enormous quantities of "glacial drift"-gravel and clay and loose boulders of rock which they had scraped up and carried southward with them, frozen into the ice. The drift was so thick in the old bed of the Merrimac that the river, released at last from its prison of ice, found its former path to the sea completely blocked. Accordingly it turned eastward at the present site of Lowell and scoured out for itself a new course to the sea at Newburyport. Only the diminished stream of the Aberjona remained to occupy the lordly valley of the ancient river.
But if the Ice Age took away the river it left something beautiful in its place. All the charming lakes and ponds, so characteristic of Winchester scenery, were born of the departing glacier. In some cases their beds were scooped out of the existing soil by the ploughing masses of ice; in others they were formed by great blocks of ice which became detached from the retreating glaciers and were buried under the drift of sand and gravel. When in time these fields of ice melted, the gravel that covered them slumped in, causing more or less rounded depressions in which the water gathered. When underground springs were present, or when there was sufficient drainage from the surrounding slopes, these ponds, so formed, became permanent. They are called "kettle ponds " from a fancied resemblance of their basins to the inside of a kettle. Winter Pond is a perfect example of a kettle pond. Wedge Pond and Horn Pond were very likely formed in the same way, at least in part.
To the valley thus devastated and reshaped by the forces of nature, vegetation began to return; first the hardier grasses and shrubs and then, as the climate continued to moderate, the trees that are the glory of New England-pine and spruce and hemlock, oak, ash, birch, maple and elm. Forests covered the land of which our Winchester valley was a part, from the high places to the shores of the ocean, except in low-lying spots along the coast or in the interior where marshes and swamps gathered and formed ground too wet for tree growth. It was this wide-spreading forest, dark, shadowy, inhospitable, yet rich in the timber that was to be one of their earliest sources of wealth, that faced the English colonists on every side when they first stepped on the shores of New England.
We read, however, that there was, here and there, open country among the trees; meadows and grass lands, which required little
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