Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand (Glacial Potholes!)

For this week’s photo challenge, I’m taking you back to the summer of 2008 in my home state of Massachuestts. Our destination is Shelburne Falls, a quintessential New England town along the Mohawk Trail and Deerfield River.  Isn’t it grand?


At the end of the last Ice Age, glaciers covering this area began to recede, swirling silt and granite in a scouring motion that drilled holes in the bedrock below.


Shelburne Falls pothole overview 1

As a result of the constant whirling of granite stones, the potholes (known geologically as “kettles”) took on a remarkably symmetrical and round shape.

Shelburne Falls pothole with waterfall

Shelburne Falls round pothole

Shelburne Falls round pothole closeup

Since 2002, access to the potholes is prohibited due to hazardous conditions and numerous injuries.

Shelburne Falls Dam Signage

However, because this is Massachusetts, no one pays attention to the law, and the police know it’s useless to enforce…especially on hot August days! 😉

Shelburne Falls potholes with people

Shelburne Falls potholes with people 2

There are more than 50 potholes to explore, ranging in size from 6″ to 39′ in diameter.

Young explorers among the Shelburne Falls potholes

The shadings and striations in the ancient granite are a grand geological sight.

Shelburne Falls color striations

Shelburne Falls color striations 2

I hope you enjoyed this testament to the grand power of time, ice, and rock!   All glacial pothole photos taken on 8/17/08, copyright Terrence Mulhern,

Shelburne Falls color striations in rock with flower

Be sure to check out other interpretations of this week’s challenge at the Zemanta related links below!

Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Back in the early ’90s, we owned a 100 yr old summer house on Buzzards Bay in South Dartmouth, MA.  When whale hunters reigned supreme in the 19th century, this was a booming, happening place where fortunes were made and mansions built. Our house–a caretaker’s cottage–was located on the grounds of one such mansion: The Colonel Edward Howland Robinson Green Estate at Round Hill.   Below is an aerial view of the property as it looks today:


And here is the original caretaker’s cottage as it looked in 2009:

Caretaker's cottage, Round Hill, So. Dartmouth, MA. 2009

Note: when we sold this house in 2001, a few years post-divorce, it was a really quaint Dutch Colonial. The buyers more than doubled its size!!!  If you look at the three windows adjacent to the original roofline, you can see where the new addition begins.

Getting back to my sea story….

Colonel Green was a descendent of the family who built and launched The Charles W. Morgan, a 117′ wooden whaler that sailed 37 voyages between 1841-1921. With her whaling days over, Col. Green restored The Morgan to her original splendor, and moored the vessel at Round Hill’s South Pier, where it remained a popular floating museum for the next 20 years.  .


Vintage postcard circa 1927 of the Round Hill pier, from the M.L. Baron archives

Here are some photos (from 2009) of the remains of the pier….

South Pier, Round Hill, So. Dartmouth, May 2009

and looking away from the pier, a bit of the mansion:

Round Hill Mansion, So. Dartmouth MA.,  May 2009

As part of the floating museum, a replica of The Morgan’s mast and hull sections were built to display the mechanics of rigging and whaling gear. Somehow or other (perhaps the hurricane of ’38?) the hull was pushed inland toward the Round Hill golf course.  When my kids were little, they spent hours exploring and playing on this piece of sea history:

  Round Hill and the surrounding seaside was an idyllic respite in a not-so-idyllic time in my life, and I appreciate sharing some of that beauty. 🙂  I hope you enjoyed my interpretation of this week’s challenge as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Unless otherwise cited, all photos taken by T.C. Mulhern, on Mother’s Day, 2009.  The kids brought me back to Round Hill as a surprise gift that year, knowing I’d want to see “our old spot” before Maggie and I moved to Florida!

For more about The Charles S. Morgan, check out the M.L. Baron Archives, and Mystic Seaport Website.

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂