I’ve been inspired by Elm Park, in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts, for many years. In so many ways, it mirrors the the beauty, the potential, and the struggles of life. (Click on the horizontal images for a better view.)
It was born in idealism and is chronically underfunded. It’s inhabitants, wonderfully urbane trees, flourish in the spring and summer, put on an incredible light show in the fall, and then have to withstand the winter. But, they seem, mostly, to make it through. At least they have each other.
It’s nice to have them around.
(Technical note: All images created with an infrared converted Nikon D200, converted to black and white in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro.)
Fall in New England is definitely photography season. Though actually any season is “photography season” if you play your cards right. But fall brings with it color. Our eyes are have been trained by evolution to see green. That’s where there’s food and where other critters tend to hide. Being good at seeing green is as such helpful. That’s what we do for a living. What we really like, however, is color, red and yellow in particular.
These are a few final shots from this past fall. The image above was taken on a very windy day at Gate 35 in the Quabbin Reservoir. Below, Silver Cascade in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Now we move to a different color palette. (The Quinapoxet River, West Boylston, MA)
And I get the urge for going. (Thank you Joni Mitchell.)
OK, so what is wrong with this picture?
Actually, if you’re from New England, this is a softball question to be sure. The answer is now burned indelibly on your mind. Pretty fall foliage, just past peak, leaves falling onto the fresh white snow…. This is a really really bad combination. The night before, the scene looked more like this.
Just three weeks later and this collision would not have occurred. Eight inches of snow in New England? Water off a ducks back. (Frozen water, but still.) No big deal. Nobody gets hurt unless they are driving crazy. And fall foliage? We love it. But the two just don’t mix. We are reminded by such events of the very delicate balance that exists in nature. Trouble can be far closer than we imagine. A minor adjustment in climate here, an accident there and the results can make life very difficult for us. Perhaps we should be cautious about tipping the balance.