Twinings Pond Conservation Area is a thirty one acre property with multiple walking paths surrounding the body of fresh water at its center. The land was acquired through a mix of gifts and low-cost purchases from the Fleck Family in the 1990s and later 2000s. The conservation area has two trailheads along Quanset Road, with parking spots near the entrance on the side of the road. The northernmost trailhead includes an OCT Land sign and an informational post.
Many interesting species can be found in and around the pond, namely birds, trees and mushrooms. Birds viewed on the property this fall include Downy Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees, Hooded Mergansers and even a Great Horned Owl! Check out the pond in the early morning and late afternoon for migrating birds still passing through the area. As for trees, there are the run of the mill pitch pines and oaks, but the property also sports an American Chestnut along its northern path. Remember to watch out for poison ivy as you walk!
As for mushrooms, the area is ideal for their growth, the leaf litter and pine needles creating a good habitat of decomposing material. One such mushroom is the edible Penny Bun aka Porcini mushroom, Boletus edulis, the Bolete genus having pores instead of gills. However, there are also more dangerous mushrooms growing in the forest as well, including the pictured mushroom, a likely candidate of the Amanita genus (the Amanita genus including some of the most toxic mushrooms in the world). If you are interested in mushroom hunting, make sure to be certain of identification before consumption. Remember the adage: ‘There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters’.
As always, please remember to stay on the marked paths around the pond. Paths are specially chosen to be safe inclines and declines, and are not necessarily the most direct route to the pond. Keeping to paths ensures the least amount of disturbance to the natural beauty of the area. If you are confused, look around for the many directional or OCT tags affixed to trees in the area. Happy walking!