A few of us old timers can remember swimming in Flannagan Pond “back in the day.” Well Sue and I had the pleasure of cooling off at a neighbor’s swimming hole this weekend too. Because another thing you could do back in the day (decades before the Wetlands Protection Laws 310 CMR 10.00 etc.) was dredge on your property.
Forty years ago, one of the neighbors had their shoreline scooped out before they built their house. The rich sediment (a nice name for the deep muck that oozes between your toes as you sink up to your knees) was delivered to a homeowner a half-mile away to be used as clean fill and topsoil.
What was left behind was a sandy bottom and a nice clean swimming hole. Yes, milfoil and fanwort still try to take hold here, but since you can walk into the water effortlessly without getting bogged down in quicksand, and since the nutrient-rich sediment isn’t feeding the weeds, you can actually harvest the weeds manually, roots and all. And they do.
This swimming hole goes 25-30 feet from the shoreline and is about 60 feet wide. The water is 3-4 feet deep, not deep enough for real swimming, but it is delightfully refreshing sitting on a floating chair or in an inner tube (even if you don’t own a violin like the lady in the photo).
Sue and I did swim/float off our dock when we first bought this house. Presently the weed growth is so bad it looks like a witches brew in a cauldron. We haven’t been able to cool off from the dock for the past few years. Hopefully when we are able to introduce Hydro-raking as a resource to homeowners for the maintenance of their shorelines we will witness more recreation on the pond. Until then, take violin lessons.