This is a dam that’s hard to find. You can hear it from the road, but you can’t see it without going around the big brick building that was formerly — you guessed it — a mill. A cotton mill, I believe.
Funny to finally discover this dam after passing so near for more than a dozen years. You really can’t see it from the road, which is where we usually shoot from and I probably heard it, but didn’t pay attention. It’s an interesting dam, not like any of the other local dams.
It’s not very tall, perhaps 10 or 12 feet. Water doesn’t flow over the dam as much as it comes through holes in the dam, set at various heights in a long crescent.
Stones under the dam
Photo: Garry Armstrong
The waters spits out and onto a plateau of flat rocks. I’m not sure what this design was intended to accomplish, but there must have been some special purpose in the design.
The old mill used to be an antique cooperative until last year. They recently converted it to an adult activity center. The senior center in Uxbridge is tiny, so this is definite upgrade. The building has been beautifully restored and its location, adjacent to the river and Whitins Pond … well, it couldn’t be lovelier.
While here, at home, the trees are bare, a couple of miles away the world is normal. It’s odd the way the gypsy moth invasion has affected the area.
We are the worst hit. South Uxbridge, Douglas, North Smithfield — we all have bare oaks and maples. The gardens look ragged and nothing is blooming. Not a day lily to be seen, nor a rose on any bush.
In trying to find a positive side to this experience, the best anyone has come up with was my son who pointed out we won’t have a lot of leaves to rake up this fall.
Definitely will be an easy cleanup of autumn leaves but it isn’t likely to be an epic autumn, either. At least not at home. But down the road a couple of miles …
The trees are full and green around the pond. The swans are nesting peacefully.
It was good to find the world had not ended everywhere … just at our house!
Some of the pictures are Garry’s, the others are mine. Both of us wished we had brought either another camera or a long lens. The swans were there, but too far off to capture with the equipment we’d brought. Still, for all that, it was good to see green and growing trees.
Tiny buds are appearing on our trees. If the caterpillars don’t get them, we’ll have leaves again. I hope.
Garry and I aren’t at our best. I’m coughing. He’s all stuffy. Neither of us can hear. The problem is worse for him since he has hearing problems anyway. A cold makes everything much worse.
Even so, there didn’t seem any reason why we couldn’t take advantage of the lovely spring weather and take a few pictures. We had to stop at the grocery store anyhow …
The Pond: March 2016 – Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong
The original destination was Manchaug. To check out the falls. As we were passing the river and Whitins Pond, I saw the flash of white and I knew the swans were back. I have not seen a single swan since 2014. I don’t know which hit them harder — the brutal winter or the drought which reduced the rivers and ponds to mud flats.
Gathering on the pond
There’s water now. Not as much as there ought to be, but the waterways don’t recover from five years of drought in a season. There was also a lot of trash in the river.
People! Stop throwing garbage in your water supply. Are you stupid? If you pollute your water, you will have nothing to drink. This is a water shed.
Garry took a few pictures. I took some more. The swans were not only obliging, they obviously expected a payoff for posing. Sadly, we were unprepared.
I must remember to bring a few treats for the birds. They expect them.
My leftover pictures are very much like all my pictures. I overshoot and take more frames than I can possibly use, so there are always spares.
There’s nothing wrong with them. if there was something wrong, I’d delete them … but these are merely not those I chose to (initially) process.
Whitins Pond, snow-covered
Whitins Pond, frozen and snowy
Sometimes, I feel guilty about them, as if they have been unfairly overlooked. Like maybe they feel hurt because I chose frame 25 while ignoring frame 27. Although I realize this is ridiculous, I do anthropomorphize everything. Flowers and photographs.
“Why have you been using the Q7 and not me?” screams an Olympus PM2.
“Shh! You’ll wake the big Panasonic!”
So, in the name of fairness and equality, here are some of the photographs which were, through no fault of their own, left behind.
Just when I thought the glorious fall was over for good and all, we had yet one perfect afternoon in mid November. The pond is full again. The rains came and filled it.
While the swans have been absent, mallards seem to be everywhere. Maybe they are taking advantage of the absence of the swans to take over that piece of pond. They were too far for me to photograph, but I could see them. It’s nice to see birds again.
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