March 11, 2015 – you are here


Notes for today: Sweet Pea, AKA ‘Bear’, a female, ‘Schnauzerish’, born on September 19, 2009, dog, visited Fresh Pond Reservation for the first time today. Several people reported seeing the new gray Eastern Screech Owl by Post0500, including at 8am, 8:30am, and noon, plus other unspecified times. AB reports two swans, a Red-winged Blackbird, and the Eastern Screech Owl at Olga’s bench on an early morning walk. AH reports a large, black, dead bird on the ice about 50 yards from the original red brick pump house. Photos and video available. Two Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) tree seeds, native to China, have been contributed to this blog’s photo archive. The witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) near Post1026 (which is not that far From Concord Avenue and the local Dunkin Donuts) has gained a smidgen of yellow since yesterday. Two more days like today (58 degrees) and it could be in full bloom.

Today’s Weather. See this month’s weather OR last month’s Weather Calendar

Link of the day: Marching One By One “During his three controversial terms as mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg launched all-out public-health crusades against some of his constituents’ favorite vices, including cigarettes, trans fats, and sodas. Perhaps he should have declared war on loneliness, instead. Scientists have repeatedly found that people who lack—or believe that they lack—close social connections have significantly higher mortality rates than those who find themselves surrounded by friends. One 2010 meta-analysis suggested that social isolation may be more dangerous than obesity and just as deadly as smoking. Loneliness and isolation appear to alter hormone levels, immune responses, and gene expression, and to increase the risk for a variety of ailments, including heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s.”

Book of the day: Fresh Pond: The History of a Cambridge Landscape “Fresh Pond Reservation, at the northwest edge of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been described as a “landscape loved to death.” Certainly it is a landscape that has been changed by its various uses over the years and one to which Cantabridgeans and Bostonians have felt an intense attachment. Henry James returned to it in his sixties, looking for “some echo of the dreams of youth,” feeling keenly “the pleasure of memory”; a Harvard student of the 1850s fondly remembered skating parties and the chance of “flirtation with some fair-ankled beauty of breezy Boston”; modern residents argue fiercely over dogs being allowed to run free at the reservation and whether soccer or nature is a more valuable experience for Cambridge schoolchildren. In Fresh Pond, Jill Sinclair tells the story of the pond and its surrounding land through photographs, drawings, maps, plans, and an engaging narrative of the pond’s geological, historical, and political ecology. Fresh Pond has been a Native American hunting and fishing ground; the site of an eighteenth-century hotel offering bowling, food and wine, and impromptu performances by Harvard men; a summer retreat for wealthy Bostonians; a training ground for trench warfare; a location for picnics and festivals for workers and sporting activities for all. The parkland features an Olmsted design, albeit an imperfectly realized one. The pond itself–a natural lake carved out by the retreating Ice Age about 15,000 years ago–was a center of the nineteenth-century ice industry (disparaged by Thoreau, writing about another pond), and still supplies the city of Cambridge with fresh drinking water. Sinclair’s celebration of a local landscape also alerts us to broader issues–shifts in public attitudes toward nature (is it brutal wilderness or in need of protection?) and water (precious commodity or limitless flow?)–that resonate as we remake our relationship to the landscape.”

Fresh Pond Reservation Photo of the Day

National Geographic Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day Contest

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All videos, in chronological order, are on YouTube:

Video of the day:

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