Saturday, May 22, 2010

Scenes from Chandler Pond

Yesterday, E. and I took one of our favorite walks, around Chandler Pond, just across the Newton line in Brighton, a neighborhood of Boston. A mere three-quarters of a mile from our home, it's a world away from the typical suburban street and from Brighton's busy Oak Square, only a few blocks away. Although I've lived in Newton since 1982, I didn't discover Chandler Pond until 2000. It was a revelation — a plethora of birds and other wildlife thriving in a tranquil setting only steps from my door!

When I take the path between two houses that opens up to reveal the 38 acre space, comprised of Chandler Pond and its adjacent grassy shoreline, I experience an instant feeling of delight. The beauty of the water, with perhaps a swan floating on its surface, soothes me. And the turreted edifice that looms on the hillside above the pond, part of St. John's Seminary, allows me to imagine that I've literally been transported to a European medieval village.

During yesterday's walk, we saw a healthy group of goslings feeding, their parents keeping watch close by. And we found the pond's lone swan preening itself in the grass by the water. We haven't seen its mate so far this spring and, knowing that swans usually mate for life, we fear that something has happened to it.

On previous walks, we've spied red-winged blackbirds, cormorants, great blue herons, and ducks. Occasionally we've glimpsed snapping turtles sunning themselves on a log that drifts across the pond's surface. Yesterday, we didn't come across any new varieties of wildlife, but we did notice a sign that had recently been set in place to remind visitors not to feed the waterfowl. Though noble in purpose, the sign falls short in execution — the writer apparently failed to use spell check. Still, there's nothing "foul" about Chandler Pond — its charms draw me back on a regular basis.

 Click on the photos to enlarge them.

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