We set out under gray skies and drizzle. Another adventure with my blogger friend Laura. She is working on some specific shooting techniques for her photography class and I was along for the ride. Milford is just two towns east of me and I go there almost daily for grain, groceries or gas. It’s a classic New England town with a river running through the middle, hence “Mill Ford” and lots of brick municipal buildings.
Our first stop was what I call the “bridge to nowhere.” It once connected North River Road and Route 101 but as the businesses grew up around it, the traffic was diverted. A plaque stated it had been built one hundred and three years ago by a company from Ohio. At first, it just seemed sad and cold, very cold, with the river gurgling below. Laura was playing with “ghosting” and took this shot. I’m so cold my teeth are chattering.
As we were packing up to leave, I happened to look down into the river. A huge, yes really, like at least twenty pounds large, salmon was fighting the current and the shallow swirls. It surfaced as it was buffeted against a rock, then meandered on upstream. We were too shocked to even try to get a shot.
Next stop was the Milford office of NH Fish and Game. The facility is a hatchery for several types of trout as well as the salmon we had seen. Looking out over the field, the domed tanks resembled an odd moonscape. Each housed a shallow cement tank filled with fish in various stages of growth. Because they are fed eight times a day at some stages, when you approach the door of a pool it erupts in a literal feeding frenzy of bodies. The larger fish, in a pond and one open tank, were very tame and the Dept. provided handy “fish treat” vending machines.
From there we worked our way up the river toward Milford center. There was a quick stop along the way to photograph this ancient water pump.
Once I started wandering around Emerson Park and the river, I lost all sense of time and even forgot I was cold. This bridge was enough to keep me busy shooting, as well as the buildings lining the river.
On the other side of the bridge we found the falls and what little remains of the dam works. Laura and I do some climbing to get to the bottom of things. She was laden with equipment but managed to scramble down the embankment right after me. As we stood taking in our surroundings, another huge salmon slipped over the falls, bright and sparkly with its nasty-looking mouth gaping. We stood quietly and saw several others patrolling the edge of the waterfall.
I just happily tagging along with Laura, so when we were done with the town and the bridge she suggested we grab a hot chocolate. Then she spotted The Quartz Source. I never really paid much attention to rocks, though I know there is a whole contingent of folks who regularly attend rock swaps and know exactly what they are looking at in a small brown stone. This was an education in the finer points of rocks and minerals. I have a few friends who regularly use crystals and stone therapy. This makes sense to me, in a fundamental way, for balancing oneself in nature.
The path to the front door was bordered by, you guessed it rocks, but not just rocks, there were buckets of Tiffany glass and stones, small pink boulders of rose quartz and some very interesting looking green specimens.
I’m now waiting for salmon fishing season in Milford!
6 comments on “There’s something fishy in Milford”
Great post! I enjoyed Milford and it was fun having you along! If only the other salmon we saw could have gone over the dam while we had our camera at the ready! Wonderful photos of the trout and I love the ones you took in Emerson Park.
Thanks for taking me along. We always have a “therapeutic adventure” when we are together shooting!
Well, I never knew salmon lived in the streams of New England. Are they the same species as the west coast salmon do you suppose?
I have a vague memory of driving to Milford waaaay back in the late fifties or early sixties….grandma used to visit the last surviving woolen mills and buy bags of scraps to make braided “hit-or-miss” rugs. I think MIlford was a stop.
Hi Chris, Milford is known as the Granite Town in the Granite State. There were woolen mills as well so I bet your grandma did visit.
As to the salmon, they are probably a different species than the west coast ones but they certainly do look similar. I will do some research (catch and eat one I hope) and let you know!
It’s great to see salmon returning to our rivers. I hitchiked through Milford once when there was a 3 day outdoor rock concert in nearby Mont (not Mount) Vernon. For some reason I’ve never stopped there, but I will now.
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May be that’s you! Taking a look forward to peer you.