I’ve lived at the edge of the Saw Mill River for over 30 years here in Hastings. It floods every few years to cover the surrounding flats, grows shallow in the dog days of summer, freezes in the winter and runs deep and dark in Spring rains and snow melts.
The Saw Mill River is hardly in its pristine state, when the local Lene Lenape waded for its freshwater shellfish, or when it supported some saw mill back in the day when surrounding valley hills gave up its first growth for local and New York City buildings. Old maps place a primitive amusement camp somewhere in the neighborhood, at the foot of Farragut Ave.and the end of an old trolley line, with rides supported by river power. The old Putnam rail line trundled through with freight, caskets (Mt. Hope cemetery was a short walk from the Hastings station) and commuters. Now the converted line runs from the Bronx to the Croton Dam. As you walk north in my neighborhood, you find remnants of the old Hastings station, the little bridge to 9a/Sawmill River Road and the foot of Mt. Hope.
Dense with small mammals and bird life, this strip of green has brought some country to my door. Through the years I have photographed a variety of things I’ve found.