The Francis C. Carter Memorial Preserve, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, is one of the largest preserves in the state. I have hiked this 1,100-acre property endless times, from both trail heads, and it feels different every time.
There are several varied natural communities here, including rocky moraine, vernal pools, pitch pine barrens and grassland.
Today, we took a small wooded trail that opens onto a power line.
We walked along the power line until we came to a sign saying the land beyond was private. From 1964 to 1980, United Nuclear operated a nuclear facility on 12 acres of this property. The plant was the site of a fatal accident in 1964, in which an employee, Robert Peabody, was exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. The clean-up of the site was not completed until 2011, and the land was added to the preserve.
I paused to take in some of the trees, which looked so pretty against the dark blue sky.
These trembling aspens were also interesting with their straight, smooth vertical trunks.
On the way back, Fidgit found a pool and waded in. Hedonist.