|Bringing Back Holleywood
For the first time in Holleywood's history (we think), its vernal ponds persist into leaf-peeping season.
Happily, the only impact of the hurricane at Holleywood was the unseasonable return of the vernal ponds. Some say the ponds formed originally because so much stone was extracted from the ground for building. Others contend that the ponds are a recent phenomenon. But this is belied by the photo below, from a 1930s glass plate found by Cynthia Hochswender in the archives of the Lakeville Journal. The photo shows that the ponds were alive and well-filled back when the west entrance was used as a formal driveway.
Suddenly, we have ponds. (Or, a pond and a half; the other half belongs to a neighbor.) The caretaker says they come and go with Spring rains. He calls them vernal pools, a term I'd never heard but one which sent my husband (an environmentalist funder) into paroxysms of pleasure. Apparently, vernal pools host endangered fauna and flora. Really? All I can see in them (apart from lovely reflections) is sodden grass and a few ducks. To me, they are giant puddles. That look nice from afar.
who we are
We are a couple of Upper West Siders from NYC who never set out to buy an old mansion in Connecticut. But the moment we walked through its massive front door, we were smitten. The info on this site is earnestly cobbled from a variety of sources, including the web. Please let us know if we've gotten something wrong, or if there's a story about Holleywood you'd like to share.