Salmon hole is a place where the interconnectedness of human’s and nature is evident. It is a place where beavers eat, birds chirp, and fish spawn. A place where, during the spring thaw and rainy season that we are in now, the Winooski flows in a wild torrent, sweeping away debris from the sandy shore in its wake. It is also a place for people to walk, to get away, to find peace, to view nature. The path that runs down the side of the hill and along the bank is a physical manifestation of how the human presence is felt in even remote, seemingly undisturbed places. A reminder that our actions always have an impact on the natural world and that we cannot separate ourselves from it.
You can see the human presence to in the nearby mills. The mills that harnessed the power of the river and altered its course. The mills that brought industry to the town, which now stand empty or subject to gentrification. The human presence is all to evident in the amount of waste that washes up on the banks.
Upon first considering the second question, do you feel connected to this place? my first answer was no. I think that a relationship with a certain place is developed in a more organic way. This assignment made the formation of a deep connection with this place too forced. I felt as if I had to make observation, take notes, photos, rather than wanting to, or simply finding that I had after I had left. For me there is more to a place than the observations you make there.
As I began to write though, I started to think of times I had at this place, where I brought visitors or noticed something interesting, or the time I had to crawl up the hill on my hands and knees because it was covered in ice. In remembering these things so fondly, I realized that I am apart of this place. i do have memories and emotions connected with it. I think that this connection which seems like a type of nostalgia will only deepen as time goes by. I look forward to visiting the Salmon Hole next year, seeing what feelings come back, and what new ones form.