Friday, April 28, 2006

Noises in the Night

11:10 p.m. Thursday night: Did you hear it.... not a puppy barking, not a duck quacking but something inbetween? The commotion lasted 10 minutes until 11:20 and I had a front row seat! I put the spot light on and there in my neighbors driveway and in the road directly in front of my house there was a small red-tailed fox and another neighbor's calico cat in a stand off! The fox and the cat seemed about the same height but I think the cat was a bigger weight wise!

Living on Manchaug Pond doesn't limit the excitement to the water, our watershed has a great diversity of animals - commonly visible to us all. Stories of fisher cats, deer, wild turkey, black Grey squirrels and "flying" squirrels, fox, raccoon, skumk and possum are everyday - did I leave anyone out?!

Tell us of your encounter with nature here in the watershed of Manchaug Pond

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dam Ownership & the Water Rights

I am sure you have heard the latest "good one"... my neighbor Arline heard it a couple weeks ago at the hairdresser from Harriet of Whitins Res...

"Someone is trying to buy the dams and water rights, drain the lakes and build houses at Whitins and at Manchaug hold us all hostage for big bucks to raise the level."!!!

Good one but NOT funny.

The REAL Scoop is our MPA President has spoken with the dam/mill owner 4 times in the last month and their attorney today. The water rights and the dam at Manchaug Pond have not been sold nor has the mill todate. If any future buyer of the mill needs the water, the rights will be sold with the mill. If the water rights are not needed than the mill wants to do the right/honorable thing. We envision the Town being approached first. In all cases, the MPA is in contact with the mill and the mill is committed to keeping us informed as to the progress on securing a buyer for the mill and the status of the dam.

Further, the Sutton Conservation Commission reports that the proper permits need to be secured when lowering a lake, and any future owner would need to be responsible in that area.

The water level of Manchaug is down due to the lack of rain - no other.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mumford River Stream Team Survey Opportunity

Here is a message from Nicole Wenger , Stream Team Coordinator for the Blackstone River Watershed Association concerning a community service opportunity surveying the Mumford River (which starts at Manchaug Pond) You can contact Ms. Wenger directly with questions but let the MPA know if you attend a meeting and learn something we can all benefit from!

"Stream Team Survey 2006
Are you looking for an opportunity to make a difference in your community? Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? Would you like to learn more about the plants, animals and natural resources in your backyard? If so, then the Blackstone River Watershed’s Stream Team needs your help!

In collaboration with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Riverways Adopt-A-Stream Program, the Blackstone River Watershed Association will be conducting a river survey along the Mumford River on Saturday May 6, 2006. The data collected from the survey is used to determine which factors are negatively affecting the river (pollution, erosion, trash etc.). Additionally, action plans are created and reported to local town officials. River surveys are an excellent opportunity to learn more about the local resources and a great way to make new friends and build connections within the communities.

The Mumford River is a tributary of the Blackstone River and stretches through the towns of Sutton, Northbridge, Uxbridge and Douglas. Stream teams provide on-going stewardship for the river and work on projects to protect and restore the river and the land adjacent to the river. Participants will receive free river survey training, are eligible to attend free stream team programs on macroinvertebrates, water quality testing, plant and animal identification and orienteering. Additionally, after the initial river survey on May 6th, stream teams can survey their section of the river on their own schedules!

Volunteers interested in learning more about this opportunity or would like to participate are encouraged to bring a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker to a scheduled informational planning meeting. Together we can help protect, restore and advocate for healthy rivers, resources and communities. For more information or to register, please
contact Nicole Wenger, Stream Team Coordinator, at the Blackstone RiverWatershed Association’s office at 508-278-5200 or via email at Additional planning meetings for large groups may also be arranged by contacting Nicole.

Mark your Calendar! Planning Meeting – Wednesday, April 5th at 6:30PM – Northbridge Town Hall, Northbridge, MA

Free Educational Programs-Dates/Times/Locations TBA at Planning Meeting

Survey Training Meeting with Massachusetts Riverways-Wednesday, May 3rd at 6:30PM – River Bend Farm Visitor Center, Uxbridge, MA

Stream Team Survey-Saturday, May 6th – 9:00AM – 11:00AM (rain date May 7th)

Nicole Wenger, Science Quest
31 Chestnut Street, Attleboro MA 02703, 508-944-5886"

Aerial Photo of the Dam

I happened to stumble on a site which offers an aerial photo of the Manchaug Pond Dam. Just click on to the title of this post and see for yourself! You may also be able to spot your house if it is near the channel!

Deer in the Watershed

This morning at 10 am as we passed Camp Blanchard, my daughter spotted two deer grazing on the lawn in the parking area on the right side of the caretaker's house. I had my digital camera with me but with my husband driving at 35 mph it was just a memory in seconds!

Deer are very common around Manchaug Pond and it's watershed: frequently seen crossing the road, in the woods at the state boat ramp, and occasionally on someone's lawn feeding on the tender shoots or under a fruit-bearing tree. My daughter and I have tracked them down our dirt road to the lake... we imagine for an early morning drink. A couple years ago we had an older fawn in our driveway who in fright quickly retreated to the woods, went down a path to the lake, and continued on to swim the lake crossing the channel and over to the Douglas side.

Keep your eyes open, cameras ready and share with us any wildlife you might see here near Manchaug Pond!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Dam closed tight -2nd Driest March on Record

Not a drop of water has flowed out the dam at Torrey Road this week to allow for the lake to fill for the season and address the lack of rain. The Worcester Telegram reported yesterday that March is the second-driest since record-keeping began in 1892 and the driest since 1915 with just .5 inches of precipitation. Furthermore, winter brought us a little over 64 inches of snow which is just below the average of 67 inches.

Rain is in the forecast for the week and it is April 1st, so let the showers begin!

(Special thanks to our expert damkeeper, Fuddy for a job well done!)


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