Francis Carter Preserve

Posted By on October 8, 2016

Francis Carter Preserve

4 miles; Charlestown, RI

Funny how hiking an old, familiar preserve with new people makes everything seem new again. Today’s PCHC hike was like that. I’ve been here dozens of times, yet today it seemed new and fresh.



There were millions of these webs all over the low-growing understory brush here (mostly low-bush blueberry and huckleberry). We looked for but did not see any of the web spinners, though, so no idea what made them.

Often-Imitated, Never Duplicated

Homage of a sort


smoking frog

The Original

So somebody saw the original “Smoking Frog” rock at the Maxwell Mayes Preserve in Coventry, and decided to, oh, let’s be generous here, “pay homage” to it. I don’t know… the imitator is missing a certain je ne sais quoi. On the other hand, the “tongue” sticking out is a nice touch.

dangerous rock

dangerous rock

This particular preserve seems to be frequented by pranksters. I even remember one time coming across a boulder with a pair of stuffed jeans legs and sneakers sticking out like someone was squished underneath. This didn’t turn out to be quite so funny when somebody phoned it in to the Charlestown Police. They were decidedly NOT amused.

Possible Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms

And there were, again, a ton of mushrooms out. These are Honey Mushrooms (Amillaria mellea), but I wasn’t, at the time, confident enough in my I.D. that I collected any.

You can find out more about this preserve at the Nature Conservancy website. Please be aware that bowhunting is permitted here from September 15 to January 15, so blaze-orange is a requirement.


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