I’m honored to report that one of my images just received a third place award at the “Anything Goes” Photography Exhibition at the Blackstone Valley Arts Association in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. There is some tremendous work in the exhibition so if you’re in the area, considering stopping in. I was particularly pleased because the juror was Stephen Dirado. He’s one of the top fine art photographers in New England and though I’ve actually never met him, I’ve followed him for some time. He shots large format black and white photography, and his imagery is absolutely stunning. This is an abstract image, taken at the South Natick Dam along the Charles River. I thought of a Greek Letter. You’re invited to draw your own conclusions.
I’m honored to have had two images chosen by the Blackstone Heritage Corridor and National Park Service for inclusion in their 2018 Calendar. Both are from the River Bend Farm National Heritage Corridor in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. I’ve mentioned this location before. This portion of the National Heritage Corridor explores the Blackstone Canal, which was constructed in 1827-28 running from Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island. The Canal was open for only two decades and was considered a business failure. Inspired by the success of the Erie Canal in New York, the Blackstone Canal was to provide relatively inexpensive and fairly rapid transportation along this developing corridor. It’s history turned out to be torturous as it was initially thought to be a boon for the growing cotton mill industry along the Blackstone River. Soon however, the Mill owners were suing the Canal owners over the use of water from the River. This on the heels of the conflicts between the areas farmers and industrialists over water use.
This section of the Canal has been restored. The tow path runs along the Canal and was used by Ox and Mules to power the boats that navigated the canal. For July:
Both of these images show an unusually wide portion of the Canal which was for the most part extremely narrow. For November:
The work of the National Park Service as well as the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts here in the Blackstone Corridor helps us to try and grapple with the very complex intersections between the natural environment, entrepreneurship, social policy and social justice that took place and still are in play in the Corridor. As I’ve pointed out, the Blackstone River was one of the Rivers that actually provoked the Clean Water Act, signed by that noted environmentalist, Richard Nixon…(hey, he signed it, so good for him). The lessons from the Corridor are lessons that evolve over hundreds of years. It is not easy for us to understand those lessons for that very reason, but by holding the discussion, we can perhaps make progress.
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending the second annual Biodiversity Festival hosted by the Corridor, in Lincoln, Rhode Island. It was inspiring to see so many people, including our wonderful daughter Molly, who are engaged in trying to protect our environment. Molly works at the Northern Rhode Island Conservation District. These folks engage in a wide variety of environmental and educational activities with the goal of protecting the drinking water for a large number of Rhode Island citizens. Drinking water….kind of important I think. One lesson is clear: protect that which is essential to our lives.
Congressman Jim McGovern and colleagues did a nice job of nurturing hope and resistance at today’s March for Science held in Elm Park, Worcester, Massachusetts. I have studiously tried to avoid launching into rants on this blog in recent years, largely on doctor’s orders. But, as McGovern said, and I have to paraphrase rather than quote, if you asked me twenty years ago if I would have to help stage a march in favor of science some day, I’d say, ‘what are you, nuts?’ But here we are.It is worth reminding ourselves that the E.P.A. was created during the Nixon Presidency. You remember Nixon, the well loved republican. Oh, wait…. Even that guy, expletive deleted that he was, couldn’t hold a candle to our current expletive deleted. Trump’s efforts to lower the collective IQ and fire up the coal industry have left me feeling a sense of deja vu and I have finally figured out why. He’s building up an industry for which there is little or no market. It reminds me of the golden days of the U.S.S.R., which is probably no coincidence. In that centrally planned economy, they would crank out concrete that wasn’t ever going to be shipped anywhere. No customers. So we mine coal and further screw up an already vulnerable planet while the UK celebrates their first day of using no coal, anywhere, for anything. I would not call the UK a bastion of liberal thought. Perhaps they just know how to do business. But, here we are.
It was encouraging to join the assembly today. The weather was dreadful. There is a far bigger march taking place in Boston. No matter. Sometimes you just need to rant. Sorry doc.