A Gathering of iNaturalists on Mount Watatic

A few months ago, I was chatting with @radbackedsalamander - I don't even remember the context - and we thought it would be fun to organize a field trip for iNaturalists in our area. Somehow, that stuck in my head, so...

You all are invited to climb Mount Watatic in Ashby/Ashburnham, MA on Sunday, July 2nd, with a rain date of July 3rd. The plan is to meet at the eastern summit (the big ledges with a view to the east) around noon, eat our lunches, meet each other, and make loads of observations. There might be dragonflies hill-topping, for example. Or interesting grasshoppers. Certainly there will be Sibbaldiopsis and Red Spruce and Turkey Vultures (maybe Black Vultures?) and grasses I'll never be able to identify. I'll figure out some way to make it obvious where exactly to meet - maybe an iNaturalist flag?

Whatever organisms we find there, it's a beautiful view from a mountain that's now mostly protected by a coalition of conservation groups; take a look at the map at the bottom of this article to see what's protected there: https://www.mass.gov/news/land-protected-at-mount-watatic

Logistics: This isn't an organized hike where we all start at the same place at the same time; you are free to start whenever and wherever you want to. Depending on which way you go up, it can be a steep hike, but a relatively short one. To my knowledge, there are no facilities like porta-potties at any of the trailheads. Dogs are permitted on leash. There are four parking spots I know of:

DCR Ashburnham State Forest, off Rt. 119, more or less opposite Old Pierce Road. This area has limited parking for about 15 cars, which often fills up quickly. Sometimes, people park on Old Pierce Road itself.

On Rt. 119 itself, a little east of the DCR lot. This is a paved pull-off with maybe 8 spots.

MassWildlife Ashby WMA, off Rt. 119 to the east of pull-off right on Rt. 119. This spot is shown as a P on the map I linked to above; there's a blue MassWildlife sign there. Parking for probably 8 cars.

MassWildlife Ashby WMA, at the end of Watatic Mountain Road in Ashby. This is at the end of the woods road at the end of the paved road, and there's only parking for 2 cars here.

While everyone is invited, here I'm going to mention people I think might be particularly interested: @adamkohl, @agave6_tomwalker, @btk, @cbuelow45, @ceiseman, @cpellegrini, @davidhsmall, @deparia1950, @jackcadwell, @jcarm, @julie_richburg1, @karro_frost, @maygrz, @mohale, @mtjones, @naturalist2073, @pat_huckery_masswildlife, @stevemirick, @stevetobin, @threepogonias, @tmurray74.

If you can't make it on the 2nd (or 3rd) or don't want to hike up a mountain, I'm hoping to organize another get-together in a month or two. Suggestions for locations are welcome - maybe a pond or lake with a picnic pavilion somewhere?

Julkaistu kesäkuu 16, 2023 02:00 IP. käyttäjältä lynnharper lynnharper

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Thanks for the invite, Lynn! Unfortunately I am working that weekend. Have lots of fun up there! Tom

Lähettänyt agave6_tomwalker melkein 1 vuosi sitten

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