Newest and largest. In many cases, it's good to have those words describing you. Lots of athletes would love to be the youngest and the biggest on the field, pitch, court or sheet of ice. There's nothing like being the Next Big Thing.
The Camp Wing Conservation Area is the newest and largest publicly accessible open space preserve in Duxbury. And it's a place with a sense of place; it's been many things to many people. The Consolidated Cape Cod Cranberry Company saw it as a place of business. The little guys who attended the Crossroads for Kids camp knew it as a place of play. The developer who nearly got his hands on part of it - getting as far as digging test pits - saw it as a goldmine.
It's been logged recently, that's obvious. There are rectangular areas cut into the woods that are healing. In the lowland sections, white pines dominate, dense, thick sections of woods. In the uplands, it's oaks, sparse and spread out as widely as their sun-grabbing tops will allow them to be. Long dead logs lay smothered in moss along the trails and in the woods, adding rich greens to the drab browns and tans that now rule. Coyote scat and great horned owl pellets appear every few yards, showing that this is an active hunting ground.
The end of the road here is a small platform overlooking a marsh which abuts Route 3 South. The walkable portion of this 350 acre property is actually quite small, but that just means that most of the land will remain untrammeled by man, and will theoretically keep wildlife alive for generations.
My only question about this special place is what comes next? Have we run out of potential open spaces that are larger than 350 acres, or will there someday be another Next Big Thing in Duxbury?
Time: 58 minutes.
New species: gray fox (11).
Stranger hellos: 1 (123).
And the rest of my day: Eight hours of work; gave a lecture on the North River at the Duxbury Senior Center; magazine work at night.