7

The "reeds" (or whatever they are) are very tall. Taller than phragmites... I find this statement a little hard to swallow, considering Phragmites australis subsp. australis can reach heights as high as 5m (16 ft). So my first question would be, "Are you sure what you're looking at isn't a Phragmite?" Phragmites australis: From the pictures provided, ...


6

This does look like some sort of turtle. Snapping turtles can easily get to the size you mention, and are fairly common. The picture doesn't give the impression the tracks are really 10 inches apart. They seem narrower than that, which would open the possibility for a number of other turtles. Box turtles get to a reasonable size, and then there are a ...


5

Those look like Wood Frog eggs. You would expect to find Wood Frogs breeding in ponds, vernal pools, and marsh edges in or near forested habitat at a wide range of elevations as soon as the snow melts and the ground thaws. A typical egg mass can have between 500 and 2000 eggs. The embryos start out black on top and white on the bottom, as do most open-...


5

Possible culprits: Opossums: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D-iFOsRhJ4 Raccoons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAG0V1AauJs Badgers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwrG_HdH2oY Foxes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPLJ0Gbu5D8 Porcupines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_yoCesDLhg Skunks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfrXnBMnNvg There ...


4

The short answer is yes, if the rules are followed, it is technically legal for personal size sailboats, 16ft (4.9m) or under, to be out in a thunderstorm in Nantucket Sound. The Sunfish, which is 13.9ft, (4.23m), falls into that category. However, it's not smart, and is highly discouraged! Classification: Massachusetts State Boating Laws break watercraft ...


3

At closest, your options are probably Hammond Pond in Newton (right off the green line) or Arnold Arboretum in Forest Hills (right off the orange line). Hammond pond is more of a walk a little down the trial, turn off and find a secluded spot and sit and relax. As the area is really small and surrounded by roads, it would be hard to get lost so you could ...


2

Middlesex Fells is a great location just north of the city. It's fairly T-accessible and is as close to TGO as you'll get in metro Boston. Trail Map and info


2

I’ll let you do the mapping but you’ve got a couple of good options. The Arnold Arboretum is walking distance from Forest Hills Station (directions by different methods, including Forest Hills Station are provided here), and while it’s more of a very large park and you’ve got to get off the main paved paths for any solitude, it can be done. For real ...


2

This is on the eastern side of “western”, but Tully Lake in Royalston MA has tent-only camping (hike/paddle in, no vehicle access) and trails beside a small gem of a lake. http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/places-to-stay/tully-lake-campground/. It’s also the site of a great trail run / mountain bike / paddle relay triathlon each October which ...


2

All public campgrounds in western MA are going to be "busy" on weekends in the summer. In fact, I wouldn't even try finding a campsite later than afternoon on Friday or on Saturday. As for hiking, look at maps to see what the hiking opportunities are by each campground you are considering. A good place to start is with the state-wide trails map. https://...


2

There isn't a lot of wilderness near Boston, but there are many local trails. Camping is not allowed on most land that local trails pass over. However, it is sometimes possible to get permission. It is probably possible to string together a loop on local trails with pre-arranged camping permission in specific areas. You would have to do a lot of digging ...


2

I have no idea what "sounded like wind chimes" is supposed to mean. No animal that I know of makes a metallic clinking sound. The closest would be several frogs, but that doesn't fit at all with everything else you said. Ignoring the useless description of the sound, everything else points to coyotes. It would be helpful to be more specific than "not far ...


1

It's hard to give a definitive answer, but based on your description one possibility could be a badger. They make some really astonishing noises ranging from grunts to screams to barks. Maybe head over to Youtube and listen to some badger videos and see if that sounds similar?


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