Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day and Water Level is at FULL!

Our friend Fuddy, the caretaker of Manchaug, Whitins and the Gilboa Dams for the dam owner called yesterday morning to report the water level is at FULL as promised. Saturday the lake was down one inch but came up to the full mark by Sunday morning.
Some laugh and call Fuddy "lucky", but he wants you to know that he is doing what he always has done for the past 22 years. He does credit "Mother Nature" for the rain!

Fuddy further reports that he and 4 others remain at the Douglas mill: an environmental, fireman, electrician, and a mechanic. The mill is quiet with few coming in to check it out.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Our Lake's Dam/Water Rights to be Sold!

Our dam at Manchaug along with the dams at Whitin Res., and Guilboa are to go up for sale with the Guilford Mill. The MPA President has called two emergency Board of Directors meetings to discuss this, the ramifications to us on the shore and watershed of Manchaug, and the best course of action for us to take. If the new company buying the mill does not need water for their manufacturing process than our dam and water rights will be up for sale. A meeting of the entire membership is being scheduled for June. So watch this site and your mailbox for details.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Area 4's Morning Visitor

This morning at 7:00 a.m. my husband noticed a little visitor on our porch: a red tail fox kit! Our visitor is very small, with our cat being taller and longer. We have seen the kit, it's sibling and a parent often crossing the roads in area 4. We heard they were born in a den the parents made under a deck at a home on Torrey Road. A third kit was found hit by a car on the side of the road.

I apologize for the poorer quality of the photo as it is taken through two glass doors and facing the rising sun!

Tell us about your visitors!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Water Level is 5 inches until full!

Here's a photo taken mid-April of the channel. Should we call it "before the rain" and you could look out your window for "after the rain"!

Fuddy (the keeper of the dam!) called this morning pleased to report that Manchaug Pond (or Lake Manchaug as some wish) is only down 5 inches! The boards are all in and the spillway gate is open one inch - and the gates haven't been touched in over a month.

He states that "Mother Nature took care of the dry spell and we will be full by Memorial day!" We came into the spring season with no snow and had an extremely dry season until the recent rains.

While the east coast was flooding, Manchaug was smiling! Keep dancing Fuddy!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mute Swan visits Manchaug Pond - Wild but NOT Native

The visiting swan is a beauty: large and magestic. Seeing us on the shore while about 100 feet out, it swam immediately to us looking for food. My 9 year old got within 7 feet before it started to hiss. Click on to the title of this post for a link to a Humane Society which details an encounter with "Genghis swan" and their recommendations as to how to handle this large birds. Beware as they will attack and capsize a canoe!

For a little background, the Mass. Department of Fish and Wildlife reports: "The swans you are seeing are mute swans, and like English sparrows and starlings, they are not native to North America, but an introduced species. Originally brought in from Europe and Asia as ornamental waterfowl to grace the ponds of Long Island estates, some escaped to the wild where they became established, spread up and down the coast and are now moving inland. Highly aggressive and territorial, there is evidence that they are displacing native waterfowl and can be destructive to some aquatic habitats, destroying more vegetation than they actually eat.

Unlike native waterfowl, mute swans were not federally protected until Dec. 2001 when a court ruled that mute swans must be granted federal protection under the same Migratory Bird Treaty that protects native swans, the tundra swan, and the trumpeter swan much to the consternation of people who view the mute swan as a destructive interloper."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Water Level and Fuddy's Rain Dance!

Rain yesterday, rain today and rain in the forecast! Go rain!!

Sunday, our friend Fuddy from Guilford(the keeper of our dam), gave me a call to update me on things from his perspective...

Fuddy has been in his position monitoring our dam and the water level on a daily basis for 22 years. He reports this is the worst he has seen it: a dry spring and of course no snow melt to bring us into spring. We started with hurricane Katrina and then a winter which saw snow which melted inbetween storms. With the early melts, I was calling Fuddy to open the dam as the high water level was causing havoc with docks and boats usually high and dry on shore.

Fuddy has had the dam closed for March, April and May or open just a "trickle". He wants you to know he can't do much about the weather (he says it is the Man upstairs!) but did report doing a rain dance last week!

Further Fuddy reports he is still on the payroll with Guilford along with about 20 other employees. Guilford has relocated to North Carolina where the winters are mild making for lower energy costs and cheaper labor. He did say workers from up here had to go south to train the new mill workers. He also reports an envelope company renting the upstairs of the mill, but no buyer yet.

We need alot more rain to get this lake filled. So MPA members keep praying and Fuddy keep dancing! With the rain we can break out the puzzles, hot chocolates, and enjoywatching the trees leaf out!


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