Thursday, November 3, 2011
The Blue Hills Trailside Museum
One of the best-loved wildlife sanctuaries run by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Blue Hills Trailside Museum is so-named because it essentially serves as an interpretive center for a series of extensive paths that lead up into the Blue Hills. It had been a very, very, VERY long time since the last time I visited, so when my lovely aunt asked if I wanted to join her on a hike, I jumped at the chance.
The Trailside Museum is somewhat similar to the Maine Wildlife Park, which I have sung the praises of quite a bit on this Blog previously. It's not as extensive or big, and there is a smaller variety of wildlife on display. Of course, since all the live animals are unable to live in the wild on their own, this is definitely a good thing. Let's take a look at the star exhibit:
OK, folks, take a good look. This is the one snake in New England you might be justified in freaking out over. Just this one.
Actually, no. No, forget that. See, it turns out that the Timber Rattlesnake has more reason to fear us because it is in the same unenviable and almost surreal predicament that many sharks and large land carnivores have found themselves in. Humans are terrified of them even though they try hard to avoid us, and just because they've injured maybe a few dozen of us, we have killed MILLIONS of them. Or, in the Timber Rattler's case, ALL of them, since they are essentially extinct in Massachusetts, very definitely extinct in Maine, and their numbers elsewhere in the northeast don't inspire confidence.
Do I need to say it? Man, speaking of Tropes, f*** this Trope. I need a drink.
I also need to make a donation! I don't know who built this or even what it is, but I remember it from when I last came here as a child. I'm all for periodically updating museums, but it's nice to see some things stay the same.
So, let's hit the Red Dot Trail! My father, sister, and I climbed this trail many many times and I wonder if anything has changed?
I got old. That's what changed. Ah, well, it's worth the pain in my knees to see views like these. So, have some shots of nature showing off. All the pictures in this post are hosted at my Flickr, so click to go to the big versions.
If nothing else, we're learning that the landscape of eastern Massachusetts is mostly big chunks of granite held together by trees.
"That's very nice, Trish, but where's the fall foliage?"
Ah, well, there is an Observatory at the top of Blue Hill that nearly all the trails lead to. The building is obviously quite old, and was clearly built to hold only five people at once comfortably. That means it gets very claustrophobic very quickly, since everyone who climbs the trails ends up in the top of the somewhat skinny tower (sometimes with very small children and babies, sometimes with dogs. Yeah.) Fortunately, I was able to snap these before I had to get out:
And the one picture everyone takes:
Sketch of the Day!
Live studies of the Museum's residents: