O is for Oliver Mill
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