Not that I blame them or would have it any other way, but the piping plovers chicks are cramping my style. Let me explain. For most of the year, my dog and I go to South Cape Beach in Mashpee for a nice morning walk along a thin sandy trail that has low dunes on the ocean side and swan-filled Waquoit Bay on the other side. It’s picturesque, it’s peaceful, it’s beautiful in any weather – all and all a perfect way to start the morning. But, alas, it is plover nesting season, and the plovers set up shop in the dunes of South Cape Beach. And those cute little plover chicks are as fragile and delicate as Blanche DuBois on a bad day, so my dog and I are forced to find a place to go where we won’t trample or terrify any creature protected by the Endangered Species Act. We both try not to hold a grudge. We understand. We love the plovers as much as the next person. We do, but still…
So where are we to go? Well, yesterday I found a perfect dog-walking spot! For years I have been driving by the Mary Barton Land Trust in Cotuit. I see the charming sign and the cars parked in the tiny lot off of Putnam Avenue. I wonder what everyone is doing there and then, with my mind moving on to other things, I forget about it and continue on with my day. But, with Mother Nature forcing my hand, and my anxious dog in the back of the car in need of a good walk, I decided it was the day to change up my routine.
The Mary Burton Land Trust was established in 1980 to protect Eagle Pond and its surrounding property. It is a wonderful piece of land with thick, lush foliage, tall pine trees, unfurled ferns, light green moss climbing on all that will have it, well-maintained trails, and, of course, wonderful Eagle Pond (which I’m looking forward to swimming in once this weather of ours takes a turn to the warmer side). My dog and I were both thrilled. So, to all you piping plover families out there – take your time, grow strong, grow bold, multiple. We will let you be – enjoying the woods until all is clear to return to our walks on the beach.
And though the Mary Burton walk will become part of our routine, I’m always anxious to know about other dog-friendly walks on the Cape. Please, please post your favorite places to take your dog for a walk in the comments section. For, variety is the spice of life, for man and dog alike.