I’ve been wondering if it’s the changing seasons, summer to autumn to winter in North America, that has a lot of the writers I follow thinking about conquering procrastination. Maybe it’s the approaching sedentary days of winter that has people eager to go out and do things “now, while we can!” Maybe, at least for some of the folks I follow, it has something to do with our age. Not that we’re ready to be shelved, but some activities are certainly falling off the “I will” list, hopefully onto the “I did” or, sadly, the “I wish I had” list. I was going to avoid this topic. I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon of popular thought.
However, on that whole you-might-want-to-do-things-while-you-can deal, I have some recent experience that I want to share with you.
After I returned from Iowa last week, I remained on vacation. I love October, and I take a big chunk of my vacation time during this wonderful month. One of the things I wanted to do was to get some fall foliage photos. I also wanted to replace a kitchen faucet, clean my garage, transplant a bush and watch a few football games – a boy can dream. By mid-week, the forecast was calling for high winds and heavy rain, a.k.a. the end of fall foliage. I decided to get out ahead of the storm and get those photos.
No, this isn’t what I’m talking about in the title. Hang on.
Seven years ago, the sleepy little town we live in spent a relative boat-load of our money to buy a piece of land. It’s OK, there was a Town Meeting and most people were in favor of this plan. The following is from The Trust for Public Land’s website:
“September 22, 2009 – The Town of Windsor Locks today completed its $2 million purchase of a conservation easement from Connecticut Water Company for the 198-acre South Center Street property in Windsor Locks, known as the “Water Works Brook” parcel. The town’s purchase, coordinated by The Trust for Public Land, permanently protects the largest remaining open space in Windsor Locks.”
Our First Selectman at the time added:
“The purchase allows current and future generations of town residents to enjoy the property without having to be concerned about its future development.”
We couldn’t access the park until 2011. A path had to be cleared, a parking area established and warning signs had to be placed in appropriate locations. But on Father’s Day, 2011, our daughter and I went hiking in Water Works Brook Park.
The park was barely ready for prime time. It was also flooded. We managed to find a path around a swamp and up into the thick Oak forest. We looped around unblazed trails for about an hour and vowed to return once they could maybe put a boardwalk over the swamp.
In 2013, an F1 hurricane came through the adjacent corners of Windsor and Windsor Locks. The hurricane roared through the newly established park.
The park was closed for almost two years.
I went back last week, hoping to get some photos of leaves changing color. I was very happy with what I could see from the parking area. As I made my way up the path, the forest seemed brighter than I remember. “Must be that a lot of leaves are down” I thought. When I got to the edge of what had been a swamp 5 years ago, I found two surprises. The swamp had largely dried up during this summer’s drought and the tornado had done much more damage than I realized.
Below is a map showing the route the tornado took. Below that, keyed to the map are a few photos from the days following the tornado. Below that is a tornado-caused-photo more in keeping with Halloween and, lastly, below that are some photos of this year’s current autumn beauty in the park, and some showing the damage the tornado left behind.
S0, make sure you enjoy what you have today.
This wasn’t revealed until the leaves had fallen.
These were taken late last week.