During the spring, the red-winged blackbirds and mallards prepare their nests within the tall wetland grasses, while the barn swallows return to the Iron Works to begin raising a new generation. In early summer, the snapping turtles lay their eggs, while the muskrats playfully swim in the cool waters of the Saugus River. Great blue herons and black-crowned night herons perch atop the maples and hickories along the winding river in search of the elusive alewife as the Atlantic Ocean tide slowly moves upstream, inundating the wetlands.
As the summer disappears for the year, spotted sandpipers can be seen hopping about the river mudflats while the barn swallows teach their young how to fly before their long journey south to warmer climates.
Each animal, as well as many others whose stories have yet to be told, is an important part of the complex ecosystem within Saugus Iron Works.
Did You Know?
Colliers were skilled workers who created charcoal. To make this fuel, large mounds of wood were created and then allowed to slow burn from the inside-out. This process could take anywhere from ten to fourteen days, and required constant vigilance from the collier. If the mound were to burn too quickly the colliers would be left with nothing but a pile of ashes.