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Chesterfield Gorge April 23, 2008

Posted by littlebangtheory in Uncategorized.
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On one of my recent homeward meanderings, I decided to visit the Chesterfield Gorge on the East Branch of the Westfield River.

Just saying that evokes a sort of geographical ambiguity, and interestingly, I’ve always found that area of the state to be in some sense ambiguous. The three branches of the Westfield share a common geology and a common destination, but otherwise their characters can be so very different.

The East Branch seems to be the largest of the three, though I don’t have any hard data on that. It just seems more present and powerful a lot farther north. And by the time it passes through Chesterfield, it’s a real river, and the high waters of Spring are a thing to behold.

Like the Deerfield River to its north, the Westfield has carved its signature in the land, most impressively in Chesterfield, where the river passes between the walls of a schist chasm, crashing through drops and eddys into deep, dark pools beneath shadowed walls:

The bracing spray of a youthful Spring flow is slowly supplanted by the mists of a steamy summer, and all the while the river infuses its surroundings with the Water of Life. Mosses grow in profusion on surfaces too steep for forests:

The late afternoon sun throws long shadows across the walls as evening approaches; the parking lot clears out, and you’re left alone in the chill air.

Savor it. Listen to the river.


1. sherry - April 24, 2008

takes my breathe away.

2. DCup - April 24, 2008

Your drives are so beautiful. I’m glad that you share what you see with us.

3. Pagan Sphinx - April 24, 2008


Two things: firstly I want to say that in the outdoors you are true to your Native American heritage. What a beautiful thing. Secondly, you really should start collecting your photos and accompanying writing and begin to create some sort of format for a book about our area.

We’re lucky for many reasons here in Western Mass, not the least of which is the number of independent books stores and resources for writers and artists. Hey, I’d use my Economic Unincentive Check to buy up a carload of such a book!

Do it, brotheh! And…Namaste of the highest order.

4. Hill - April 24, 2008



5. littlebangtheory - April 25, 2008

Hey, ‘Gal, what a pleasure to have a visit!

Thanks for stopping by – I’m a frequent lurker at Your Place, though I seldom comment because your ques are so long, it must take you forever to get through them all!

You made me nervous when you “disappeared” for a while, it’s good to have you back. đŸ™‚

– R

6. David Owczarek - December 31, 2008

I have just come back from a trip to Western MA and took in the beauty of the gorge in the winter. I visited with a friend who lives out there. We had the place entirely to ourselves which was just wonderful. There’s a few photos in the link below.


7. littlebangtheory - December 31, 2008

Dave, how ever did you find this post??? Eight months later, and here you are!

Thanks for stopping by. I checked out your December photos, and would have a photo-reply, as I drove by there this afternoon expecting to shoot a few, but it was blizzarding too hard to take tha camera out, and of course the light sucked.

Nonetheless, I stopped by your place and really enjoyed your shots! Shoot me an e-mail if you come back with a tripod, and if I’m free I’ll be happy to join you!

8. David Owczarek - February 2, 2009

I found the post using Google – when I encounter a situation like this I like to look around and see what other people have written or photographed about a place before. It really does work, the Google.

You’ve put up some beautiful photos since then – really, really, nice. From one blogger to another – keep doing it!

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