From The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (text of 1834)
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

I’ve been talking a lot lately — for obvious reasons — about the drought we are not officially having. I thought it was time to show you what I see and how I know we are having a drought. And why I wonder how come no one except me seems to find this alarming.

All these pictures were taken at the same location: Manchaug. At the dam and the lake formed by the dam. And the river that used to feed this waterway, except that now it’s more like a puddle than a river.

Manchaug, September 10, 2011

Manchaug, September 10, 2011

This was shot on September 10, 2011. My granddaughter and I were wandering around and there it was. We both shot a lot of pictures that day. I called these “The Crystal Falls” because of how it glittered in the sunshine. Of all the local waterfalls, these were the most lovely.

Manchaug above the dam, April 2012

Manchaug above the dam, April 2012

A mallard at Manchaug

A mallard at Manchaug

All the way through the spring 2013, everything was fine at Manchaug. There were fish, turtles, ducks, geese and lots of water.

Flip the calendar to this year, 2014.

I have not seen a swan since the beginning of May. Whitin’s pond where they have always nested, is showing its bottom. The dam at the foot of the pond is dry as a bleached bone. The swans used to battle the geese for nesting room on the pond.

Now, neither geese nor swans are to be seen anywhere on the pond. I’ve only seen a few geese anywhere … and they were on the Blackstone River itself. No herons. No schools of baby fish along the banks.

Manchaug - July 2013

Manchaug – July 1, 2013

Manchaug above the dam, June 2014

Manchaug above the dam, June 2014. The dam is completely dry.

The stream that fed the lake is gone.

The river that fed the lake is dry. On the right is where the river was. Gone.

So we don’t have an official drought, but all our dams — there are 43 of them on the Blackstone — are dry. The rivers are mud, drying in the sun. I wonder when the someone will “officially” notice we have a water problem? Because if they officially acknowledge a problem, then “they” have to do something about it. As of right now, they have even issued low water warnings. I don’t understand why they haven’t at least issued warnings to well owners to go easy on water usage, to not water lawns, wash cars, fill hot tubs and swimming pools!

Where are the water fowl? Have they flown off to places that have more water? I hope so. The alternative makes me a little bit queasy.

You’d think someone would do something, wouldn’t you?

Categories: Blackstone River, Blackstone Valley, Dams and Waterfalls, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Water

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

17 replies

  1. Sending kind thoughts for rain!


  2. If anyone could call the media’s attention to the problem, it would be you and Garry. We are normally in drought conditions, but for some reason got a lot of rain this year. This is the first time in years where I haven’t had a brown, dirt lawn at the end of the summer. Mother Nature — the ol’ girl is a bit off.


    • We have emailed our two influential remaining contacts. Be weird coincidence, both of them are out at the moment — Jewish Holidays for one, back surgery for the other. But hopefully the pictures we sent will be sufficiently alarming. Garry took some yesterday that made my heart sink. The Mumford River is nothing but puddles. It’s basically … gone.


  3. Reblogged this on Sunday Night Blog and commented:

    Only Mother Nature knows where the water has gone.


  4. Sounds like legit news. Guess that’s why there’s no coverage.


  5. I hope you get some Marilyn. Australia is a dry country so I relate strongly to what you are saying. In 2008 the drought in the mainland states was so bad that Lake Wendouree in Victoria which was used for the Olympic rowing at the 1956 Olympics dried up completely. It hadn’t been full for 6 years prior to that. It shocked me profoundly because on a holiday in the area in the 90s my sister and I had been on a boat trip on the lake. To think that was all gone was awful. There have been better rains since but the lake is now fed by a bore. Climate change worries me a lot, all the more since our PM apparently doesn’t believe in it. This is Lake Wendouree dry.


  6. It didn’t matter how much it rained or snowed when I lived in NM, they kept saying it wasn’t enough to break the drought. Seems it’s drying up everywhere… I hope for cloudy skies and wet grounds in your future.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, for what it’s worth, they have “officially” declared the entire state of California to be in a severe drought. We did get some rain on Wednesday night and early Thursday, but it was barely measurable and not nearly enough. I do hope it rains there soon. And here, too.


    • Weather patterns everywhere seem to be getting weird. I hope the officials around here sit up and take notice — start saving water while there’s something to save.

      Rain dance anyone?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rain dance sounds good to me.


        • In Israel, which has essentially the same climate as the American southwest, this was always an anxious time of year. Will the rains come? If the rains don’t come, it gets very bad, very fast. BUT because it was an arid region, water conservation was part of the culture. It is’t part of the culture in New England. We are more worried about flooding than drought and Massachusetts can be — as you know — very slow to respond to reality. Out here, we are probably the first to feel the pinch as wells go dry. We need rain. A lot of it and soon. For once, I don’t care if it ruins the foliage. We REALLY need rain.


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Tish Farrell

Writer on the Edge



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