Thanks for the Water
Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S. It has been a tumultuous and difficult year in some ways, but we seem to be making it through. It has been dry here, in response, in part, to our changing climate. However, we had a beneficial day long recently which suggested that the water would be flowing, and indeed, it was. We made our way to the Swift River Reservation, a wonderful and important property owned by the Trustees of Reservations, in Petersham, Massachusetts. How important? A good deal of the water that flows into the Quabbin Reservoir runs by this point. The Quabbin Reservoir supplies the drinking water for about two million citizens of eastern Massachusetts. It is essential to their, our, well being. The Eastern Branch of the Swift River dumps into Connors Pond, and then moves south into the Reservoir. It is just off Route 122. When we got there, we found an amazing cornucopia of running water, reflections, forests and ice cycle structures. Like so many great but intimate locations, it was too much of a good thing. It is eye candy if you’re just looking. Not so much if you’re trying to make a good photograph.
You can see the water flowing over a “dam” of sorts, as it is leaving the Pond. The reflections were wonderful, but difficult to position. You might try standing on your head to view this one. The basic problem is that the forest surrounding the flowing water creates a massive set of distractions. The only approach that, sometimes, thankfully works, is to isolate interesting components of the scene with a longer lens. That was more satisfying.
I am always amazed at how little chunks of ice debris can withstand the onslaught of a river. These two are gallantly fighting on. I am using a longer exposure here to capture the movement of the water.
The longer exposures reveal patterns of water flow as the water moves through the rocks and mud. These are patterns that like so much of nature are often invisible to us, unless we care to look a little harder. You may learn something if you do, however. For starters, it’s a lot of little things that matter. This place, though and our water, add up to something big, for which we should be quite thankful. In many parts of the world people would die for this stuff. We are exceedingly lucky.