Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rhymes With Norange

The feeder on Sunday; the Gold Finches and House Finches are now in full color plumage...

We decided to take a run out to Arcadia Wildlife Sancturary, to look for any new Spring developments. Up by the Oxbow, the water was right up to the edge of some homes. One small building has plastic floats underneath, to bouy the building on the rising waters. It also has another ingenious contraption; Two corners of the little house are attached to two sliders, over metal beams secured in the ground. As the house rises in the flood waters, it slides up the beams, preventing it from floating away or rocking too much.

I wonder if the idea was borne of some previous mishap.

The Connecticut river being still at high levels, corresponds to the Oxbow being at high levels, which corresponds to two of the three entrance roads to Arcadia being flooded over. The small metal bridge from the Pynchon Fields area was completely unaccessable.

As the road from East St. in Eashampton appeared to be...

Appeared to be. I decided to tempt fate, and ride the jeep through this section, in an effort to get to the Sanctuary. These fisherman took advantage of the Oxbow's high water by fishing where there normally would be dry land.

Getting to Arcadia, we were greeted at the trail entrances by what I believe was a Red Trillium and what commenter Mattenylou says looks like a Bloodroot, a type of poppy...

The cool looking Tree Swallows have finally returned to the nesting boxes in the fields nearby. Amazingly fast, agile flyers, I love the way the shimmery blue on their backs contrast with their bright white bellies. Later on in the year, the blue will turn more greenish...

Speaking of greenish, we poked around in the greening thickets, looking for more migratory arrivals.

I snapped a photo of an old tree that had fallen right into the crook of another, and now sits there suspended. Kelly said I should title the pic "The Balance Of Nature". Clever girl.

We decided to move on. We still had time to roam around, so I suggested heading north and see where we end up. Where we ended up, was in a little town, in a far corner of the valley.

They call it, Orange.

Orange is a small town off of Rte. 2A, east of Greenfield, with a population of around 8,000. An old mill town, Orange at the beginning of the 20th century was the site of the 'Grout Automobile' company, the 'New Home Sewing Machine' company, and the 'Minute Tapioca' company. Some good pictures of all three manufacturers can be seen at Digital Treasures.

Some teen kids were skateboarding, while some girls watched nearby, as we rode in. Welcome to small town, USA.

It appears the downtown section is situated on a hill, with the old mill buildings below.

Some of the old buildings by the river have been converted, for the sale of antiques and such.

An old brownfield which previously had a gas station on it, then a Public Works building, has been nicely converted to a riverside park and boat launch. A couple of people were just putting out of the river, in a beautiful old wooden canoe.

Across the river, is another little park, with the fire station nearby.

Both parks were in great shape, with nice brick walkways. We drove on a bit, into the residential areas, where we came across these charming people:

They were a traveling, religious, family bluegrass troupe, playing for some neighbors. They call themselves The MacDonald Family Singers. They were eager to give us a sample of their excellent playing. Here's a sample of their work:

I love bluegrass. They have this website if you want to know more about these interesting players, or if their religious message happens to interest you.

They gave us a CD of their stuff; we thanked them, and moved on. Time to get back home. Just outside of town, we passed this old barn that had been converted into a house.


Mattenylou said...

I think the daisies you found may be Bloodroot, an early spring wildflower. I have been looking for years to find one!! Lucky you! Now I'm going to get out there and look again, seeing this is the week they are in blossom. I always seem to be too early or too late!
We have a little weekend place in Wendell, and "Go to Town" to Orange. Enjoyed the visit, thanks. Did you notice the Peace Statue near he fire station? Or the old public drinking fountain? Both are local "tourist" spots...

Tony said...

mattenylou, I just looked it up in a book, and I think you're right about the Bloodroot. It was at Arcadia right near the main building, so it's quite possible someone had planted it there, if it's that rare. I'll modify the post...

Unfortunately we didn't have too much time to further explore Orange, but I expect to be back up that way again at some point for a better look...

Anonymous said...

We like to say that "Orange has Appeal"..... welcome to the small town of Orange.

Wished you had stopped in at the old Minute Tapioca Building. They moved out in the late 60's. It went through some different hands and it then became known as The Bedroom Factory, with Fernando as their spokes person. After the demise of the retail store, we decided to turn it into an incubator for small businesses. We currently have 30 tenants..from light manufacturing, social agencies and artisans. There is a fully equipped gym and a yoga studio, a bookbinder, an illustrator, a lawyer and a booking agent and the CDC has a satellite office there. It is all very cool. This undertaking has helped the community and our efforts have been recognized by SDAT and we are now in the process of getting LEED certified.
It is a wonderful little town, with a lot of potential......stop in again, can't guarantee you that there will be a dish of tapioca waiting for you.

Tony said...

Thanks for the info, I'll keep it in mind for our next visit..