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Beaver Wetlands

Wachusett Meadow Audubon Sanctuary in Princeton, MA is home to an eighty-five acre beaver wetland–one of the largest in Massachusetts. A sign along the trails reminds visitors that:

• Beavers are a keystone species, providing habitat for many other animals and plants.

• Beaver wetlands are highly advantageous to wildlife, providing wetlands in various stages from open water to wet meadows.

•These wetlands provide habitat for moose, great blue heron, wood duck, dragonflies, amphibians and aquatic plants.

One of several beaver lodges partially covered with snow.
Last Summer, this beaver could be seen munching on plants most evenings.
Boardwalk at the edge of the wetlands with the snow just melting.
The long expanse of reeds. Benches give visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the landscape.
A wood duck box. I was fortunate to view this shy species of duck last summer.
The wind-blown reeds close-up.
A Great Blue Heron visits the main pond most Summer afternoons.

About the author jmankowsky

I live in Central Massachusetts in the United States--a wonderful area for nature, art and culture. Using a compact camera, I celebrate daily life found here in a variety of local landscapes throughout the changing seasons.

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17 Comments

  1. This looks like an amazing oasis, with even more amazing visitors/residents. I don’t think I have ever seen a river otter in the wild, only in the zoo. That would be an amazing encounter, together with all the others.

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    1. Thanks, Tanja. The whole sanctuary is about 1200 acres, and it’s a ten minute drive down the road for me. Needless to say, I go there several times a week, since I am retired! The river otters are very curious, and will come fairly close to you. I didn’t mention minks, because I have never snapped a good pic of one, but they are very mischievous, and twice have run right in front of me, as if playing a game! Truly, an amazing place!

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      1. Good for you for having this sanctuary so nearby. I would be there all the time, too!

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  2. Nice and awesome pictures of the sanctuary. Great photography.

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    1. Thanks so much. I’m so lucky to have this amazing and peaceful place nearby.

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      1. Yes absolutely true. Welcome 😊😊😊

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  3. What an awesome sanctuary to live so close to and visit often! So good for the heart and soul! 🙂 Wonderful variety of photos, I love the GBH and it’s reflection on the pond. Some 20 years ago, we had beavers living in wetlands behind our property in Delaware, I loved walking back there and hear them slap their tails when they saw/heard me. Their den was huge like yours!

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    1. Ah, I love those slapping beaver tails, as well! GBH are so beautiful….I’m sad when they leave at the end of Summer.

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  4. What a fantastic place, and how exciting to see (and photograph) a beaver and an otter. Lovely that you are able to make the most of living nearby.

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    1. Yes, very lucky to be near this wonderful place!

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  5. I like the heron photo and the wind blown grasses shot very much.

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  6. What a lovely photo journal you have posted. Born in Western Massachusetts, I loved nature and all the lakes we could swim in near Sturbridge before we moved to Colorado when I was 10. It’s always a treat to visit relatives and when I can’t, I am able to see beautiful nature photos. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks so much! I grew up in Western Mass as well, (in Northfield, at the tri-state border), I love Central Massachusetts for its convenience, but there is nothing like the wide open spaces!

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  7. Really enjoyed these pictures! My favorite is the river otter. 🙂

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    1. Thanks! That other was very playful and fun to photograph!

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