Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bay Circuit Trail: Concord and the Spirit of Thoreau.

Henry and I go way back. I like to think I appreciate him as he actually was rather than as the wretched plaster saint he's become.

"I'd rather sit on a pumpkin and have it to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion", is one quote that comes to mind when I end up stuck on the T at rush hour. Henry is like a founding mentor for my American appreciation of this living world and his works form the footing for it. 

The Bay Circuit Trail section of Thoreau country might begin at Concord Center. I usually start at the train station. The first noteworthy open space parcel is the Hapgood Wright Town Forest

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bay Circuit Trail: The Common Wealth of Town Forests.

Town Forests make up a significant part of the Bay Circuit Trail. I've been poring through web searches trying to get a sense of their history and origins here as they appear to be a fairly unique thing.

My best guess is that they are the essence of the Commonwealth design in a time when wood was a core element of the colonial culture as a material and as a fuel. Towns set these tracts aside to provide fuel in winter for town facilities and to provide lumber for town building projects.

Eventually, other fuels replaced wood and lumbering operations were scaled up to the point where dimension stock market lumber was a better value than milling your own. The things entered a long phase of benign neglect until recently revived as the principle open space property a town is likely to have. 

Despite this, they are still mysterious as there isn't any directory of them such as you would find for Commonwealth DCR properties, Federal things like National Wildlife Refuges or the many privately owned properties such as Audubon Sanctuaries or Trustees Reservations.