No, I didn’t have any trouble finding the spot where this tributary of Overpeck Creek in Bergen County, NJ, is—after all, I’ve been making my way up to what was once known as Allison Woods Park (now, formally part of Flat Rock Brook) in my hometown of Englewood, NJ, since I was a tween nearly 50 years ago.
Let me be more exact: I had more trouble just finding the water.
As you can see in this photo I took in mid-afternoon, leaves form a blanket everywhere here—and there’s an awful lot left to be shed from the trees. (We had an usually warm September, so the height of the fall foliage season occurred a few weeks later than usual.)
But I think there is likely another reason why the water is not as easy it used to be to spot here: the Northeast is in the midst of a drought. Last week at dinner, I heard of someone in New England who’d been able to use water from a well on her property for more than 30 years, but now, because of the drought, she might have to spend thousands of dollars so that her town could make available to her its water supply. Closer to home, I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the Wild Duck Pond in Saddle River County Park in Ridgewood, NJ, had sharply receded.
So now, instead of the abundantly flowing brook of my youth, we have what is, at best, merely soggy leaves. That picture of the multi-colored leaves is, I hope, nice. But if water is associated with life, what does its absence mean?