Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Queset Brook, North Easton, Massachusetts
This is a movie I made on Thanksgiving Day, 2003, where Queset Brook starts at Lincoln Spring, off Lincoln Street in North Easton behind the Town Pool, and at Flyaway Pond, which has now fully reverted to a natural wild cranberry meadow after the dam there burst in 1968. My brother Tim Watts is the person in the footage. I don't know who wrote "eat me" in the bark of the beech tree.
A discussion of what needs to be done to restore Queset Brook to its healthy condition as a native brook trout stream is here.
The music is "Hani" by Ali Farka Toure from his record "Radio Mali."
This little movie was shot because Tim and I wanted to capture how clear and pure the water is at Queset when it begins as bunch of inchoate and scattered seeps next to Lincoln Street and quickly gathers into a recognizable, permanent brook. A second purpose was to figure out if these tiny brooklets were permanent or if they dried up in the summer. Timmy's find of caddis fly, crane fly and dobson fly larvae (hellgrammites) even in the smallest, uppermost parts of the brooklets told us that they don't dry up, since hellgrammites stay as larvae (nymphs) for several years before they hatch out, meaning the brook where they live has to stay wetted all year.
Queset Brook is at the very top of the Cohtuhticut (Taunton) River drainage, the largest river drainage wholly in Massachusetts. Because the Taunton itself is severely polluted by illegal and poorly regulated public wastewater treatment plants, most notably in Brockton and Taunton, and is too filthy to swim in, we wanted to show how clean the water is which feeds the Taunton, and to document (by ocular evidence, as our dad would say), that it is us alone who take this beautifully clean and pure water and in the span of just a dozen miles turn it into a turgid, foul-smelling broth of human waste. I think our dad had Queset in mind when he wrote the following poem in 1995:
By Allan Watts
I saw a little brook
trickling through the woods
Its path was blocked with leaves,
that fell from a nearby tree.
I took a stick and broke the dam
and the water shone up at me,
and said, that is I think it said,
"Thanks for setting me free."
From Silly Verse by Allan Watts.