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Posts tagged ‘Natick’

Season’s Greetings

2020, what can one say that hasn’t already been said? Nothing that could be shared on a family site, that’s for sure. Like nearly everyone else on the planet, my life was turned upside down in March of this year. My day job, which I love very much, is that of a professor, really a teacher. I am fortunate enough to have the chance to work with some truly terrific students. In March, they rallied in spite of everything that was going on, and we, the faculty, tried to keep up with them. Actually, most of us tried to help them which was tough because we were caught in the same fire storm.

When you are trying to teach or learn (or probably do anything), everything on line is more difficult than it is face to face. Everything takes more time. Everything takes more energy. You are much less sure of whether or not you are being understood and whether or not you are understanding your students. There is almost no time for “chatting” which turns out to be one of the most important activities in which humans engage. Chatting is where we really find out the truth, what is going on, how someone else is doing, and how you’re doing. You can’t schedule an accidental chat on line.

I have had 110 students in the fall, 85 or so more this spring. Luckily, the spring folks are people who I got to know in the fall. We did a sprint in the fall semester, August 24 till the day before the Thanksgiving (U.S.) break. No vacation days, no holidays, just keep at it. But we got some good work done and we got to know one another. Now we are in the middle of a two month break before we go into another sprint. I have to say, I miss them, most of the time….

But I’m OK, the family is OK, no one who was close to us got the virus….and hopefully we’ll keep it that way. We were blessed with a new granddaughter in January, before the roof caved in. We can all whine with the best of em, but we really are very fortunate. There but for the grace of God go I. Some of my students (my students are all online and all over the world) did get covid. They have all survived. It’s terribly real and terribly frightening. Don’t believe for a second that some young people as well as their families don’t become terribly ill. They do. In the U.S. we screwed this up royally. It didn’t have to be as bad as it has become. Help, as everyone knows, is on the way. Everyone in my world is anxious to take the vaccine and get on with life (though we all know that it won’t be that simple or that quick).

So the photographic work had to take a bit of a back seat. I do have two large projects underway and hopefully the galleries will be opening by the fall. I will be returning to blog writing from here on out, as I love it, and I don’t like the limitations and craziness of Facebook, etc. The two projects I do have underway have some serious angst attached, not surprisingly, so they didn’t seem right for the season.

Fortunately, I had an alternative. If you’ve read this blog for a while you may recall these images. They are from a series titled, “The Color in the Grass.” These are very high key images of fall grasses taken at the Broadmore Audubon location in Natick, Massachusetts. On a lark, I entered them in a juried exhibition pool at Photoplace Gallery in Vermont, the exhibition being appropriated titled “Botanicals.” Amazingly, one of them made the cut.

Those of you who like botanical/flower imagery should take a look at the exhibition, which is posted on line. You can find it here. The imagery in the show is amazing. I can’t for the life of me figure out why my image was chosen, but nevertheless, I appreciate the honor! Here are some additional images from the set, a seasons greetings to you all. Here’s to a much better 2021!

In the Bleak Midwinter

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This past year was quite difficult for many.  This coming year looks a bit shaky. There is quite a bit to hope for, and also much to pray about.  Good luck to us all.

“In the Bleak Midwinter” is a Christmas Carol written by Christina Rossetti in the mid-19th century.  It is a song about survival.  These images are from Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick, MA, USA.

Contemplating the Water

Last week I posted a series of images of the water flow at the South Natick Dam, along the Charles in Natick, Massachusetts.  Using long exposure techniques I’ve enjoyed studying the way the water flows around its various obstructions.  My interest in the water, and enjoyment of being at the water is hardly new or unique of course.  The flow of water has been providing sustenance and soothing to humanity for as long as we’ve been here (though it doesn’t seem to help us much in weeks like this one).  Focus on water is of course also not unique to humans.  I was reminded of this recently while continuing to photograph here.

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Of course this fellow does it for a living.  Note that these are long exposures.  But he’s not moving. Those who photograph wildlife routinely will generally confirm that wild animals never actually stand still.  They may be quite, but not still.  He’s staring at the water and continued to do so for a good 20 minutes.  He then changed positions and continued his focused attention.  A young couple nearby struck up a conversation and reminded me that he’s doing that because he has to.  We listen to the water because we like it.  How did it all start?  We’ll see this fellow again soon.

Technical note:  These images were shot on film, TMAX 100 and Pan F 50.  Both are wonderful films, still available.  There is very  little grain visible except under a magnifying glass.  I sometimes shoot with film just to make me think about things in a more contemplative fashion.  I found it most helpful here.

A Holiday Gift

It’s been a challenging year, largely health wise.  I’m very glad it’s passing for the most part, though many good things have happened.  You realize who you can count on when times are tough and I’m blessed with some folks who were there for me.  My, wife, daughter and son-in-law are at the top of the list, along with a crucially important poodle, a couple of very good doctors and some friends.  Things are looking up so perhaps more productivity will be visible very shortly.  To all who have faced tough times, and there are so many in our world, I hope your 2016 offers some hope.

I must confess, then that in spite of their efforts to assist me, I hate going to the doctor.  It’s not the doctor, it’s going for the visit.  This is my problem, not their problem, but I hate it regardless.  I don’t know what the issue is, but it has always been with me even though I grew up around doctors.    Yesterday, we had the last visit for 2015 (but, ah, it ain’t over yet…..I know, I know, I’m knocking on wood as fast as I can!).  I was relieved, to say the least.  We’re heading home and looking for a creative thing to do for lunch.  Of course, it is spring time in New England (I know, I’m really tempting fate here for the second time in the same blog posting.  I’m sure I will be sorry I said that in a few days or weeks at most).  The temperature is unseasonably warm.  We decided to stop off at the South Natick Dam, a very contemplative spot along the Charles River in the town of Natick, Massachusetts.  Got a couple of chicken caesar wraps and went to sit on one of the benches along the river.  It was very dark and still cool, but getting warmer.  Actually, the air was becoming warmer than the very still water.  The show began.

Fog started to come drift down the river, which was so still it offered perfect reflections.  Always have a camera with you, and I don’t mean an iPhone.  I’ll let the images tell the rest of the story.

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A nice Christmas gift, the left us almost as quickly as it arrived.  Happy Holidays to you and yours.