October Country

Mid October would typically be when this region would be hitting peak color. We would be looking forward to another week or two of brilliant color, but the unpredictable New England weather  zapped us again. The leaves brightened early. It seemed very promising a week ago, but then came the rains. We’ve had more rain since late September than we had all summer. We survived the first few weeks of rain, but the last two weeks finished the season in a hurry.

Rain did what it does, stripping leaves from trees before they were able to come to full color. There are more naked trees than you should see this early in Autumn.

I’m pretty sure today was peak for this season. It was very warm, a strange weather day. The sun was coming in and out from behind fast-moving clouds that raced across a brilliant blue sky, making a shadow show on the river.

These pictures were all taken in the middle Uxbridge, where the Mumford River — a large tributary of the Blackstone — and its little canal pass under the road by the railroad bridge. It’s the town’s main intersection. More accurately, it’s the town’s only intersection. Except where Route 16 crosses east to west, Uxbridge lies on a roughly north-south axis along Main Street, also known as Route 122.

Routes are not roads. They are designated pathways between the various towns. In the past, most were postal routes composed of many roads, variously named here and there, depending on through which town you are passing. It’s typical of New England. This was an early settled area and routes follow old trails that may well have existed before European settlers arrived.

I rarely know the name of the piece of road I’m on, but I always know its route number. It’s easier that way.

Most towns in the valley are on either Route 16, 122, 140, 126 or 146. That’s pretty much a summary of our roads. A couple of interstates cross over, but they aren’t part of the valley. They are useful intruders, but not valley natives. Whenever a route passes through a village, it is inevitably called Main Street. Depending on the lay of the land, it will be north, south, east or west Main Street.

It’s not hard to navigate the Valley because we have so few roads. If you stay on one, you’re bound to find yourself someplace familiar.

I had to get out with the camera today. I’m glad I did because I think by next week, it will be gone. Autumn will be history. Until next year.

A note to all:

Recently, I’ve been finding many of my pictures in Wikipedia and other places. Thank you for enjoying my pictures, but I would appreciate the courtesy of a photo credit. Photo credit is Marilyn Armstrong, not Wikipedia. These are not public domain. They are my work. Please respect that.

Categories: #Photography, Nature, Seasons

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Reblogged this on OUR POETRY CORNER and commented:
    Finding the Mumford River valley is indeed a serendipity!


  2. THIS IS MY NECK OF THE WOODS! I live in Douglas, MA. Why didn’t you tell me you were coming? You’ve captured the area very succintly. Please come visit the two blogs I use, ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com, and—just started (so I don’t know how long ’til is available on Google, etc—not yet), bythemightymumford.wordpress.com! Hope the visit out here was enjoyable! —Jonathan Caswell


    • Howdy neighbor! So, do you think we are going to get the storm of the century or are our TV meteorologists just doing their usual frothing at the mouth? I’m glad I’m not the only person in the valley writing about it. We are “The Lost Valley.” I keep telling people to beware of the pterdactyls and velociraptors, but they won’t be happy until a tourist gets consumed 🙂 I have concluded if you don’t live here, have lived here, have a close friend or family member here, you tell folks where you live and they say “Where? Is that Massachusetts?” No, we are in an alternate universe. Not on earth at all.


  3. The river and “canal pass” shots are wonderful!!! Makes me almost want to sing “River of No Return” to you.


    • Reminds me that there is an up side to living here … and I think it’s the River. And the fact that I actually never get lost in the valley.


  4. Your photos are always precious Marilyn. I’m not sure that anyone is putting them in Wikipedia. I certainly might be wrong though. I’ve found my posted photos in photo collections under a google search. I used to post tons of them in photographic forums I now ignore. I’m not versed in internet law or operation so I don’t know if posting anything makes it fair game for search engines. If I google the Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, OR both the photos I’ve posted show up in a google search. No credit is given to any person by google. 😦


    • Well, however they are getting theres, they ARE my pictures. I really don’t mind sharing them. I’d just like to be credited for them. They are so mine that I remember where I was standing when I took them because all of them were taken here in Uxbridge in the middle of the town where I’ve taken a zillion pictures over the years. They are winding up in articles about the Blackstone Valley because if you do a search on the valley, I’m pretty much the only non-official source that comes up and the only photographer whose body of work is centered here. I really don’t mind … and I don’t know where they finally got lifted from. Being that I’ve been posting pictures here, there and elsewhere for more than a decade, they could be several generations away from the originals, though some of them look surprisingly clean. I really don’t mind: I mind not being credited. I’m not expecting money, you know? Just acknowledgment. I need to start putting a digital signature on my pictures. I blush to admit that I don’t know how.


  5. Beautiful as always:)


    • Thanks. Glad I got out today because it’s teeming outside and that will probably wash away whatever Autumn was left. Another soggy end to what ought to be our best season. Oh well. There’s next year.



  1. October Country | By the Mighty Mumford
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