the caretaker, he explained that they wait till the very end of the season before mowing, avoiding harm to nesting birds and others who might have need for an unmowed field. We did not make a complete circuit of the sanctuary, but I saw enough to know I’d like to return on a cooler day to explore some more.
I’d love to see the brook filled with water in the spring. Right now there is little flow since the water level is so low. But come springtime…
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then