A Landing a Day

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Ashley Falls, Massachusetts

Posted by graywacke on May 11, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Congratulations on your graduation!!  (For other readers, Dan just graduated from the University of Richmond with degrees in Biology and Journalism as well as minor in French).  I assume that you’ll be headed home and I’ll see you soon.  Anyway, on to landing:

Drum roll please! It’s a new record as, for only the fourth time; I landed in . . . MA; 4/6; 6/10; 4; 160.7.

Here’s a somewhat broader view than my usual landing map, showing my landing in far SW MA:


Here’s a closer view, showing my proximity to a state boundary triple point (MA, CT & NY):


Although the largest town in the vicinity is Canaan CT, I couldn’t find much of interest. However, near Ashley Falls is a place known as Batholomew’s Cobble. I’ll start with a write-up and then show you some pictures:

Bartholomew’s Cobble is home to one of North America’s greatest diversities of fern species and their allies, as well as abundant woodland wildflowers. The Reservation is named for its two rocky knolls that rise above the Housatonic River. These cobbles consist mostly of limestone and marble, whose alkaline soil supports an unusual array of flora.

Away from the cobbles, the landscape changes to open fields dotted with red cedars and then to forest. Neutral to acidic soils here support coniferous and hardwood trees typical of a New England transitional forest, such as oak, pine, birch, hemlock, maple, and hickory. Freshwater marshes and beaver ponds are home to many types of plants and animals. The high point at Bartholomew’s Cobble, Hurlburt’s Hill, rises 1,000 feet to a twenty-acre upland field on the Massachusetts-Connecticut border that offers panoramic views northward up the Housatonic River Valley.

In total, the Reservation’s numerous and varied habitats feature more than 800 species of vascular plants and more forest types than anywhere else in Berkshire County. For this reason, the National Park Service designated Bartholomew’s Cobble a National Natural Landmark in 1971.

Here are some pictures, showing that this is truly a beautiful place!

bart cobble


Bart's cobble


I’ll close with this handsome yellow warbler, happily living in Bartholomew’s Cobble:

yellow warbler



© 2009 A Landing A Day

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