Vernal Pool

The vernal pool has appeared at the bottom of the yard. Walking along the avenue this morning water was gushing. Out of manhole covers and hoses from basement sump pumps. The valley the avenue runs along was the site of the first fresh water mills in this area, possibly the first in north america. The mill stream drew it’s water from the surrounding hills. The dozens of mills along that stream ran up until the 1930 or 40s. At that point the produce farms that served the city planted a final crop of housing. The network of roads and storm sewers pulled all the moisture out of the land and the mill stream dried up. Now each spring the snow cover melts, the string rains fall, and what used to be years worth of water comes down off the hills into the mill stream. Roads close. Basements flood. A pool forms in my backyard where the old maps show a small stream passing thru on it’s way to a small swamp and pond were now in the parking lot of a grocery story a large puddle lays.

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