Farm Pond Swans
Farm Pond in Southeast Framingham is famous for it's swans, and I took a LOT of swan pictures today. Quite a few swans arrive here every spring; I saw at least 11 of them today. I felt like I was returning to an old familiar haunt when I visited the Farm Pond recreation area because we took photos here last year. (I don't have much history in this town, as you know!)
Aren't they beautiful? Farm Pond is located between Framingham State College and Rte 135, and between Keefe Tech and Downtown Framingham. It is a lovely area, although some of the buildings are a bit rundown. You can see Downtown Framingham, just 1/10th of a mile away, from the parking lot.
Farm Pond is a 149 acre "Natural Great Pond", which just means that it contains more than 10 acres in its natural state. The woodland area around the pond is populated with Red Maple (Acer Rubrum), White Pine (Pinus Strobus), and birches (White Birch: Betula papyrifera, and Grey Birch: Betula populifolia.) I love the Latin names for many tree species, but these are some of my favorites names -and White Pines and birches are two of my favorite trees.)
Birches (and in some situations, White Pines) are "pioneer" or "early successional" trees, which means that they are the first to populate newly cleared areas. All three tree species are able to thrive in soils that many trees can't tolerate, such as the very moist soil around ponds and lakes. The Red Maples are beginning to bloom here, as they are in my own backyard. Like Robins and Swans, the blooming trees mean that spring has definitely arrived!
The swans are graceful in everything they do. It's hard to get a bad picture.
But the pair below were in a perfect "heart" formation a second before I took their photo, so I missed getting the perfect picture once again.
I was surprised to see people fishing here, and more surprised when they told me they caught Large Mouth Bass in the pond. I thought they were pulling my leg, but it's true.
The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Wildlife characterizes Farm Pond as a prime fishing spot. They noted eight species of fish in the pond, and say that "This pond is best known for producing lunker (big?) largemouths every year." On the other hand, the EPA has Farm Pond listed as having "impaired waters." The EPA site shows Farm Pond in the same category as Reservoirs #1 and #2, where fishing is prohibited. (Actually, only eating the fish is prohibited. You can catch fish if you want to.) There seems to be a big difference in how the two agencies interpret data, at the very least. I mean, is is a great fishing hole or a toxic one?
The fishermen above are leaning against one of two gatehouses at either end of the pond. Farm Pond used to be a part of the Sudbury Aquaduct that provided water to the city of Boston From 1878 to 1978. According to an article by Scott Johnson, "On February 13, 1878 at 11:45 AM, following just 2.5 years of construction, the gates at Farm Pond were opened, unleashing the first flow from the Sudbury River to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir from whence it was distributed to the city."
Anyway, I'll include a few more swans pictures before ending this post. Next time I'll show you the beautiful waterfall on the reservoir.