Sometimes, in order to escape the world, you need to go and explore it: potentially by finding a really big reservoir and staring out at the horizon line until you feel calm and happy.
This is my second post featuring Quabbin Reservoir–and it certainly won’t be my last. Quabbin is such a beautiful, strange synthesis of places I’ve been, reminding me all at once of Ithaca, the Scottish Highlands, and even the Atlantic ocean. Though my last trip took me up Quabbin’s tower and into its woods, my most recent journey was a return to the main, endless reservoir itself, which I’m loathe to see covered up with snow in a few months.
(Also, real talk for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder: wasn’t the book referenced in my title here one of the least memorable in the series? It’s a bit of a calm before the storm, I guess: I mean, The Long Winter should have convinced me long ago to never move to the Mainland…)
I’ve visited this reservoir what feels like dozens of times by now, but there are always new discoveries to be found! As soon as I arrived, I was surprised to notice what looked like a small wolf standing perfectly still near the shore: for a moment, I imagined my cameo-inspired fox necklace had summoned a vulpine friend out of the forest to greet me. Realistically, I thought, it was probably someone’s dog, but why wasn’t it moving?
It turns out that the stewards of the reservoir installed a fake coyote on the premises in the hopes of scaring away large groups of geese, just like people sometimes put artificial owls and birds of prey on the roofs of buildings. I didn’t understand why such measures could ever be necessary until I looked down at the water…
…and saw a flock of these guys hanging out. I suspect they’ve seen through the ruse by now!
There’s a little rocky “rain garden” on this side of the reservoir that was looking particularly healthy by the end of the summer. According to a very helpful sign, rain gardens include plants that naturally help to filter water and can endure floods and droughts with ease.
Though I love staring out at the water in search of birds (or perhaps an errant lake monster), my favorite part about this place is the interplay between the water and the trees. Gaze one way ad you’ll see a seemingly endless lake; turn around and you are immersed in a deep forest. Being surrounded by all this green is making it hard to accept the fact that winter will soon begin to draw closer!