In the heart of Massachusetts is, well, what was called Quabbin, meaning "place of many waters" by our Native American predecessors. The valleys that existed here were home to thousands, in bustling mill towns - Dana, Greenwich, Enfield and Prescott. But as Boston grew, so to did it's thirst for water. Ultimately that thirst lead to the complete demolition of those four towns - right down to moving bodies from the towns grave yards. Why? Well, those towns were built within the valley's carved over the millennia by the East, Middle and West branches of the Swift River. By erecting a dam below the confluence of those river branches, a giant reservoir could be established - flooding the valleys that once were home to busy families and hard working people.
Growing up in a town that narrowly escaped its eradication, due to being high upon a hill at the headwaters of the East Branch of the Swift River, I'm just old enough to remember older folks who were children playing in Dana prior to the state moving the families out. Many of those folks, and their families still resent what the state did to their ancestral homes. While I can't blame them... The area ultimately became something we should all be hugely proud of.
Quabbin today is 117 miles of wandering shore line and thousands of acres of protected forests spanning it's 26 mile length. It's a massive gift in the age of urban sprawl and development. Ill never - I hope - understand the depth of frustration and angst those families who were moved felt, but Ill be forever grateful to them for their sacrifice.
I'm only 42, and by the time I was 10 I was spending a lot of time wandering the "res" as we locals like to call it. Up until about 5 years ago, I was in there all the time fishing, hiking etc. But with the craziness of life, my res time has been lacking... So, in a familiar theme on my blog... After doing a bunch of work Sunday morning I shot out for a walk in a favorite area. I brought some snacks and planned to just poke along the shore, fish a little, walk a little, and quite probably, sit and just be quiet for a while.
I did all of those things, caught some fish and just enjoyed it. I hope you are able to as well.
|Looking due south as the res opens into larger water. You can get a sense of the "glass pane clear" water in this image!|
|I often see moose and other large animals here. Sometimes bear as well. This moose had walked through some what recently, but overall, on this trip, there was a surprisingly small amount of animal activity near the water.|
|I was amazed this sunnie ate a fly with a 1/0 hook. How he got it in his mouth, I will never understand! :)|
|Little smallies seemed to like my snack rock... I got a few within easy casting range - no double haul required.|
|Ok, look at that darn hook. That's what that little sunfish managed to eat too. Like I said before - no clue how it got that thing inside it's mouth!|
|Nice to see some wild roses still in bloom at the edge of the woods.|
Enjoy your wild, amazing places folks. We are so lucky to have them!