Situated in the epicenter of The Great Marsh, Ipswich is ground zero for the annual invasion of Town’s Official Pest, Tabanus nigrovittatus, better known as the Greenhead Fly. In my opinion, which I am happy to share with you, the Latin name for this scourge lends it far more dignity than it deserves.
Salt marsh hay is still gathered on the North Shore today. The grass was stacked on staddles to raise it above the high tides, and was hauled away on sleds over the frozen marsh in mid-winter.
Deep in Willowdale State Forest is a bog which in the 1832 Ipswich map is the “Peat Meadows.” “Turf” as it was also called, became a commonly-used fuel when local forests were depleted and until anthracite coal became widely available.
CBS “Sunday Morning” takes us to Plum Island in Massachusetts, a winter home for owls.
The 1893 Birdseye map shows a serious washout just to the east of the Old North Burying Ground, forming a deep gully. A late 19th Century photo taken by Arthur Wesley Dow shows rocks and soil pushed up against a barn and sheds that once stood below.
In the last couple of years I’ve composted about a ton of coffee grounds to be used in my garden. The peas received a generous helping of the compost, and this year’s plants are almost 8′ tall!
In 2010, the Ipswich Board of Selectmen voted to begin exploring removal of the Ipswich Mills Dam. The feasibility study was completed in March, 2019 and will set the stage for the Town’s decision regarding the dam.
More than 50% of land in Ipswich is protected by the town, state and non-profit organizations, including Ipswich Open Space, Willowdale State Forest, Appleton Farms, Crane Beach and other Trustees of Reservations properties.