GPP 6 – Rocking in the Parks

But wait, we’ve already done that category so it doesn’t count.  Well, you can do as many events as you want and I simply couldn’t pass this one up for several reasons.

1.  The presentation on Glaciation lined up so nicely with the Earth science we’ve been doing this summer.

2.  The weather was absolutely perfect for an outing.

3.  It gave us a great excuse to head to Walden Pond and because of the lousy spring weather we hadn’t been yet this year.  (Walden tends to be a madhouse in the summer.)

Not surprising due to the location, this was a relatively big group.  Our park interpreter was wonderfully enthusiastic, though perhaps better suited to very young children while giving her presentation.  As usual, she had tons of wonderful information to share.  Love the high-tech visual aids. 🙂

This is New England.

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This is New England covered by a glacier 15,000 years ago.

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And this is the piece of ice dropped by the glacier that melted and formed Walden Pond.

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There were also several smaller bits of ice also broke off to form Walden’s coves.

After the presentation, we took a hike on the Esker Trail formed by the movement of the glacier.  This was great since I had no idea there were paths other than the one around the lake to the Thoreau site.  We also passed by the Emerson Cliff Trail which will probably get a visit later in the fall.  Ralph Waldo Emerson actually owned a ton of property in the area including the spot Thoreau built his house.  This trail goes up to one of his favorite spots.

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Surprisingly there used to be an amusement park back behind the pond where the train runs.  This is a very strange contradiction considering the current culture of the park.  Kind of like putting Disney in Yellowstone.

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Thoreau was the one to first measure the pond depth.  People at the time were saying it was so deep it much be bottomless.  Being a curious man and not inclined to believe in a bottomless pond, Thoreau set out with a cod line and made such accurate measurements that they pretty much matched the ones later made with modern day equipment.

We also learned that no one actually knows the origin of the name Walden.  A couple of hypothesis include being named after a place in England which was quite common at the time, a lone Native American named Walden surviving a disaster in the area, and the pond being “walled in” which tends to happen on occasion with the New England accent.

One last piece of information would be the answer to the common question of why Walden is a pond rather than a lake.  I have to admit to wondering this on occasion since I think of a pond as being a bit smaller and containing more in the way of vegetation – very scientific I know.  Anyhow, it turns out that Walden is spring fed and has no inlet or outlet thus making it a pond.

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Another great adventure in a gorgeous park!

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