Big Gears On the Old Canal

It’s been a while since we visited the canal. Last night we realized that summer was running out on us and if we wanted to get some pictures, we needed to go out and shoot.

Gears for the locks. Weeds are beginning to grow there now. Until recently, they were maintained, but times are hard and money is tight.

Until recently, these mechanisms were maintained and cared for, but now, weeds are growing and leaves are gathering. The economy affects things at many levels. Maintaining historical places is not a high priority when resources are scarce. Historical sites are particularly vulnerable to losing funding when the economy is weak.

Another view of the big gears. This is the biggest of the many locks on the river.

I wanted to take a wide view of these gears, but there is no place to stand without being in danger of falling into the canal. The water is too polluted for me to risk that, though the water is probably quite pleasantly warm this time of year.

Big gear for the big canal locks.

Blackstone Canal – View From a Bridge

View of the canal from the bridge in Uxbridge.

A couple of hundred years of polluting the river nearly killed it. How fortunate for us that nature is resilient.

Today, The Blackstone Canal is beginning to recover, but it’s slow. In the early autumn it is as smooth as glass and reflects like a mirror. A bright day in mid September.

Mammoth Mill in Waterford, Rhode Island in North Smithfield pictured at the turn of the 20th century by Mrs. Nelson Wright

An October Week

What a difference a week makes! Well, actually, 8 days, but why quibble?

Where the river divides and becomes a river and a canal.

October 21st, a bright sunny day by the Blackstone Canal, we watched the water, I took some pictures of bright foliage. It wasn’t a record-breaking year … the foliage was pretty, but without the incredible scarlet and gold we sometimes enjoy.

But the bright trees we still candy for the eyes, and we met a man with a dachshund, chatting casually about dogs, and life in the valley. We have a doxie too, so we could laugh as we enjoyed the mild weather. Eight days later, October 29th,  5 or 6 inches of snow fell. It was a wet, heavy snow and because the leaves hadn’t fallen, the weight of snow piling up on leaves broke branches off the oak trees, snapped saplings, and killed off autumn gardens. When it snows before Halloween, we assume it will be a hard winter … but folklore was wrong this time. Then, that was it. No more significant snow for the winter. How strange that was, and so out of character. But that’s New England. We call it home. Sometimes, we aren’t sure exactly why … but when Autumn comes again, we remember.