First Visit to Caratunk, in Seekonk

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Setting out at Caratunk on a bright summer’s morning

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.

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Yes, we found the place

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.

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We found lots of shade along the well-used, packed down trail, a welcome sight on a warm summer’s morning

Thankfully, we found shaded paths overlooking Cole’s Brook, which feeds into the Ten Mile River. We took a short walk,

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Even snakes were seeking out the shade; here’s one perched on top of the bushes alongside the trail

discovered a resting snake perched atop some shrubs beside the trail (good eye, Keith!) and

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Uncooperative Monarch refused to help me get a better angle, apparently it had more important things to tend to

spotted at least one Monarch butterfly amongst the milkweed and thistle plants near the entrance to the sanctuary.

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Plenty of milkweed plants throughout 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.

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Very low water in late summer in Cole’s Brook

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

beech cliffs 2018Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed three guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,”  “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts,”  and edited “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed.” 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

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

http://tinyurl.com/MTH-More-easy-walks

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Paddles-River-Watershed/dp/1985377012

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