Our valley is full of rivers. Mostly, it is full of the Blackstone which winds its way down from the Worcester hills to its end in Newport, Rhode Island. Incidental to its biggest river, are several substantial tributaries including the Mumford in the heart of Uxbridge and a few others.
Hard to say if they are creeks or smaller rivers, but lots and lots of water from tiny little streams, to large lakes, to big shallow ponds beloved by swans and geese for nesting.
It was a gorgeous, perfect spring day today. Warm and full of bright sunshine. As we left the house this morning (it’s a 2-hour drive into Boston), I noticed that we had squirrels glued to both feeders in the back.
I would normally have gone back to the deck and chatted with the furry feeders, but I was wearing my good clothing.
And there was no time for one of those me versus squirrel conversations.
I should mention these are pretty much one-way conversation. I talk. The squirrels give me the squirrel eyeball, so I talk some more, and they go back to eating. Eventually, I will open the door, step onto the deck, and stare at them. They then move a little bit — from the feeders to the railing. And stare back at me.
I can hear them thinking “And what are you gonna do about it, huh?”
I quite like squirrels, but I feel that by the time we are approaching midday, they should go back to being tree squirrels and stop being deck squirrels. Is that too much to ask?
We had to leave. It was going to be a long drive and traffic in and out of Boston is heavy. We were 100% sure to get lost, even though the directions appeared to be simple. There’s construction on 146, too. Of course, there has been construction on 146 for the past 19 years, but there’s more now that it has warmed up.
It took us almost 2 hours to get there — and we got totally lost in Boston. So did everyone else. As a result, the memorial began an hour late and ended even later. So it was a really long day.
Since we bought our GPS (maybe 2 years ago?), they’ve redesigned almost all the major roads in Boston and completely rebuilt the seaport area. The last time I was there, it was mostly vacant lots and empty warehouses and a few party cruise ships. So our GPS can’t find anything. Moreover, the directions which we got from the hotel (via Google) said to get off Route 93 at Exit 20, then follow the signs to the Seaport Cruise Terminal.
Except there were NO signs. We wound up at the airport. We did a couple of loops at Logan, including a round trip through the “Return your rental car here,” except we were in our own car and we couldn’t find anyone who knew how to find the Seaport Hotel.
Massachusetts is infamous for NOT putting up signs. I don’t know whether we are just too cheap to pay for signs, or we assume if you don’t know where you are, you shouldn’t be there.
It turned out that not only did we get lost, everyone got lost. Since this is a big expensive hotel — and NOT brand new, either — the complete lack of signs was infuriating. We almost gave up and went home and might have, but we didn’t know how to get home, either.
Finally, we were stopped by a police detective. He had a gold badge but was in street clothing, so we assumed he was a detective. He pulled us over. Garry rolled down his window. Were we going to get a ticket too? Are the fates so against us?
“Are you guys lost?” he asked. Were we that obvious?
“YES,” we cried in unison. “We are SO lost.”
He led us to the hotel and he recognized Garry — and knew we were going to the “Tom Ellis Memorial.” I was never more grateful to see a police officer.
We knew we had to be near it. We were at the docks, so how far could we be from the Seaport Hotel? It turned out to be about a mile. Make a right, take the Ted Williams Tunnel and when you can’t go any further, make another right.
It was good to be there, though. Many people, including Garry, shared memories and since we are all — how shall I put this — an older group of folk?
We got to do a little crying, shared some laughter about stuff no one else remembers. We saw people we rarely see except at reunions and funerals. Remember when we used to meet at weddings? It was good to hug friends, notice that although everyone looks older, I look even older than they do.
We left Boston exactly at rush hour. Three and a half hours for the homeward journey. I spent a lot of time admiring trees.
Please enjoy the photographs. They are from Tuesday which was every bit as beautiful as today, but we were outside with cameras.
We had a beautiful sunny day today and whatever Autumn we are getting this year, I think this was the last day of it. Tonight, tomorrow, and possibly for the two following days, we’re getting a nor’easter.
Not snow (phew), but lots of rain and wind and more falling trees. There are still a lot of limbs down in the back from the last storm, just a few days ago.
This is no fit weather for October. Effectively, the month is over anyway. Some pretty pictures have come from it, but it will be another year before it comes round again.
It’s supposed to be better tomorrow. It’s always supposed to be better tomorrow, especially if you had photographic plans for today. At least it isn’t pouring. It’s just drippy and grey and muddy.
We went to the doctor yesterday and I noticed that now, many trees have changed color and if we can just get some decent weather, it might be time to go take some seriously autumnal pictures.
Meanwhile, we did take some pretty nice shots the other day at Manchaug. Call them the “pre-autumnal” photo set. Some by Garry, others by me.
Manchaug has one of the prettiest dams and falls in the area. Not nearly as big as many of the falls, it is high above the stream into which it falls and the way the light falls, the water is crystal pale while the background nearly black.
There were at last count, 46 dams on the Blackstone River. That’s not counting any of its tributaries, most of which also have dams. We’ve seen maybe a dozen of them locally, but today, my granddaughter and I discovered another: Roaring Dam in Blackstone, Massachusetts.
There was a large factory here, now long gone. Every time you see a dam, you know there was a factory of some kind that used the power from that dam. The group managing the river has been trying to remove dams, so I don’t know how many dams remain and I couldn’t find a count anywhere. I’m guessing fewer than the original 46.
I have no idea which ones have been taken down and which remain. Removing the dams would allow the river to run freely and encourage trout and other fish to return.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of polluted soil buried near the dams. The river has come back a long way from being the most polluted river in the country during the mid 1970s. This is not a minor problem. The amount of pollution in the earth in those areas is hazardous to humans, animals, and the water itself.
This is a water shed. We all drink this water, whether we realize it or not.
But we are satisfied with how far the river has come. It’s hard to even explain how evil this river was. It was pure poison from top to bottom and now, areas are safe for boating and even a few area are safe for swimming. Anything that might upset the balance must be undertaken with the greatest care.
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