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Everything peaceful at Buckmaster Pond

Whether they were picnicking or kayaking, there were all sorts of people taking advantage of the summer weather on Saturday afternoon.

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

For whatever reason, this week, journalists began to reexamine the “Central Park Karen” event that captured the country’s attention last May. As part of their investigation, they found that there was actually a longstanding feud between bird watchers and people letting their dogs run freely in Central Park, which had resulted in a couple of ugly incidents before the famous one was captured on tape.

If your business is still letting you work from home, you could do worse than having to field calls along the shores of Buckmaster Pond.

Thankfully, while there were people both calmly fishing from the lakes of Buckmaster Pond and people letting their dogs dive into the water and splash around on Saturday afternoon, neither group was bothered - and the fishermen seemed to be doing just fine, despite the dogs’ splashing possibly driving the fish away.

The fishermen didn’t seem to mind the dogs splashing near where they were trying to reel in some bass.

Instead, with the heat rising after it began to feel like the summer was slipping away just a few weeks ago, people were walking their dogs, kayaking, fishing, and having a picnic along the shores of the pond. But one group of outdoor enthusiasts were struggling around the area: bicyclists.

The sidewalk on the street was being repaved, but only starting halfway down the street. At least three separate times, I saw a person on a bike have to jam on their brakes upon realizing they were about to ride straight into the police tape and cones, then try to figure out how they were going to get around the area.

This caused a surprising amount of issues with bike riders.

When I first visited Buckmaster Pond at the height of COVID lockdowns, the statue of Sammie the dog, which commemorates the life of young Westwood student Eddie Thomson, had a surgical mask on. A few months later, as it seemed like COVID was about to be put in the rearview mirror, the mask was gone.

Since we now occupy a strange zone where mask mandates feel like they again may be nearing, and where we wonder whether or not to don masks in public, it was interesting to see that for now, Sammie's mask is off.

Sammie may once again have to wear a mask soon.

While nothing compared to COVID-19, there is another invasive entity that had taken over Buckmaster Pond well before the pandemic reared its ugly head. After coming across a ton of giant snail shells, I tried to figure out what they were. According to my research, they are Chinese mystery snails, an invasive but very edible species that first showed up in Massachusetts around 1915. Why are they "Mystery" snails? In the spring, they give birth to fully developed snails that mysteriously disappear.

The Chinese mystery snail, an invasive that hit Massachusetts in 1915 and flourishes at Buckmaster Pond.

While there are other mysteries surrounding Buckmaster Pond - including famed past FBI searches of its depths - there was no mystery as to why so many people were there on Saturday afternoon.

It's a pretty nice place to spend a few drama free hours.

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