Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ponds on Cape Cod with toxic algae, 2009-2011

Blue-green algae creates "toxic algae blooms." They have been known to kill dogs and people. While only a few people have been sickened by algae blooms in the US, about 50 people were killed in Brazil from drinking water tainted with algae.

In 1998, four dogs were poisoned--two of them died--from drinking water at Cliff Pond in Nickerson State Park.  One of the dogs that died belonged to Jeff Hook--and he thinks the four dogs are just the tip of the iceberg.  A few years later, he had a second dog die at Cliff Pond.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Work party to prepare Hawksnest for storm--Sat. morn

Urgent work party Saturday morning.
Erosion control enhancements.
Call Lisa Thompson to coordinate

Most erosion happens during the biggest storms.  When a storm hits, enormous erosion damage can occur.  The big gully to the beach at Round Cove Rd. happened during such a storm.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Urgent Action Needed--by all Friends of Hawksnest

Hawksnest could be logged !
Friday 8/26 is the last day
to tell the State what you think about this bad idea.

The State is revising its classification of various public lands.  They are being labeled as Reserves, Parkland, or Woodland

Monday, August 22, 2011

Protecting fragile vegetation at Hawksnest

The soil's surface... is the living skin of the earth.

When vegetation is destroyed, erosion creates a wound--as dangerous to the ecosystem as a festering sore.  In the resulting scars, invasive plants and animals can become established.

Healthy soil stores nutrients for plants--but with erosion, phosphorus escapes, creating imbalances in waterways downstream.

If erosion is allowed to continue unchecked, the resulting gullies will be very expensive to repair.  At Walden Pond State Reservation near Boston, erosion that went unchecked for decades cost over a million dollars to repair.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Trail over "Sunset Hill" closed for erosion control

Rising to a breath-taking altitude of 79 feet, "Sunset Hill" is one of the highest places in Hawksnest State Park.  A trail over the top didn't exist when the park was established, but it soon became a favorite route of equestrians and off-road vehicles.

The trail is useful, because it links Round Cove Rd. with Nathan Walker Rd.  But to provide that link, it doesn't have to go over the hilltop.

Recently, Friends of Hawksnest secured permission from the State to detour the trail away from the top of the hill.  One of the equestrians was consulted, and agreed to use the new route.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Drug use at Hawksnest

The New York Times reports growing drug use on Cape Cod.  Recent events show drug users are causing litter and fire damage at Hawksnest.

If drug use at Hawksnest isn't stopped, it may lead to break-ins in houses surrounding the park.  Report any campfires you see to the police.  Campfires are illegal in the park and lead to water pollution.

Hash pipe found in campfire at Hawksnest--the "jackknife" they were looking for.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Coyote sighted at Hawksnest

Alert but not afraid.

On July 12 at about sundown, I saw a coyote along the east border of Hawksnest, near Seth Whitfield Rd.  See lower right of photo.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hiking around Hawksnest and Black ponds

The cove--or the "hawks head"-- from Walker Rd near the cemetery.

There's some lovely hiking at Hawksnest.  You can hike most of the way around the park, although at some distance from the ponds, on Nathan Walker Rd, combined with Seth Whitfield Rd (Hawksnest Rd).  These historic roads, looking much as they did 50 or 100 years ago, are one of the assets of the park.

There's a particularly charming loop that goes around both Hawksnest and Black ponds.  To avoid some very rough driving, you can park on Seth Whitfield Road near the "four corners," or closer to Queen Ann Rd.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Important hearing on East Harwich development--August 9

Please attend the meeting to let the Planning Board know you support a balanced, comprehensive smart growth package for East Harwich that provides opportunities for economic development, housing AND natural resource protection that will benefit the entire town of Harwich and the region.

The proposed East Harwich Village Center and Natural Resource Protection District zoning package will be discussed.