Of the many fine memories I have in and of the Blue Hills, I guess the number one experience was encountering Fishers (Martes pennanti) near Hemenway Hill.
On July 7, 2006, I was walking with a friend when she stopped, grabbed my shoulder and whispered “look!” She pointed up into a pine tree and there, scrambling around, were two young fishers. They seemed utterly oblivious to our presence. And then, to my further surprise saw a third one, nearby, on the ground. It took a while to figure out that the third one was an adult, most likely the mother. She was making herself obviously visible and audible. No question, she was intent on diverting attention from the kits in the tree. She began moving away from the area, pausing to look back, and I could hear her moving through brush behind us –vocalizing all the while. I\’m at a loss to describe the sound but it didn’t seem unpleasant or threatening in any way. Maybe a loud exaggerated purring sort of sound.(?) The encounter lasted only a few minutes and we decided to just move on and leave these wonderful creatures to themselves.
The attached photo, has been described as perhaps the first photo taken of live fishers in the Blue Hills and it has been published, first by Friends of the Blue Hills and then by a regional forest industry magazine (now defunct) as well as the Milton Times.
I’ve seen fishers only twice since that morning — once in winter — but they were solitary and moving quickly.
So, that was a unique Blue Hills experience — a real thrill I’ll never forget.