It’s happened again. I decided to do a little birding, a little exploring and ran smack into a wall of No Trespassing signs.

Bartlett Pond is a small conservation area – much smaller than I thought, as it turns out – along Route 117 on the border of Lancaster and Leominster, Massachusetts. I’ve driven by there dozens of tmes, and always thought I’d stop and have a look. Sunday I finally did.

There’s a nice, well-kept parking area, a couple of picnic tables and benches overlooking the pond. The pond itself is fairly small, maybe an old mill pond or ice pond, judging from the old dam at one end. I can’t tell you how big it is, because when I started walking along the shore looking for a path, I was by stopped a line of No Trespassing signs. Looking back at my car, I realized that my back yard is bigger than the accessible land.

I wandered a little way further to see how close a house might be. But I didn’t see anything. Which leads to the question – why bother designating this as a conservation area if it’s smaller than your average building lot?