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Archive for June, 2011

Destruction on Arcadia Blvd.

It’s only fitting that I write about this little jewel of a lake this weekend. We are on the way home from our vacation in Aruba where we heard the news via text messages that my daughter Andrea and her son Jake were caught in a tornado that was just hitting Springfield. How horrific it was hearing how she was stuck in her car not able to get home to her little house overlooking this lake, trees falling across every road she tried, hail beating down on the car and lightning crashing all around. Somehow she made it and with the sky turning a weird yellow and winds kicking back up she grabbed little Jake and her two cats and made it into her basement to wait it out round two. Luckily they survived with the house in tact! She lost a tree, and a fence,,, she didn’t know where the tree went!!! Her neighbors were not so lucky as starting three houses down the destruction was widespread. Arcadia Boulevard was just the nicest street in Springfield. Now it will take years before it back to its original splendor. She took us to see first hand today and we were in tears. It looked like a war zone, there is no other way to describe it. Pictures can’t do this justice but to give you a sense here are pictures I took walking from Island Pond Road to Andrea, Jeff and Jake’s house Saturday June 4th, 2011.

https://picasaweb.google.com/psamson85/TornadoOnArcadiaSt#

Happy kayaking couple!

If I may, I’ll take the liberty to describe this lakes’ beauty…Her house sits high above the lake with a great view. Jeff and I have cleared a path down to the lake and he has removed brush to increase the view. We’ve launched from across the lake from both the small park directly opposite and from the boat launch further down, both not far from the Roosevelt Ave. Bridge. We’ve explored the entire lake finding that there is more to this lake then you would expect. One of the first trips we did was towards the Watershops Mills. We explored her neighbors’ waterfront properties and also enjoyed her feathered neighbors! It’s interesting how inventive people get when developing their water access. The variety of birds we’ve seen here is probably the largest seen anywhere.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

I saw my first Night-crowned Black Heron, Green and Great Blue Herons, Swans, Double-crested Cormorants, Canada Geese, Great White Egrets, Osprey, Mallards, and Tree Swallows. Oh, and how could I forget the Rock Doves hanging out on the bridge!

On the trip down to the mills you’ll pass by Springfield College and the beautiful home that looks like the Dean’s residence. There’s a railroad bridge with rope swing if your brave enough to jump from that height! There is an old barbed wire barrier to keep boaters out of the mill area but doing a limbo in a kayak will get you through! Other then the old brick buildings not much to see.

The Watershop Mills

This is where the lake ends and I believe begins its underground flow through the city on its way to the Connecticut River.

Kayaking the other direction offers more views of lakefront properties. Many have rowboats, kayaks and even pontoon boats and a variety of docks and waterfront styles. There is one house that even has a full sized tennis court. It’s fenced in but I have to wonder how many balls they still loose. There is another place that has a very large concrete patio that looks more like a World War II bunker!

The camp

Camp Massasoit is a nice place to stop for a rest. There is a nice dock, beach and camp area. A sign asks you to not visit the area when camp is in session in July and August.

My favorite area is towards the end of the lake where there are a few small islands; one that has its end upturned 90 degrees.

Great Egret

It’s down this end that Andrea, Don and I watched a Great Egret feeding up close and personal! That day was perfect; we saw the egret, a swan protective of it’s brood, the osprey, mallards, and great blues. Two weeks ago Andrea, Don and I made another trip down this end. Although we didn’t see as much the water was a foot or two higher then we’d ever seen it and this allowed us to get further into the end of the lake. It became so very private and if it’s not to corny I’d say cozy!!! There were a couple of swans hanging out, looked like it could have been right in front of their nesting site back in the bushes. There was also a Canada Goose up in her nest, I’m sure she was warming an egg. One other thing grabbed my envy here… a house. One house in this private little area with a foot path to the water with a perfect little dock and row boat. Oh, I can dream can’t I?

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