Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday: O is for Oliver Mill~

O is for Oliver Mill
Shared lives~

Oliver Mill, in Middleborough, Massachusetts, is the scene of an annual mating ritual, wild and free, a testimony to the strength of biological urges.

Come April, young and old line up on the bridges of this restored mill site to watch the herring swim against the current to the calm pond above the falls where the females will lay their eggs, and the males will broadcast their sperm.

(These fish are attempting to leap the higher falls, having missed the ladder route.)

Oliver Mill is one of many such herring runs where man has built a "ladder" in the stream to ease the arduous upstream journey of the river herring, in this locale either alewife or bluebacks.

Some of the eggs will be devoured by under water creatures, and some adult fish will feed the gulls that have left the McDonald's trash barrels, opting instead to try their wings as fisherman-- proper gull behavior.

Those fish that survive will reverse direction in autumn, letting the current pull them back to the Atlantic. Next spring when warmer water temperatures, and other mysterious biological signals prod, the fish will return to the same site.

And so will the people and gulls.

ABC Wednesday brought to you by: Mrs. Nesbit's blog

My first ABC post. I decided not to wait until A, but jump right in the middle of the alphabet.
Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement - and we will make the goal. ~Jerome Fleishman


Anonymous said...

We have something similar in our area, but ours is a Salmon run where they go to spawn in the fall.
Love this O post.

Anonymous said...

We have something similar in our area, but ours is a Salmon run where they go to spawn in the fall.
Love this O post.

Barbara said...

How interesting! I was unaware of this spawning phenomenon on the east coast. I think it's rather remarkable that nature is so well programmed to repeat this cycle each year.

Lisa said...

Such a wonderful, informative post, Ruth, and I love your pictures! I feel sad that I missed seeing the herring on their journey. But your post makes me feel like I was there. :)

Wanda said...

Well how interesting is that? And Ruth, I love the colors of the people's clothes and the reflections in the water ~~ Such a nice photo.

leslie said...

We have the salmon run, especially at the Adams River in the interior. It's quite the sight to see all the bright red dead salmon after they've returned to their spawning ground.

sc morgan said...

Oooh, I like the idea of doing 26 blog entries for the alphabet. I might try this myself. A...A is for...hmmm... A. I'll have to think about this for awhile.

I loved your photo of the people at the Mill. The bright colors offset by the bridge are gorgeous. Very nice, Ruth.

I am home from my travels, as you know. I have a head cold. I'll speak more eloquently later. s

Pauline said...

I never cease to be amazed by how things work. The photos are great! It took a third look to spot the people under the bridge - wasn't that water icy cold?

Janice Thomson said...

Ruth that first photo is a wonderful riot of color! The reflections are amazing. I love watching the fall salmon run in the little creek across the street - a very meaningful time for a run.
Loved the McDonald's line :)