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Posts Tagged ‘North Quabbin’

 

The Quabbin Reservoir--New Salem Overlook

Once (and for about 200 years) there were four lovely, small towns in North-Central Massachusetts.  There nearly 3000 people lived, farmed, built small industries, attended school, worshiped in church, celebrated births and graduations and grieved over losing loved ones.  In Dana, Greenwich, Prescott, and Enfield, families built their homes and lives together.

All of this came to an end in April, 1938 when the four towns were sacrificed–dismantled, torn apart, and flooded–in order to create the Quabbin Reservoir.  This huge reservoir provides drinking water to the city of Boston and 40 other cities and towns in the Greater Boston region (among them are Arlington, Belmont,  Brookline, Chelsea, Clinton, Everett, Framingham, Lexington, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Newton, Norwood, Quincy, Reading, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Waltham, Watertown, and Winthrop.  It also provides water for Chicopee, Lynnfield Water District, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus, Southborough, South Hadley, Weston, and Wilbraham).

It contains 412 billion gallons of water in an area of 38.6 square miles, but its watershed area is a full 185.9 square miles.  It is 18 miles long, and its shoreline is 118 miles, in total.    Its average depth is 51 feet, but it is 150 feet deep at its maximum depth.

In the past month, I have spent more time in the Quabbin—in parts of the Massachusetts towns of New Salem, Ware, and Belchertown–than in the previous 37 years I have lived here in Central Massachusetts.  It is a lovely area–ideal for hiking, fishing, and other recreational activities.  Yet, as I learn more about its origins,  I realize that every time I visit, just as I am enchanted by its beauty, so too am I saddened–often beyond words–by the awesome and awful sacrifice that four towns made so that Boston and 40 other communities could have pure drinking water.

Nikon D90, focal length of 32 mm, f 7.1, ISO 250, cloudy WB

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Uptown Common in Athol, Massachusetts

This photo was taken about an hour after sunset at the Uptown Common of Athol a small town in the North Central part of Massachusetts, about one hour north of Worcester and 90 minutes east of Boston.  Featured is the Athol Woman’s Club Memory Tree, a special way for townspeople to honor and remember their loved ones.  Behind the Memory Tree is the Athol Congregational Church. 

My best wishes to all WordPress readers and contributers for a wonderful, warm holiday season surrounded by loving family and friends!

Nikon D90, ISO 2500, f 3.5, 1/15 sec, 18mm/27mm, matrix metering, incandescent white balance

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This, the season of light for so many cultures–and the season in which we all pray for Peace on Earth, seems to be just the right time to post this photo of Orange’s Peace Statue.  This is actually the official peace statue of Massachusetts, designated as such by the legislature in 1998.  It is the focal point of Memorial Park in Orange.  The 12-foot bronze statue was created by Joseph Pollia in 1934 as a memorial to veterans of World War I. 

According to Allen Young’s book,  North of Quabbin, Revisited, “The Statue depicts a doughboy just returned from the war-torn fields of France.  He is seated on a stump with weariness emanating from every line of his body.”  Beside him “stands a typical American schoolboy of perhaps 10 years, who is partially embraced by the soldier’s left arm.  He appears to be listening intently to the soldier’s words with fist clenched.”   We can only imagine what the soldier is saying to the boy—what anguish he feels.

A plaque on the base bears these words:  “It Shall Not Be Again.” 

Thirteen stars honor Orange veterans who died in the war.

To all of those who read these words, let me wish you–first of all–a wonderfully warm and peaceful holiday!  Secondly, let us all join together–even as we support our country’s soldiers in war–let us all pray for a time, in the not-too-distant-future, when all men of every race, color, religion, and nationality can join hands in a time of true peace and good will.  Happy Holidays to you all and to your families and loved ones!   —-Mitch

Camera Data:  Nikon D90 –two photos combined in Photoshop Elements 6.0.  Both had a focal length of 18mm/27mm (35 equiv.)  Both were underexposed by 1/3 of a stop.  On one I spot-metered the statue (f3.5 for 1/3 sec)  and on the other I used center-weighted metering f 4,0 for 1/60 sec).

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Keystone Bridge in New Salem, Massachusetts

Keystone Bridge in New Salem, Massachusetts

This is the Keystone Bridge in New Salem, a small town in the North Quabbin Region of Central Massachusetts.   Our camera club, the North Quabbin Viewfinders (in Athol, MA) went here as part of one of our bi-monthly field trips.

I shot the bridge with my Nikon D700, ISO 200, f 22, 85 mm, with a shutter speed of three seconds to blur the water.  I then processed it in Dynamic Photo HDR.

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