The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 8, 2001

Nina Nielsen and John Baker enjoy a springtime view of the 265-year-old Estabrook Trail, the route taken by the colonial militia on their way to join the Battle of Lexington and Concord, April 19, 1775. The couple have granted a conservation restriction that will protect both the roadway's opening vistas and the public's access to the wild beauty beyond. (Photo by Lois d'Annunzio)

"I am doubly glad to be here," said Senator Susan Fargo to a full house after the May 24 annual meeting of Carlisle Communications Inc., which publishes the Mosquito. Speaking as a state senator in her third term, but also recalling her roots as a former editor of a small town newspaper, Fargo brought the corridors of Beacon Hill to Carlisle.

For the many Carlisleans and Concordians to whom the Estabrook Woods are an historical, environmental and cultural treasure, the past month has brought heartening news on one front and growing unease on another. The good news concerns a most generous conservation restriction that will protect Carlisle's major gateway to Harvard University's 670-acre Biological Research Preserve in The Woods. The anxiety stems from the apparent determination of the Middlesex School board of trustees to move forward with plans to expand the campus deep into Estabrook Country, if and when their motion to dismiss a citizen adjudicatory appeal against the project is successful.

Watch out for turtles in the road

You may find turtles on the roadway at this time of year and wondered why they are there. The answer is that they are just female turtles going about their June-time business of leaving wetlands and heading for sandy places to lay their eggs. They leave the water in June, lay their eggs, and return to the water. The eggs will hatch in September and the young will make their way back to the water. All but two Massachusetts turtles are on the endangered species list, the exceptions being the snapping turtle and the painted turtle.

You can protect the turtles by helping them across the road in the direction that they are going. If your turtle is a snapper, and most of them are, proceed with caution. Snappers have a carapace with a saw-toothed rear end and are easily identified. They are not called snappers for nothing, and Linda Cocca , who is on the educational resources staff at Massachusetts Audubon Society in Lincoln, suggests you push them along or lift them with a shovel until they are safely across the road. Alternatively, you can stop and alert other cars until they have crossed. If you are so fortunate as to see them laying their eggs and wish to mark the spot, use a stick, rather than a fence, so the young turtles will be able to get back to the water when they hatch.

+YEAR+ The Carlisle Mosquito