NOT A HINT OF FALL BUT THE CANAL IS BEAUTIFUL – Marilyn Armstrong

We went out looking for a hint of autumn but all we saw was summer. Usually, by the end of August, you can see yellow leaves and bright colors in the vines. You can usually see changes in color in the maple and aspen trees.

Not this year. It’s as deep green as a mid-July day.

On the positive side, it was beautiful weather with a shiny river and canal that looked like a mirror. The sky was something special. It looks almost unreal with that deep blue sky and puffy little white clouds.

ODDBALLS: TWO BLOGGERS AND THE LOCKS AT UXBRIDGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge June 20, 2019

I usually can’t find this challenge until it’s a week old. Remarkably, I was able to find Cee’s entry and track it down that way. I have to go check my “Reader” and see why this isn’t showing up. Actually, the problem is that I have so much email from posts, advertisements, political stuff, news and occasionally, a real message from a personal friend (!!) — I’m surprised I ever find anything.

As it happens, I have some good oddballs this week and am glad to be able to use them!

Both of these were taken by Garry. They are Rich and I are standing in front of the locks that control the Blackstone Canal in Uxbridge. The two formidably large locks have been subject of a lot of my photographs. I’ve been trying to get a decent picture of them for years, but I never found the right angle.

Garry found it. So this is me (Marilyn), Rich Paschall (visiting from Chicago) in light rain in front of the big metal locks on the widest section of the canal.

Locks and bloggers
More locks and bloggers

So even though I’m writing it, this is actually Garry’s photo blog since he took both pictures. Finally, a couple of decent shots of the locks!

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge

THE CANAL FLOWS PAST US – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Friday: CANAL

We live in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor which is sort of like a national park but without the funding. That’s the Blackstone Valley for you. Incredible historic areas which are unique to this continent.

Little bridge and locks over a tiny canal

Mills and a river with many canals and locks that rolls along for miles by the river. Sometimes, the river and the canal are one unit. When the water gets rough, the two parts divide into two portions, one having locks to allow barges to deal with waterfalls and white water, the other just the river. Uxbridge has one of the larger sections of a free-flowing canal.

Canal and Blackstone River where they separate and become two streams.

In Worcester, they actually buried the canal under its streets. Worcester is an ugly little city that is always trying to dress up like a real city and never succeeds. Maybe because of its history of putrefaction, factories, river pollution, sewage pollution and some of the ugliest architecture I’ve ever seen anywhere.

Along the diagonal of the canal

Perhaps NOT burying the canal and polluting the river might have made them a more attractive location. We tried to buy a really lovely house up there, but no bank would finance it. It wasn’t that the house wasn’t a beauty. It was glorious and for us, cheap. But the banks wouldn’t finance anything up there. They said: “Buy somewhere else.”

And that is how we wound up in The Valley. By the river and the canal.

Steps to the canal

You cannot live in this valley and be further than a quarter of a mile from the river, a tributary, a stream, pond, or a canal. We have more parks than grocery stores and banks combined. We have herons, swans, ducks, geese, and about a million (or more) snapping tortoises in the river. Also, trout and baby trout.

The canal in summer

Finally, fishing is allowed in many places and sometimes, even swimming. Personally, I’m not swimming anywhere near where those snapping tortoises are hanging. I value my toes.

And the river and bridge in winter

This is a beautiful place to live. A little light in the culture department, but if nature does it for you, this is a great place to live.

And in the autumn …

And we do have the country’s first free public library in the middle of town. Just so you know, we used to be a bit snazzier!

Blackstone Canal

FESTIVAL OF LEAVES & FLOWER OF THE DAY: A WALK BY THE CANAL – Marilyn Armstrong

Week # 6: Walk By The Canal

FOTD – October 30, 2018


It should have been spectacular color, but it was mostly still green with some yellow. Still, it was definitely pretty, especially when the amber light hits it in late afternoon.

All the yellow leaves
Picnic by the canal

Still, it was a crisp fall day. If the leaves were not scarlet, they were yellow, glowing in the amber sunlight, with the canal as shiny as a mirror.

Just a couple, walking along the trail on their way to River Bend Park.

BURBLE: A WORD THAT SOUNDS LIKE WHAT IT MEANS – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Saturday – BURBLE

Not only do I love the word “onomatopoeia,” I love what it means. It’s a Latin root (I think, but it could also be Greek) meaning “a word that sounds like what it means.

Nothing says burble like burbling.

Manchaug – Photo: Garry Armstrong

Recently, we’ve been spending a fair bit of time around waterways. What else is there to do in this river valley?

I thought about using pictures from Manchaug, but that’s more rushing than burbling. It is too high a drop to burble.

I did find some excellent burbling where the river and the canal separate. It’s a unique place, too — an area where the river widened. They put in a flow area so the river runs off to the right and does river things. Meanwhile, the straight flat canal goes through a set of large locks, then runs straight on toward Rhode Island. This has been an unusually rainy summer, so the water was burbling happily into the river, still leaving more than enough water for the canal.

The long walkway was originally where the horses plodded pulling the barges down the canal. Now, they have become places to walk with dogs and kids and cameras. The picture of the small bridge taken at River Bend is the same bridge you can see in the distance from the start of the canal.

River Bend and the Canal are just about 1/2 a mile distant from one another.

Which means that River Bend is really on the Canal rather than the river, though the two rejoin a little further down the way, at West River. All of these are very loud burbles!

CEE’S FUN PHOTO CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Horizontal Line(s)

Horizontal dock from the muddy edge of the river.
Light snow on the deck
Red lights and horizontal lines
Horizontal wires

BLACKSTONE RIVER AND CANAL IN MAY – Marilyn Armstrong

Bridge and canal in May

We had just enough sunshine to get out of the house and down to the canal. About an hour in total.

Reflections in the water. You can see the fallen pollen from the oak trees floating on the water

A quiet day with the river shining like glass. May telling me that summer really is here … or nearly so.

Peaceful