On Saturday, April 7, after a cool and dreary morning, the sun came out to warm approximately 50 hikers (adults and children).  These hikers followed Middleton Stream Team members along the banks of the swiftly running Boston Brook and paused at the dam ruins of what was once the first water powered mill, a 17th century sawmill in what is now Middleton.  Then following Pike Messenger through the beautiful and serene forest where in the past 30 years fires cleared its low growth, they came to a large vernal pool.  Here the hikers could hear the wood frogs and search the cool water for aquatic creatures.   The weather had been too cold in March and early April to bring out the salamanders and wood frogs. No salamander or wood frog egg masses were found but that did not seem to dampen the spirit of these hikers in search of vernal creatures, as many beautiful fairy shrimps were found.  On the return along the beaver flooded edge of Boston Brook, the interest of the little hikers had them sweeping their nets again in the water above the long, high beaver dam.  Everyone had an interesting afternoon enjoying the natural surroundings of wooded northern Middleton.  We suspect that many little hikers were napping during their return home.  Some old timers soon did upon return.  We stream teamers hope the participants will now go out and find vernal pools near their homes.

 

  • grown-ups had fun too
  • balance-and-scoop
  • fairy-shrimp-in-the-net
  • area by the beaver dam was fun
  • container-with-fairy-shrimp-they-were-returned
  • enjoying-the-catch
  • view-of-hikers-from-across-the-vernal-pool
  • first scoops with the net
  • getting ready to hike
  • history-of-the-open-forest
  • still-smiling-at-the-end-of-the-hike
  • pool-side
  • onto-the-next-spot.
  • Boston-Brook-flowing-fast-under-the-foot-bridge
  • snapping-turtle-shell-beside-vernal-poo
  • Mother-and-son-checking-the-net
  • Arrival at the vernal pool
  • Mom-and-son-having-fun
  • checking-the-net
  • look what's in my bowl!
  • several hikers balanced themselves on the rocks beside the water