There are many areas of Quincy that some people hurry through - or don't even know exist at all - this is a small sample of what they are missing!

The Black's Creek area, also known as the Quincy Salt Marsh (which is also the location of the Sailors' Home Cemetery) is a haven of unnoticed awesomeness. Sadly, much of the unique living things that once populated this area have become quite sparse due to the "anthropomorphic" (induced by humans) influences that have altered the chemistry of the environment, and reduced the diversity there. These photos memorialize what I used to see there on a regular basis between 2004-2007. 

As you proceeded down the main trial towards the cemetery, a trail branches off to the left, where plants such as Chinese Lanterns, Dockweed, Sea Pickle and Queen Anne's Lace used to be found in abundance. Sadly, most of these plants can longer be found in the marsh. I have not seen a Chinese Lantern there since 2006. HIdden amongst vines and invasive plant species that are taking over the marsh area, these lanterns were a wonderful surprise, as I had never seen them anywhere else in the U.S.  The cardinal captured on a windy day was sitting in the very spot where the Chinese Lanterns used to grow. Beautiful but invasive, bittersweet berries have unique, interesting patterns and color combinations, and are found in this location now.

As you walk along the part of the marsh that parallels Quincy Shore Drive, you may see coffee bean snails climbing up the short marsh grasses to escape the rising tides. They are quite tiny, and easily overlooked. Saltwort (Sea Pickle), a unique and edible plant that is quite salt-tolerant (hence the name!) used to fill this area of the salt marsh, and become firey red, creamy yellow and brilliant orange just as tree leaves do in autumn. I have only seen it in a small marshy area near Marina Bay in September 2013. 

As your loop your way around the back portion of the marsh, vines with interesting growth patterns can be found, Many mushrooms and other varieties of fungus and lichens still exist in the area, although the varieties of these have greatly diminished. Underneath a suspicious-looking lump of leaves, I found this spectacular purple mushroom. Along side of it, a skeletal leaf laid nearby. Such lacy and amazing detail....

Once into the wooded area surrounding and beyond the cemetery, many more overlooked details still can be found. For example, swans make their home along Black's Creek, along the back area of the cemetery. Also calling this area home for much of the year are both greater and lesser egrets, blue herons, cormorants, brants and Canadian Geese. On the reeds and bushes on this "back side" of the marsh, praying mantis egg cases can still be found. Photos of these other-worldly creatures can be found on the "bugs" page. 

Well known to those that frequent Wollaston Beach or Quincy Shore Drive are the Red-Tailed Hawks - you can usually see one or to keeping watch over the area on the streetlights or in the large trees near the roadway, looking for prey.

This area can be accessed from the DCR parking areas along Quincy Shore Drive near Wollaston Beach or from Finnell Drive. The Black's Creek area can be accessed from walking trails along Furnace Brook Parkway, from parking areas along Rt. 3A, or from the parking lots in the Adams Field recreation area.