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Winter Light (and volunteering) in the Middlesex Fells

Updated: Jun 30

By Charlie McCabe


I'm lucky to live within walking distance (a little over a mile) of a portion of the 2,300-acre Middlesex Fells State Reservation, a mostly wooded state park that is bisected by a major highway (boo!—another legacy of the 1950s highway-building craze) but still boasts a wide array of terrain, vegetation and numerous ponds, streams, and other water bodies. My paying work tends to slow in December and January, and I use that as an excuse to get out and volunteer. I also serve on the board of directors of Friends of the Fells, the nonprofit that works with the state to protect and preserve the fells, and we welcome donations of any amount. ;-)


Recently we've had several big storms that have brought up to five inches of rain about one week apart, and that has caused a fair amount of flooding and runoff. So I've been walking the trails, unplugging culverts, and trying to fix drainage issues. I've also taken a few photos that speak to the beauty that I see—and one of the reasons I volunteer as a trail steward and board member. Enjoy!


Rock surfaced trail


The Cascade, flowing after an overnight of rain


The setting sun (all too early this time of year)


MWRA Ponds


Footbridge over a stream


Recently restored holding pond


One of the hundreds of culverts / drainage pipes


Setting sun (3:45 pm) against the rocks and winter foliage


Bridge and stream in Virginia Wood area of the Fells


There's a clogged pipe down there somewhere (and the water is cold . . . )


© Copyright 2023, Charlie McCabe Consulting, LLC.

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