Thursday, September 11, 2014

Take a HIke

Nye Pond to Scorton Creek

This 1957 view shows Nye Pond flowing out to Cape Cod Bay through the 
East Sandwich Fish Hatchery near Old County Road, and the Game Farm
beyond.  Both of these Division of Fisheries and Wildlife facilities are now 
conservation land.

By John Nye Cullity 

The Sandwich Conservation Trust will continue its series of monthly walks this Sunday at 2 P.M. with an exploration of the East Sandwich water system and adjacent lands that begin at Nye Pond and flow out to Scorton Creek and the bay.

This system is one of three in Sandwich that begin as powerful springs which flow fresh for a bit before entering salt marsh.  The others originate in Upper Shawme Pond, and in the pond next to the Green Briar Nature Center at Spring Hill.  All three supported various water mills and many other historic uses, and all three experienced all sorts of manipulation - damming, filling, bridging, diversion, etc.  My ancestors did much of the fiddling around at Nye Pond and out to the marsh, and on this walk I will describe what was done. 

Equally interesting is Nature’s response to man’s imposed changes, including, finally leaving it alone.  To determine this we study the land carefully, along with old photographs, maps, documents and stories.  We can never know exactly what took place, but we can more or less trace the changes.  As always, we will take note of interesting trees and other vegetation and signs of wildlife that now exist.

This will be a fairly easy walk – no steep grades – but there may be a few roots, wet spots and puckerbrush.  It will last about an hour-and-a-half or so.  We will meet at the Grange Hall at 91 Old County Road – 2 P.M. – and please park on grass or gravel so that cars don’t protrude into the road or block driveways.  If it is raining the walk is cancelled.

If you are interested in the history of landscape change, you might enjoy attending the annual meeting of the Sandwich Conservation Trust at the Grange Hall on Sunday afternoon, October 5th. SCT members will begin our business meeting at 2 PM, and I will be presenting a slide show and talk at 2:30.  The public is welcome to both.  Donations to help pay for the hall or support the SCT will be most appreciated.  

Fisherman’s Landing on Scorton Creek, once the site of a small 
shipyard, saltworks, and a dock for coastal shipping.  

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