It’s also the museum in River Bend park by the Blackstone Canal.
Well, the theme is ROOFS (or rooves if you prefer). Your roof can be;
A – any type, any condition, any size, and in any location. B – it could be a shot across rooftops, of one roof like today or even a macro C – you might prefer to spend some time under the eaves and in the attic, or enjoy the view from above as Brian has already done today.
The ongoing issue of what, exactly, is oddball remains. I took a bunch of pictures of people in the park this past Saturday. Odd pictures insofar as I have no idea when I might otherwise use these pictures. I guess that makes them as odd as anything I’m like to be taking.
The Blackstone Canal was dug between 1824 and 1834. It was up and running almost immediately. In fewer than 50 years, the railroad took over and the canal became redundant — just another waterway in a valley full of rivers.
Bridge over the Blackstone
Bridge over the Blackstone at River Bend
Blackstone Gorge – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Kayaking on the Blackstone River
The Blackstone Canal in Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Ducks on a golden day in November on the Mumford River
Liquid aka water over the dam
In many areas, the canal and river are one unit and in others, they separate and flow side by side. Where such separation wasn’t possible, locks were added to level the water for barges. You can see tiny canals and huge canals, designed for every kind of barge. The walkways we use were where the horses pulled the barges.
Sometimes, you don’t realize it’s a canal until you realize that it is sided with hewn rocks.
Birds feed there. Kayaks travel along the flat parts of the canal. Fish and turtles live along and in it. It has become another part of the river.
We live in a watershed. What, you ask, is a watershed? Well, in theory, all the world is a watershed, to some degree … but technically, a watershed is an area of land where water arrives (as in from rain or snow-melt), then drains into a common outlet. Around here, that would be the Blackstone River and its tributaries, ponds, streams, and lakes.
Since we moved here in 2000, I’ve been taking pictures of the river, the dams. The ponds where the swans and the herons live. The ducks and the geese and the strange area on the Blackstone where about a million snapping turtles live. After almost 18 years, I haven’t yet seen even half the places we can visit, but we’re working on it!
We went to visit the Blackstone Gorge, also know as Roaring Dam. It’s an old dam on Blackstone River. As for all the dams, there was a dying and fabric making factory there, so behind the dam, there’s a lot of horribly polluted earth that the dam protects.
And yet, it’s beautiful. A gorge, the water. The day we were there, the kayakers were out enjoying the fine weather.
So this is an official gorge, the real deal, as it were. And these are the pictures we took while we there. Well, some of the pictures. Marilyn has a few dozen more still waiting for processing. Winter is coming. She’ll get to it.
“The Blackstone River Valley of Massachusetts and Rhode Island is the “Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution,” the place where America made the transformation from Farm to Factory. America’s first textile mill could have been built along practically any river on the eastern seaboard, but in 1790 the forces of capital, ingenuity, mechanical know-how and skilled labor came together at Pawtucket, Rhode Island where the Blackstone River provided the power that kicked off America’s drive to industrialization.”
It’s easy to see our history when you live in the Blackstone Valley. There were 46 dams on the Blackstone River. There are some fewer now. They are trying to remove dams and let the river run freely. But wherever you see a dam, there was a mill, a factory, or both at that turning of the river.
The soil supporting these dams is terminally hazardous. Packed behind the dams, it can’t spread its poison downstream. Allowed to run into the rivers, it could easily poison the river that was saved from (and is still being saved from) some of the worst pollution anywhere in the world. In the mid 1974, the Blackstone was considered one of the three most polluted rivers in the U.S. Today, it’s a living river filled with birds and fish and even some humans enjoying its waters.
Most of the remaining dams will stay where they are. The danger to the environment that would come with removing them is incalculable. Thus we enjoy the beauty of the dams. Swans, geese, ducks, divers and the occasional beavers enjoy the calm waters. While swimming is still forbidden both because of the still somewhat polluted water and the dangerous currents in the river, trout breed there and the river is open for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing along many banks.
All the dams were built between 1789 and the early 1900s. Each dam is unique to its place on the river and built of natural local stone.
The pool that forms in the pond before the waterfall is always as still as a glass mirror. It’s remarkable how clear and shiny that water is. Barely a ripple to announce the imminent falling of water over a dam that may be just inches away.
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