Lion

The “mountain lion” track in Winchester was probably a melted coyote paw print, but the Boston Globe suggests that mountain lions, aka pumas, aka panthers, aka cougars, aka catamounts are poised to return to Massachusetts, more than 200 years after the last state specimens were killed in 2005. The 90,000 deer in the state are just too tempting for a big, hungry cat to resist.

Mountain Lion

I’m sure coyotes are on the menu too. wp.mt.gov

The good news is that Massachusetts’ regrown forest cover can support creatures like wild turkeys, deer, lady’s slipper orchids, low bush blueberries… and large predators like mountain lions. The better news is that the word “catamount” might re-enter local vocabularies. Think of what a great and terrible creature this cat must be to spawn so many names.

 

 

May Plant Sales

Evelyn Simak/Wikimedia Commons

This is not a comprehensive list—but if you live in the Boston suburbs, it can help you spend your money wisely. Garden Club sales are staffed by the people who grew the plants you buy, and can help you choose plants and tools that will actually work in your area.

Thank you, Henry Goldberg, for assembling this list. Gardeners, start your shopping!

11-May 8:30 AM 12:00 PM Concord Garden Club of Concord Plant Sale 2013- Middlesex Savings Bank 64 Main St. Concord, MA 01742 http://calendar.boston.com/concord_ma/events/show/304956185-garden-club-of-concord-plant-sale-2013
11-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Sudbury Sudbury Garden Club Plant Sale – Sudbury Town Hall, Sudbury Center 322 Concord Rd. (at Route 27 and Concord Road) http://calendar.boston.com/sudbury_ma/events/show/323026423-sudbury-garden-club-plant-sale, http://www.sudburygardenclub.org.
11-May 9:00 AM 12:30 PM Arlington Arlington Garden Club Plant & Bake Sale Jason Russell House-Smith Museum 1048 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476 http://arlington.patch.com/events/arlington-garden-clubs-7th-annual-plant-yard-and-bake-sale
11-May 10:00 AM 12:00 PM Watertown Watertown Plant Swap 5 Appleton St., Watertown
11-May 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Spring Herb Sale Day 1 of 2 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
11-May 12:00 PM 3:00 PM Newton Newton Community Farm 2013 SEEDLING SALE Day 1 of 2 303 Nahanton St Newton, MA http://newtoncommunityfarm.org/
12-May 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Spring Herb Sale Day 2 of 2 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
12-May 12:00 PM 3:00 PM Newton Newton Community Farm 2013 SEEDLING SALE Day 2 of 2 303 Nahanton St Newton, MA http://newtoncommunityfarm.org/
15-May 8:00 AM 12:00 PM Lexington Lexington Field & Garden Club’s Annual Plant Sale  - National Heritage Museum 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA, 02421 http://calendar.boston.com/lexington_ma/events/show/318207263-lexington-field-garden-clubs-annual-plant-sale
17-May 9:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Gore Estate Plant Sale  Day 1 of 3 http://www.goreplace.org/plant-sale.htm
17-May 9:00 AM 1:00 PM Weston Weston Garden Club Garden Mania Day 1 of 2 Josiah Smith Tavern 358 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA 02439 http://westoncgc.org/garden-mania.html
18-May 8:00 AM 3:00 PM Reading Sisters Plants Perennial Plant Sale  Day 1 of 2 Reading, MA  42 Bond Street Reading, Massachusetts http://www.sisterplants.com/welcome.html
18-May 9:00 AM 1:00 PM Weston Weston Garden Club Garden Mania Day 2 of 2 Josiah Smith Tavern 358 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA 02439 http://westoncgc.org/garden-mania.html
18-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Waltham Waltham Garden Club Annual Plant Sale Where: American Legion Hall, 215 Waverly Oaks Rd Waltham
18-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Medford Medford Garden Club Annual Plant Sale Rain or shine Medford Library parking lot, 111 High Street. Medford MA http://insidemedford.com/events/
18-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Belmont Belmont Garden Club PERENNIAL SALE Belmont Lions Club.One Common Street, Belmont, MA 02478 http://www.belmontgardenclub.info/Categories/UpcomingEvents.html
18-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Framingham Framingham Garden Club Plant Sale Cushing Memorial Park Winter St Keefe Tech entrance Framingham, MA 01702 http://calendar.boston.com/framingham_ma/events/show/319082983-framinghamgardenclub-plant-sale
18-May 9:00 AM 3:00 PM Belmont Mass Audubon, Annual Herb Sale on May 18th 9am-3pm at Habitat, Juniper road, Belmont
18-May 9:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Gore Estate Plant Sale  Day 2 of 3 http://www.goreplace.org/plant-sale.htm
18-May 10:00 AM 2:00 PM Beverly Long Hill & Sedgwick Gardens, Beverly, MA (Trustees of Reservations Property) Annual Plant Sale  http://www.thetrustees.org/things-to-do/northeast-ma/long-hill-plant-sale.html
18-May 2:00 PM 4:00 PM Arlington Menotomy (Arlington) list plant swap 31 Sawin Street
19-May 8:00 AM 3:00 PM Reading Sisters Plants Perennial Plant Sale  Day 2 of 2 Reading, MA 42 Bond Street Reading, Massachusetts http://www.sisterplants.com/welcome.html
19-May 9:00 AM 3:30 PM Wellesley Mass Hort Annual Gardeners’ Fair & White Flower Farm Great Tomato Celebration http://www.masshort.org/Gardeners-Fair
19-May 9:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Gore Estate Plant Sale  Day 3 of 3 http://www.goreplace.org/plant-sale.htm
20-May 8:00 AM dusk Reading Sisters Plants Perennial Plant Sale  Day 4  SELF SERVICE Reading, MA 42 Bond Street Reading, Massachusetts http://www.sisterplants.com/welcome.html
21-May 8:00 AM dusk Reading Sisters Plants Perennial Plant Sale  Day 3 SELF SERVICE Reading, MA 42 Bond Street Reading, Massachusetts http://www.sisterplants.com/welcome.html
22-May 9:00 AM 2:00 PM Cambridge  MIT Endicott House Spring Plant Sale – Day 1 of 2 Student Center Stairs. http://calendar.boston.com/cambridge_ma/events/show/323926303-mit-endicott-house-spring-plant-sale
23-May 9:00 AM 2:00 PM Cambridge  MIT Endicott House Spring Plant Sale – Day 2 of 2 Student Center Stairs. http://calendar.boston.com/cambridge_ma/events/show/323926303-mit-endicott-house-spring-plant-sale
31-May 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Perennial Sale Day 1 of 3 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
1-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Perennial Sale Day 2 of 3 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
1-Jun 11:00 AM 2:00 PM West Boylston Tower Hill Botanic Garden Annual Spring Plant Sale 11 French Drive   Boylston, MA 01505 http://www.towerhillbg.org/index.php/visit/signature-events/sprouts-plant-sale/
2-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Perennial Sale Day 3 of 3 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
8-Jun ? ? Winchester Winchester Home and Garden Club Plant Sale – Winchester Town Common http://www.winchesterhomeandgardenclub.org/
14-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Hosta Sale Day 1 of 3 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
15-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Hosta Sale Day 2 of 3 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
16-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Hosta Sale Day 3 of 3 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454

Bay Circuit Rail Trail: Green Becomes Visible

I was pleased to see the Boston Globe’s article titled “200-mile walking trail moves closer to completion,” about the Bay Circuit Trail. The Bay Circuit Alliance has been working for 22 years to connect this trail, which runs in a grand swoop from Newburyport to Duxbury. Now, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and the Trustees of Reservations are working together to help the Bay Circuit Alliance link up the final 17 miles of the trail, protect land from development and “provide more consistent maintenance and signage, move certain sections off public roads onto undeveloped land, and promote public awareness of the trail.”

Bay Circuit Rail Trail

Bay Circuit Rail Trail / Bay Circuit Alliance

You wouldn’t think you’d need to “promote public awareness” of a trail that runs through 34 towns, but that may be the most important thing the AMC and the Trustees can do for the Bay Circuit Trail, which some folks know as “The Bay Secret Trail.” There are plenty of maps and updates and apps out there about roads, traffic, buses and trains, but finding information about walking trails in Greater Boston is difficult.

Walk Boston publishes maps by town, but doesn’t put out regional maps with trails between towns. Heck, the City of Boston Parks Department doesn’t even list the names of its parks anywhere on its site, much less a map of how to get around them. Only the Emerald Necklace Conservancy does that. The result, according to The Esplanade Association; tourists (and many Bostonians) can’t figure out how to get from the Boston Public Garden to the Esplanade one block away.

Worse still, Greater Boston’s parks and open space are owned by a blizzard of entities that sometimes cooperate very well, and sometimes gnash their teeth at all comers. There are city parks, town conservation land, state parks, National parks and historic sites, Audubon sanctuaries, Nature Conservancy sites, Trustees of Reservations landscapes, historic house sites, private cemeteries, college campuses, Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps, hospital properties… they’re all in the same planet, but occupy different worlds on maps and the internet.

Every space without roads in your street atlas or on Google Maps is  open space (if it isn’t an airport or under water); but you can’t tell if you can walk there unless you can find the trails on a map, and to do that, you have to figure out who owns it. This is how spaces get forgotten. This is how park land ends up being turned into parking lots.

So, go Bay Circuit Alliance! Put up those signs! Blaze those trails! Make it easy for people to find the trail, and walk on it, and bring their dogs if they want to! The easier it is to visit, the easier it is to vote to keep it.

In other easily-confused local news, the Bay Colony Rail Trail might get finished in our lifetimes! The distinction: the Bay Circuit Rail Trail is almost complete, and runs through 34 communities; the Bay Colony Rail Trail is a single seven-mile trail along an abandoned rail corridor linking Needham, Dover, and Medfield, and currently exists only in the minds of the Bay Colony Rail Trail group—and Needham Town Meeting

Last week, Needham Town Meeting voted to give the nonprofit group Bay Colony Rail Trail $35,000 to fund a feasibility study for the southern portion of the trail running from Needham Junction to the bridge going over the Charles River to Dover, according to Wicked Local Needham. That’s wonderful, but it’s only a first step. In 2009, the Boston Globe reported that rail-trail projects in Massachusetts take 10 years to complete on average. Your puppy might live to walk the Bay Colony Rail Trail; your hamster probably won’t.