How Close Is Bridgewater to Solitude and a Wilderness Experience?
Explore the Mysterious Hockomock Swamp Wetland Just a Short Drive from Bridgewater
Centuries have passed since European settlers arrived in the Bridgewater area, but at least one ecosystem has resisted the pull of development. Hockomock Swamp continues to occupy a vast wetland in Southeastern Massachusetts. The area covered includes approximately 16,950-acres and provides protection for innumerable plant species, birds, fish and reptiles, and mammals, including humans. The swamp is in the Taunton River watershed and includes portions of the following Massachusetts municipalities:
- West Bridgewater
What Types of Trees, Understory, and Ground Cover Are Common in Hockomock Swamp?
Hockomock Swamp is considered a Coastal Atlantic White Cedar (AWC) Swamp. All AWC swamps are wetlands featuring a dense canopy consisting mainly of evergreen species, with deciduous bushes and shrubs beneath. At ground level, mosses are the most prolific type of plant. Open bogs and waterways are also associated with Hollomock, as with other AWC swamps. Frequently encountered tree and plant species include:
- Atlantic White-Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), an evergreen conifer with short branches and flat, scaly leaves
- Grow up to 80 feet tall
- Have peeling bark in shades of gray to cinnamon brown
- Reveal a twisting grain within the straight trunk when felled
- Red maple (Acer rubrum)
- High-bush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
- Swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
- Sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
- Fetterbush (Leucothoe racemosa).
- Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
- Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica)
- Starflower (Trientalis borealis)
- Wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
- Sphagnum mossLong (Water) water damage repair
Note: Listed below are additional rare and/or threatened plants found in Hockomock Swamp:
- Long's bulrush (Scirpus longii)
- Gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus)
- Two-flowered bladderwort (Utricularia) - a carnivorous plant
- Plymouth gentian (Sabatia kennedyana)
What Birds and Animals Call Hockomock Swamp Home?
The swampy and heavily forested terrain gives shelter to many birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and invertebrates. According to MassAudubon, the swamp boasts nine breeding bird species along with roughly 53 regional or state birds seen in great numbers, including:
- Gray Catbird
- Northern Waterthrush
- Common Yellowthroat
- Swamp Sparrow
- Common Grackle
- Veeries (a small thrush)
- Common barn owl
Deer and smaller mammals like fishers, mink, and bobcats inhabit the swamp. Visitors also encounter many insects, reptiles, and invertebrates. The following are rare or threatened species:
- Ringed boghaunter dragonfly (Williamsonia genus)
- Chain fern borer moth (Papaipema stenocelis)
- Blanding's turtle (Emys blandingii or Emydoidea blandingii)
- Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina )
- Blue spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
- Mystic Valley amphipod (a tiny water species)
Why Should the Hockomock Swamp Be Considered a Protector of Humans?
Individuals walking or canoeing through the Hockomock Swamp often hear cautions to travel only with experienced guides. The boggy waterways and patches of mud and quicksand can be treacherous. Despite these drawbacks and the stories of more than a few hikers and hunters who went missing and needed rescuing, the swamp plays vital roles in both human comfort and survival, as delineated below.
Have Humans Lived within the Boundaries of the Swamp?
Indigenous peoples, notably the Wampanoag, used the swamp as cover and protection from early English settlers' intrusions. They had a long relationship with the wetland, hunting and fishing in its seemingly impenetrable depths. Archeological sites recently demonstrate that humans have lived in the area for at least 9000 years. Metacomet, also known as King Phillip, an indigenous leader, chose the swamp as a base during skirmishes and assaults over the course of King Philip's War against the English from 1675-1678.
How Do Swamps Like the Hockomock Benefit Surrounding Land and the Humans Who Live There?
A damp, dank swamp does not appear very appealing to all people. Humans often want to drain swampy areas for development and in a sometimes misguided effort to contribute to the safety of those who live nearby. Wetlands are efficient filters of landscape and farming runoff and rain. The water quality of streams and rivers traversing a wetland improves as the swamp naturally removes pollutants. A trio of beneficial processes lead to cleaner surface water and also drinking water aquifers:
- Sediment trapping
- Out of balance nutrient removal
- Chemical detoxification
Can the Rumors of Paranormal Activity in Hockomock Swamp Be Proven?
When discussing Hockomock Swamp, some relate stories of UFOs, Sasquatch, "undead" panthers, gigantic birds, and possessed dogs with glowing eyes as creatures encountered. The Wampanoag first called the wetland Hockomock, translated as "land of the spirits," contributing to the mystery of wet and heavily vegetated expanse. The swamp and adjacent lands are sometimes called the "Bridgewater Triangle," a reference to the "Bermuda Triangle" in the Atlantic Ocean bounded by Miami, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. No one can explain every reported anomaly, but the questions make the swamp an even more intriguing place to explore.
Why Is It Crucial for Businesses to Choose a Water Recovery Company Even Before an Emergency?
As a smart Bridgetown business owner, hold back the encroaching damage of an unexpected water crisis in your commercial building by choosing a restoration company before any emergency. Not all contractors are the same. Your business's resilience in the face of trouble depends on selecting the mitigation and remediation partner that can respond fast and provide the best-trained crews and highest quality products and equipment during your time of need .
What Should a Business Seek in a Restoration Company?
As you ask the question, "how do I pick the best fit from the water restoration companies near me in Bridgeport?" the essential deal-maker is training from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). SERVPRO ensures that all our managers and technicians receive certification in IICRC standards grounded in extensive research. Our experience demonstrates that the use of these best practices will deliver the most successful results. We also offer a proactive program to help develop a personalized disaster response long before your business resembles a wetland like the Hockomock Swamp-- the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP).
Choose SERVPRO of The Bridgewaters for your commercial water restoration needs. Trained and experienced workers outfitted with cutting edge equipment are on their way fast, 24/7, with one call to (508) 697-5439.