Fall is a wonderful time to be outdoors with its dazzling colors, crisp air, and wildlife activity galore. Whether your passion is hiking, hunting, fishing, birding, or just taking in the scenery, a few common sense safety reminders will add to your enjoyment during a day in the field.
Know your limits. Don't take off on a long hike, hunt, or bike ride if you're not physically ready.
Always tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return.
Watch the weather. New England weather is notoriously unpredictable. Be ready with extra clothing.
Expect the unexpected. Carrying a pack with a few first aid items, matches, water, pocket knife, cell phone, map, compass, whistle, extra food, and flashlight can help prevent small problems from becoming big ones.
Wear blaze orange for visibility. Whether you're a hunter, hiker, birder or dog walker in rural areas, it's a good idea to wear a cap or vest of highly visible blaze orange clothing while you're enjoying the great outdoors.
Respect the water. Canoeists and kayakers are required to wear life jackets from September 15 to May 15, but all water enthusiasts, especially anglers who wade in larger rivers, would be wise to wear floatation devices now that water and air temperatures are cooling.
Respect other outdoor users. Mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife watching, hunting, and hiking need not be and are not mutually exclusive activities. Know the hunting seasons and who is likely to be sharing the woods and waters with you. Keep dogs under direct control and respect other outdoor users' rights to enjoy our open spaces.
Finally, licensed hunters are reminded to take the basics of hunter safety to heart. Treat every firearm as it were loaded, keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times. Positively identify your target and what lies beyond it.
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.