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Back to Hadwen, Again

A quick panorama from the our expedition to Hadwen Arboretum earlier this week.  Here’s hoping it doesn’t snow and mess up the Trail Day planned for April 2.  The details can be found in the previous post.  Click on the image for a better view.  This will give you a somewhat better sense of what it’s like there (interpreted in black and white of course).

Tech note:  Seven images initially shot with an IR converted Nikon D200, stitched together in photoshop and converted with the black and white layers command.

Back to Hadwen Arboretum

Last fall I posted a photoessay here about Hadwen Arboretum (to save you the trouble of tangling with the search engine, you can find that post here).  To make a long story short, the Hadwen Arboretum was envisioned by it’s benefactor to be a repository of a wide variety of trees and a place of study, owned by Clark University.  Over the past decades, however, the Arboretum has fallen upon hard times while becoming something of an impromptu park not far from downtown Worcester, Massachusetts.  As I wrote, restating the obvious, it’s a lovely spot and deserves care.  That post turned out to be one of my most popular ever.  It also stimulated a number of comments including several from Mr. Greg Doerschler who works at Clark and has worked with several student groups in the past who were interested in doing something for the Arboretum.  Their efforts are obviously continuing to good effect.

I’m very happy to report that a group of interested students and staff from the University are going to be holding a Trail Day at the Hadwen Arboretum on Saturday, April 2, 2011 with the goal of sprucing up the trails that wind through the forest there.  You can read more about the event here.  Those of us who live in the neighborhood owe these folks a debt of gratitude.  This kind of work matters.  I’ve written about environmental issues here on a number of occasions.  I’ve often discussed big picture issues such as global warming and invasive species.  The reality, however, is that critically important environmental concerns are literally visible right before our very eyes every day.  Awareness of and action on those concerns collectively adds up to a better world, you know the whole thinking globally but acting locally concept.  It really does work.

But why, what’s the point?  We walked back through the Hadwen this morning.  It still feels like winter around here, though the snow is rapidly disappearing.  The forest is still dressed for the cold, even though there are buds on the trees.  When the morning light cuts through the forest, revealing stories, shapes and shadows, you know why places like this matter. (Click on the images for a better view.)

Yep, some assistance is in order here.  (Though interestingly, what you see below is called “large woody debris” after a timber cut or harvest.  I’m not sure what the intent was of leaving the debris here, but wild life love this stuff.)

Thanks to Mr. Hadwen and those who have shown an interest in the trees here.

Spring and the Water is Flowing

We’re sitting here waiting for it to snow again.  Enough already!  However, the big picture is clearly working to our advantage.  It is in fact spring and the melt is underway.  The water is flowing again.  (Click on the image for a better view.)

This is at Gate 41 in Hardwick, one of our favorite spots.  Here Rand Brook (I believe I’ve got the name right) flows toward the Quabbin Reservoir. The last time we were here the Brook was still doing OK, but now it’s quite interesting.

It’s important to keep in mind that the waters around here worked for a living.  Rand Brook powered several factories downstream.   In the spring when the snow melts, you can get a clearer sense of the water’s power and potential.  The same day we stopped at the Eastern Branch of the Swift River, perhaps the largest source of water feeding the Quabbin Reservoir.

Just off Route 122 the River leaves an area owned in part by the Harvard Forest and enters the Swift River Reservation, owned by the Trustees of the Reservations.   The Falls, man made and visible from the road, are impressive this time of year.

The background hills create a stunning vista, reminding you of the River’s context.

And it’s current job.

Boston’s Water

I’ve been working on a new presentation of imagery in preparation for several new ways of sharing the work.  I’ve always loved black and white photography. It’s changed a great deal over the years, but hopefully it’s impact has not.  Here’s a new slideshow taking you through the Quabbin watershed from north to south.  If you leave in Boston or environs the water you see here will reach you, in two years.  And it will be extraordinarily clean.  Enjoy.  Make sure your audio volume is turned on. To see it in full screen click the expansion icon on the bottom right of the video.

Two more techno apologies are in order here.  I tried launching this earlier today, and the video quality was not adequate.  It’s better now, but if you’d like to see the actual vimeo video, which is still better, click here. Also, again, this may not work in hand held devices.

Thanks to Chris, Al, Kym, Brian and Ed for their feedback and support.

Of Forests and Men

We are reminded by events in Japan of just how fragile our world is, and how dependent we are on the good will of Mother Nature.  Our sympathies go out to those effected by the earthquake there.   There is very little that we an take for granted it seems, certainly not  in the natural world.

This week I”m again posting some work by another artist, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, who created a magnificent multimedia piece, Of Forests and Men. This is the International Year of Forests, a celebration (and wake up call) of the incredible importance of our relationship with forests, sponsored by the United Nations.  You can read more about it here.  One of the many aspects of this project that impresses me is the emphasis placed on the interweaving of science and art.  You can read more about their interesting approach toward educating about the forest at the link, so I’ll spare you the repetition here and offer this video as a great example.  (Those of you who don’t care about the environment will still enjoy this video I’d wager. The photography and production are terrific, a great example of what multimedia can do.   Give it a chance.)  Enjoy.

Unfortunately those of you viewing this on a hand held device may not be able to see the video.  Evidently WordPress, for security reasons, doesn’t allow embedding with I-frames.  What’s an I-frame?  Couldn’t tell you but in this case I guess it matters.  My apologies.