Sunday, April 18, 2010

Underwater Piano Lessons In Salem CT?

I visited Walden Preserve in Salem, Connecticut this morning. I was welcomed by an Eastern Bluebird set atop the entrance sign as I pulled into the parking area. It was a cool morning with a few raindrops mixed in between an occasional glimpse of sun.
I followed the trails across the meadow and through the woods. I found this car while walking along the green trail. I wonder what year and model it is ? It looks like an old timer.
As I approached this beaver pond, I heard oo-eek oo-eek as two Wood Ducks took flight. I could hear a Louisiana Waterthrush singing near the Eight Mile River. The trails in the preserve are well maintained but you have to keep track of the colored markers so that you don't wander onto private property. One of the no trespassing signs specifically warned that the land was used privately for hunting and trapping.The Tree Swallows were taking turns with the bluebirds to sit on top of the nestboxes. Eastern Towhees and Field Sparrows were singing all throughout the morning from strategic locations.
I recently read a book titled Legendary Connecticut: Traditional Tales from the Nutmeg-State by David E. Phillips which included one particular story that took place just down the road from where I was birding.
From what I understand, the following story is true. Imagine trying to explain something like this to your homeowner's insurance agent!
There was a man who owned a house on Gardner Lake in Salem. He tried to move his house from one side of the frozen lake to the other in the winter of 1899-1900. The house ended up breaking through the ice and floating around the lake for a couple of years before finally sinking to the bottom. The house had a piano in one of the rooms and over the years fishermen claim to have heard the sound of piano playing coming from beneath the surface of the lake.
I love reading stories that that involve the past history of places I am familiar with. You can read the story in its entirety : here . I'm curious as to whether some of the events I've witnessed or people that I know of will end up in a book of folklore some time in the future?


Ruth said...

ooooh...I love a good ghost story and the piano adds a nice twist. In spite of an early spring, many of our migrants are not arriving early. Sounds like you had a good day.

Erica Houskeeper said...

Hi Larry. That's such a great story about the house and piano. That old car is definitely intriguing as well. I love these photos, especially of the birds.

Take care.

Unknown said...

CTMQ has a list of old cars he has seen in the woods.

Chris said...

Hi Larry,
The story of the house is very nice, and who knows how even our life might end up in a book of our local village or town. You never know what can happen...
Your tree swallow is one of the most beautiful swallow I've ever seen... Ours in Europe are quite colorless ;-)

Larry said...

Ruth-Any day I'm out enjoying the outdoors is a good day.I like ghost stories too. Since no one died in the incident I'm not sure what ghost would be playing the piano. Maybe the fish are playing it.

Erica-Thanks-The book has a bunch of interesting stories in it.

Mathew-Really?-Neat idea! I'll just have to take a look at that list.

Chris-Very true-you never know.The Tree Swallows look especially pretty when the sun reflects off of them.

Dan Huber said...

Nice location and story Larry, great pictures too. Wonder if it was the fish or just the waves playing the piano?


Larry said...

Dan-I'm sure your theory makes more sense but I the idea of a fish playing the piano is more fun to imagine.

Lana Gramlich said...

What a neat story! I also love the top photo, of the bluebird on the sign. How fitting. :)

Jochen said...

Larry, your blog just keeps getting better and better.
About the underwater piano: I'd guess it is true. However, it was not something too mysterious, just a couple of Buffleheads or Goldeneyes trying to peck mussels off the piano's keyboard.

Kathie Brown said...

Fascinating story Larry! My family used to go camping at Gardner lake when I was young. I never heard that piano playing though!

Andy said...

Cool shot of the rusty car

Larry said...

Lana-It's always nice when a bird is willing to help you out with a photo op.

Jochen-Thanks-I hadn't thought of that theory.

Kathiebirds-Too bad-nothing like a good piano concerto while out on the lake.

Andy-I wonder if the rust proofing warranty is still in effect?

Dawn Fine said...

hee hee..that is a great story..I am imagining the birds singing along with the Piano playing!
I love the rusty truck..
and the beautiful blue shiny..tree swallow!

Kay Baughman said...

I just read several of your posts--and thoroughly enjoyed them all. You write well and choose interesting details. I like the ghostly piano story!
The photo of the swallow is nice as is the beaver.