Old Dish Mills Falls on Jim Brook

Roaring Brook Nature Center 03

“Ovens Long-Silenced • Mine Hill Preserve, Roxbury, Connecticut

Roaring Brook Nature Center, like so many other wondrous outdoor places in Connecticut, is little-known outside of the surrounding region… in this case, the Farmington River Valley. But this unique conservation land in Canton combines a learning center and small zoo with a beautiful trail system and has a lot to offer to photographers, hikers, and animal lovers alike.

My visit to the Nature Center in mid-Autumn was replete with quiet stands of conifers, expansive canopies of broadleaf forest, lively woodland streams that wind and tumble through the landscape, an idyllic waterfall that cascades over an old boulder dam and even a small meadow decked out with birdhouses. There is no doubt that Roaring Brook Nature Center is a microcosm of New England’s natural treasures; a place that is well worth visiting if, like me, you hold the character of the Connecticut landscape close to your heart. There’s a certain primal contentment to be found in this peaceful place that will follow you off the trails and tug at you to return sooner than later.

But Roaring Brook Nature Center has more than just trails… it really is a nature center, complete with a small, but remarkably interesting “zoo” that features owls, vultures, squirrels and other wildlife that can be observed and enjoyed either before or after you’ve had your fill on the trails.

I was especially impressed by an unusual, pure-white squirrel that was amongst the cavalcade. Never before had I seen such a creature and I later learned that these white squirrels are actually leucistic specimens of the common grey squirrels with which we are all familiar. Remarkably, within only a week of seeing the white squirrel on display at Roaring Brook Nature Center, I actually witnessed a wild specimen climbing down a tree during an early-morning photo shoot at a preserve in Meriden, Connecticut (an adjacent property owner in the area later confirmed that there is an entire family of these odd squirrels living in the small, 7-acre preserve). What are the odds that I would see a white squirrel for the very first time at the Roaring Brook Nature Center, only to find a wild specimen just a week later only 10 minutes from my home in Central Connecticut? Quite the coincidence, if I do say so myself! But I digress…

You’ll find that I’ve added four new fine art pieces to my online galleries featuring the forests and waters of Canton’s Roaring Brook Nature Center. The piece featured above, “Old Dish Mill Falls on Jim Brook”, is also on display as part of the Celebrating Art in Nature exhibit hosted by the Granby Land Trust at J. Brunelle Vallee Fine Art in Granby, Connecticut. I encourage you to stop by and see my work, along with a range of other exciting photographs and paintings that elaborate upon the inspiring natural beauty of the Farmington River Valley (the exhibit runs until the end of November). My framed and matted print of “Old Dish Mill Falls on Jim Brook” which is on display at the exhibition is also available for purchase, with 40% of the proceeds going to the Granby Land Trust to support the event as well as future activities of the organization.

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