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My latest volunteer stint with the Trustees of the Reservations (TTOR) introduced me to Choate Island, also known as Hog Island. The island is located in the Essex River Estuary and is part of the Crane Wildlife Refuge, which is owned and managed by TTOR. It is accessible only by boat (private boats, kayaks etc.), but one day a year they open up the Island and provide free shuttle service for the public.

The day started out overcast with intermittent showers. Despite the gloominess of the morning, the landscape of the surrounding refuge was incredibly beautiful. The earth was pulsing with breath and life... the marsh grass was aflame with vibrant color.

We were shuttled over to the island by boat where we swept dirt and cleared cobwebs out of the Choate House to prepare for Choate Island Day. Lots and lots of dirt...and lots of creepy spiders.

Next stop ~ the barn...Bob and some of the other volunteers constructed a picnic table (amazing to watch the progression) in only two hours!. I stayed away from the power tools ;)

My job, along with the other volunteers, was to sweep out the hay and dirt from the barn loft. Sounded easy enough, but had to make sure that I didn't step on the rotting boards and fall through the floor (yikes!).

Another fun day of volunteering...

Next Saturday, Oct 6 is Choate Island Day. If you're in Massachusetts in the Ipswich area, check it out! http://www.thetrustees.org/things-to-do/northeast-ma/choate-island-day.html

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Artist's Palette

Salt marsh and fields on Choate Island.

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Autumn Splendor

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