Take me to the water
Visit an ancient spring in Scotland...Connecticut
If you played The Oregon Trail 2 in the 1990s, then you’ll understand the catharsis of a freshwater spring. Whether or not my wagon parties made it across the more arid end of Wyoming was contingent upon whether we encountered any springs bubbling away amid the parched rock and paper-dry grass. A lot of greenhorns died under my watch, but occasionally, the game would allow a spring to materialize. When this happened, I felt like running into the kitchen and splashing cold water onto my face. In solidarity.
While New England hardly compares to the territories that Oregon-bound wagon trains rumbled through, we’ve been through a troublingly dry April and May. Massachusetts is officially in a drought, and while this hasn’t stopped the greenery from exploding out of the soil in time for summer, it has a way of making you gaze toward streams and vernal pools with wanton lust, whispering, “Ah, elixir of life, fragrant and cloudy with nutrients and pathogens. Musky nectar. I know I should not drink thee, BUT…”
Anyway, in light of this desiccated shoulder season, I’d like to steer you to the vividly green woods and hollows of Scotland. The one in Connecticut, about 40 minutes east of Hartford and just a few cow pies away from the Rhode Island state line. Like the actual Scotland, much of the roly poly landscape here is dedicated to agriculture. But Rock Spring Preserve, a 450-acre forest protected by the Nature Conservancy, is not just a testament to the regenerative power of woodlands—it also contains an ancient spring where you can still see water trickling from the earth and flowing through the rocky understory until it merges with the stronger current of the nearby Little River.