Facts About Woodward Point
First, Get Your Maps
If you haven’t already, pick your favorite map. Then come back here to learn more about what Woodward Point has to offer.
5 Facts About Foxes
- Male foxes are called dogs and female foxes are called vixens.
- Actually, foxes are more like cats than dogs. With vertically slanted pupils they have increased visibility in dim light and are nocturnal. They also climb trees and use their whiskers to navigate and stalk their prey!
- Fox families live in underground dens. Learn more about these incredible shelters, where vixens raise their young, in this video.
- They’re notoriously stinky! Glands at the base of their tails give off a strong, musty scent that lingers in the air.
- A fox can hear a watch ticking from 40 yards away (that’s about 50 big steps). They use their super hearing skills to help identify prey underground.
Seashells on this Seashore
Hermit crabs. Unlike true crabs, hermit crabs change shells as they grow, and they can commonly be found inhabiting the empty shells of periwinkles, whelks, and moon snails.
Green crabs. These crabs are invasive, which means they’re originally from elsewhere in the world and do harm to Maine native species like clams and lobsters. Get this: a single adult green crab can eat up to 50 mollusks (think clams, mussels, and oysters) in a day. They also destroy eelgrass beds and cause marshland erosion.
Blue mussels. These wild mussels can be harvested all year, but most fishing is in the winter when the quality of the meat is best.
European oysters. These are not Maine’s most common oyster (that claim to fame goes to the American or Eastern oyster). The European variety was introduced to Maine waters in the mid-twentieth century and developed self-sustaining populations in some parts of Midcoast Maine.
The Pretty Trout Lily
This is one of the most common spring ephemeral* wildflowers and it sure is sweet.
The trout lily is a perennial, which means the same plant will bloom every spring for at least three years. They’re usually part of sizable colonies, some of which can be as old as 300 years!
Want to learn more about this and other spring flowers? Check out this video made by MCHT land steward Amanda Devine.
*Isn’t that a nice word? It means lasting for a short time.
What's a bobolink?
If you visit Woodward Point in the spring or early summer, you’re sure to see these remarkable songbirds swooping about and making their sharp pink call. At this time of year (breeding and nesting season for bobolinks), the males don black and white feathers and straw-colored caps on their heads before molting into less distinctive beige and brown coloring like their female counterparts.
Bobolinks build their nests in damp meadows and natural prairies with dense growth of grass, weeds, and a few low bushes—so they love Woodward Point! And we’re happy they choose to rest and nest here after their long annual journey to and from South America.
These birds are becoming increasingly rare, and their habitat is shrinking. To protect them on this preserve, we ask visitors to stick to the trails (you don’t want to disturb their nests!) and we refrain from haying the fields until after young bobolinks have fledged.
Clamming in Maine
Maine has over 2,000 middens, piles of leftover shells, which indicate that people in this area have been harvesting and eating shellfish like shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, oysters, and mussels, for thousands of years. If ever you come across a midden in Maine, please don't touch!
Around 1,500 people make a living clamming today. These clam harvesters rely on access to the coast, and as shorefront properties change ownership, many are encountering “no trespassing” signs where they once worked. That’s the case in the Brunswick area, where a couple dozen access sites have dwindled down to two or three.
Up and down the coast, MCHT is working with harvesters to identify and protect key access sites.
Mind your Ps and Qs with Porcupines
Mind your Ps and Qs with Porcupines
The kind of porcupine you might run into at Woodward Point is a North American porcupine, which can have as many as 30,000 quills.
Ouch! They use these quills to protect themselves from predators (including your dog). Keep your distance!
They often shake to rattle their quills and warn potential predators to stay away. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into them!
Porcupines are technically rodents and they’re found on every continent but Antarctica.