Posts by: Middleton Stream Team or

More News of Melting Ice

“Death by a thousand cuts” has become a cliché. How about, “drowning coastal lands by a thousand melts” to describe the rising seas and diminishing glaciers?  The latest reports* this month by climate scientists surprisingly use words like “inevitable”, “tipping point”, “unstoppable”, “collapsing”, and “wow” when reporting on West Antarctica’s huge glaciers moving toward oblivion. We’ve long known of Greenland’s… read more →

In the Valley

The Water Closet, May 16, 2014 Middleton has an interesting valley stretching one-half mile west to east between East and Locust streets. In its draw a brook runs over clean sand easterly through a red maple swamp now resplendent in opening skunk cabbages. Gently climbing above the brook’s wetland to the north the land levels out into a terrace of… read more →

Middleton Rail Trail, Steam to Muscle Power

The Water Closet, May 9, 2014 Almost two centuries of railroads have changed our continent and the world. In America internal combustion engines on paved roads have largely passed them by. In eastern Massachusetts the web of rail beds now lie relatively silent beneath the soft feet of hikers, wildlife, and bicycle tires. In neighboring Topsfield, Wenham, Danvers, and Peabody… read more →

John Muir Speaks from the Sierra Nevadas

The Water Closet, April 25, 2014 Back in late winter we fretted from afar about droughts and fires in magnificent, one thousand mile long, California, a state with mountains four times Massachusetts' highest, and Death Valley several hundred feet below sea level. Central Valley alone would accommodate several New England states. Seven hundred north-south miles of mighty mountain ranges catch… read more →

Radioactive Water

The Water Closet, April 18, 2014 On March 11, 2011 the tsunami came ashore and surged far inland along the low northeast coast of Honshu, Japan. The power plant at Fukushima was severely damaged. Radiation still leaks from it three years later. This story continues and may for centuries. Japan now debates the reopening of its nuclear power plants. The… read more →

Letter from a Farmer

The Water Closet, April 11, 2014 Last week a Closeteer received an old fashioned letter via snail mail from a farmer friend for two-thirds of a century. They went to school together in the “Pioneer Valley”, more appropriately called the Connecticut Valley. Both were brought up on farms, around farmers for whom they worked. We’ll share David “Red” Parson’s, a… read more →

Kettles and Drumlins

The Water Closet, March 14, 2014 Isn’t it amazing how half-mile thick glaciers that once covered this area were responsible for much of our topography? A century ago geologist John Sears1 counted 193 hills called drumlins in Essex Country. The last continental glacier, the Wisconsin, retreated from here about 11,000 years ago. In its wake, while melting, it left debris… read more →

Lives Along the River Are A Changin’

The Water Closet, March 7, 2013 by Arthur McKee (not Bob Dylan) Preface - Arthur McKee, a forest ecologist, friend of the Water Closet and an occasional contributor, has sent an account of dynamic changes in the ecology along the streams and rivers of Yellowstone Park’s Northern Range. Changes along our Ipswich River have been the topic of many Water… read more →