Topsfield Arboretum

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The Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Topsfield and Wenham Massachusetts.  The Rockery Trail belonged to an arboretum donated by the owner Thomas Emerson Proctor. The Sanctuary is currently managed by the Massachusetts Audubon Society who removed some of the non-native species of trees, However along the Rockery Trail I noticed some unusual trees and shrubs which managed to survive.

Thomas Emerson Proctor wrote a 430 page book titled Topsfield Arboretum Catalog of Trees and Shrubs  which unfortunately is no longer in print, so  it may proved to be challenging to identify some of these specimens.

January is probably not the best time for tree identification, so a return visit is planned for the warmer months.

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary by John Poltrack on
This tree resembles an Eastern Cedar but it much larger other varieties which I’ve seen.



Storm Damage by John Poltrack on
This tree is not native to the area. I saw some odd seedpods and large dead leaves.



Acer Saccharum

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Good morning, why is it 10 degrees outside? I was hoping for a continuation of what has been a very mild winter. Today’s photo theme is #TreeTuesday.

I have an old sugar maple tree (Acer Saccharum) in my front yard which has a lot of character. In June of 2014 I photographed it with an IR converted camera. My goal was to isolate its shape and form.

Copper Tree by John Poltrack on


Sugar Maple by John Poltrack on


Christmas Eve

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, I hope you had a joyful Festivus celebration last night. The warm weather continues in the Northeast so I’ve collected a few photos from the archives which are a bit more appropriate for the season.

Sunrays by John Poltrack on
Morning sunbeams


Ghost of Christmas by John Poltrack on
NICC in February


Snowshoeing by John Poltrack on
Snowshoeing on the last day of winter


Nice weekend for photos

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Good Morning, we got a dose of reality this weekend when the temperatures dropped below freezing. Normally in New Ipswich a hard frost would have occurred in late September. But it was a great weekend for photographs.

Emily McCuddy Krook posted a great photo of Tenney Road in New Ipswich on Facebook (See Below)

Tenney Road in Autumn by John Poltrack on

After seeing Emily’s post I felt inspired to check out the road myself. Once again I’m reminded that New Ipswich is really beautiful in the Fall. No need to drive up to the White Mountains. It is all local for us.

Tenney Road in Autumn by John Poltrack on

 Living the rural life in New Ipswich

Leaf Litter by John Poltrack on

A view of the Souhegan River from Taylor Road  in Smithville, New Ipswich.