The Old Farm Road winds through our meadow toward Jewett Brook. On the right, a clump of sumac marks the site of the farmhouse. A spur to the left, follows a causeway to the wetland boardwalk, a raised walkway into a beaver habitat. A crossover trail passes beside an old apple tree and the site of the barn.
This meadow is a field habitat, vegetated by grasses and non-woody plants. It is mowed annually to prevent woody growth from taking hold and ultimately taking over the area. From spring through summer, this sunny area produces a succession of wildflowers that are of utmost importance to insects and bees. Its stands of milkweed have always, and, we hope, will again support the monarch butterfly. Wildlife thrives here, finding essential conditions for nesting, shelter and gathering food.
Come fall, poison parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) takes over. This vigorous, invasive plant can cause a painful, persistent rash if touched while it is in flower. The Old Farm Road is mowed wide to allow walkers to pass through the meadow without brushing against the plant.