For my first article I wanted to capture a well-known area in Bellmore that may have some hidden beauty. I ventured out to the water in hopes of getting some nice views of the East Bay. I am sure anyone from Bellmore can understand my frustration when I realized those views were only blocked by private homes. I drove around for almost an hour and decided to head back. On my way home I passed Mill Pond Park. I stopped immediately.
Being that it was a nice day, I was excited to check out the lake and capture some nice shots. It was around 4:30 p.m. and the sun was just starting to set. The light that glimmered off the water and against the trees was really beautiful. The park had a sense of peace, which I found appealing. I found it interesting that when I turned back I could see the many cars that passed on Merrick Road yet I felt like I was in another world. This 54-acre preserve seemed like a nice place to walk, sit, read or just simply appreciate what mother nature has given us.
I slowly walked up the path to the right of the lake and fell in love with the trees. One of my favorite characters of nature, trees carry such knowledge and warmth. They see everything before them and hear the sounds that surround them. The detail on some of these particular trees were captivating. History was telling its story right in front of me and I was taking it all in.
Ducks, geese and swans call the Mill Pond home and they are such a delight to be around. There was a small group by the path that I just had to capture with my camera. They were so calm and comfortable that it almost seemed they were unaware of their surroundings. I soon realized that they noticed I was there and kept an eye on what I was doing. On the other side of the lake it was slightly a different story. There must have been almost 100 ducks in the water and although they weren't loud they were much more active. At some point they made me laugh because of their silliness. I find it amusing how they communicate and play. Just another reason to visit Mill Pond Park.
From what I have learned, this pond has been there for more than 100 years. After looking at a 1914 historic map, it seemed it was owned by the Brooklyn City Water Works like most ponds in the area. New York City received most of its water from these ponds during this time. Although the Brooklyn City Water Works is not there anymore, you can still visit the small pumping station northwest of the pond. A 1927 map of Nassau County, it was marked as Jones Pond. That, I assume, was named after S. J. Jones considering his name was listed on the map next to the pond. After some time it was also named after Thomas Jones. It was later acquired by Nassau County 1967. Thanks to Clarence Anspake, president of The Historical Society of Bellmore, all my findings were confirmed as well as learning some new and interesting facts about the area.
As you look at my photos, try to imagine that this is the first time you are seeing the park. Take your own inspiration from what my lens has captured and gain a new appreciation for what it has to offer. A little peace and quiet is not all Mill Pond Park is good for. With its naturalistic beauty and a setting far from reality you can surely find a new and improved sense of self and unique view on the world around you.
(Editor's Note: A New View is a bi-monthly column that will be featured on Bellmore Patch. We welcome Melissa O'Connor's superb photography skills and informative history lessons.)