Pond Details from the Quabbin Region

We spent three days recently in the area around Northampton and Amherst Massachusetts, a very likable pair of college towns which provided a good base of operations for locating nearby ponds. If you travel fifteen miles east of Amherst, you’re in the woods surrounding the Quabbin Reservoir, a man-made lake which was dammed  70 years ago for Boston’s water supply. Ironically this has become the wildest place in Massachusetts, complete with a thriving population of moose. On the north and east sides of Quabbin you come to a string of tiny villages which have the appearance of having survived intact from much earlier times – one is New Salem, another is Petersham. It’s a detail of a one acre pond that we found near New Salem that’s the subject of my first image (above) – a piece which is hard to not to entitle Calligraphy. I  took a few variations of this picture, but found myself mostly waiting around for the empty spaces in between the breezes (something that for photographers can result in much wasted time). During the hiatus, I located a raft of candy-colored leaves on a bed of floating pine needles. Later at Petersham’s Harvard Pond, we found a picturesque body of water with a prominent island of white pines – a worthy subject, but again I was fixed on details. This time a photograph with more ingredients than a birthday cake: pond grasses, a flotilla of confetti leaves, a smudge of reflecting orange foliage and a partly submerged branch.


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