Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bartholomew's Cobble, Sheffield, Mass.

Sunday I walked the trails at Bartholomew's Cobble with Rene Wendell, the resident naturalist, on a Housatonic Heritage Walk. I always love this property and it was a treat to learn more about it. The Cobble is known for its diversity of plants, animals and habitats, the rock formations, the Housatonic River, and the view from Hurlburt's Hill.

Maidenhair Spleenwort, one of about 50 species of ferns at the Cobble.
Here the floodplain-loving Silver Maple shows
the silvery underside of its leaves in the breeze.
In the northeast, most floodplain areas are used for farming (their soil is incredibly fertile) or by commercial developers. The Cobble, thankfully, has 6 acres of naturally forested floodplain and is restoring 10 more acres to increase a habitat that is almost wiped out. Additional information here.

Rene told us about the 1800 trees that were planted this summer
on abandoned agricultural land which was being taken over
by invasive species.
Don't miss the huge Cottonwood tree at the Spero Trail that has a hollow trunk big enough to climb into. Rene bragged that he has had eight kids and himself in the space! He even motivated one of the adults in the group to climb in. The tree is is the second largest in the state.

Although Rene's crouching here,
you actually can stand up inside! 

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