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Posts tagged ‘photography’

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.

Herons Along the Blackstone River

It is very hard if you’re out in nature in New England on a routine basis to not develop a fascination with herons. These wonderfully large and patient birds are actually quite easy to photograph. Working stiffs, they only get annoyed with you if you get so close that you screw with their fishing. Can’t say that I blame them. Their markings and scars give each bird a distinctive purpose. For whatever reason, it has been a great year for heron along the Blackstone River. I thought I share a few environmental and reflective portraits as the season wanes.

hunt_160620_1120624-edit-editBlackstone River Heritage Park, Upton, Massachusetts

hunt_160815_1020843-edit-edithunt_160831_1130459-edit-edithunt_160831_1130468-edit-editBlackstone Valley Bicycle Path, Millbury, Massachusetts

hunt_160814_dsc4192-edithunt_160814_dsc4216-edit-editWoonsocket Falls, Woonsocket, Rhode Island

hunt_160831_1130586-edit-editBlackstone Valley Bicycle Path, Millbury, Massachusetts

New Publication in Black and White Magazine

I just wanted to pass along that my one of my Quabbin Portfolios, Constructing Quabbin, received a Merit Award from Black and White Magazine and as a result, a number of images from that portfolio has been published in the June edition.  I’m honored by the selection.  The portfolio should be published on the magazine’s web site shortly.  You can find the magazine and ordering information here.  However, the web site presentation has not yet gone live, but the magazine is available at places like Barnes and Noble and some independent bookstores, so I thought I’d pass this along.  Being on the road and far from any bookstores, I haven’t seen it yet myself and as a result, I don’t know which images they’ve published.  So, here are a few of the images they have to work with, as a special sneak preview.  Thanks again to  Black and White MagazineHunt_140406_Hunt_140406_093054-Edit

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Along the Blackstone River – Worcester to River Bend Farm

The Blackstone River project continues though I have no idea where it will lead.  Researching an idea and then getting out in the field is definitely an exciting experience.  The more I find out about the River then more intriguing it becomes.  It makes up in Worcester, the industrial heartland that it helped to create.  This view of Beaver Brook is less than half a mile from my home.

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The white object in the upper left is a mattress.  Fairly random I know.  Beaver Brook joins forces with Middle River about two miles away, to give genesis to the Blackstone itself.  As you can see, there isn’t terribly much left that is natural about Beaver Brook.  Where we’re standing is where the Brook comes out from below ground.  It is tunneled in for around a mile, reappears in Beaver Brook Park off Chandler Street in Worcester and then disappears again.  It would seem that civilization has trumped nature, in this case.  That is the story here I think, the tension and synergy between nature and civilization writ large.

As I said in the previous post, the Blackstone is one of the most polluted Rivers in the U.S., which is saying something.  It was indeed the home of the industrial revolution and it’s 400 plus foot drop from Worcester, Massachusetts to Pawtucket, Rhode Island meant water power.  At Pawtucket, a Mr. Slater founded the first Cotton Mill in the United States, the very first one.  The impact of that bit of industrialization on the entire country cannot be over-stated.  More on that to come.

Nature has reasserted herself though along the way.  Just a bit of research pointed us toward River Bend Farm in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, less than twenty-miles away.  River Bend is actually a state park, managed by the Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation, though it is affiliated with the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor which is  under the management of the National Park Service.  It is perhaps ten to fifteen miles long.  It runs along a stretch of the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal itself, parts of which at this location are still clearly visible.  This is an image of the Canal from new the Visitor Center there.

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The Canal Barges were propelled, or rather pulled along, by horses that trod along the tow path you can see to the right. In places, the Canal and River intermingle, as seems to be the case here at the Arch Bridge approximately half mile north.

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But what about that 400 foot drop from Worcester to Providence?  The Canal required a series of locks to make the journey possible.  Here is the Goat Hill Lock, one of the few remaining that is still largely visible.

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A barge would enter the lock and a door shut behind it.  There was also a door shut in front.   Water would be pumped out or in to the lock depending upon the direction the barge was heading.  The water level would reach that of the next leg of the journey and the door in front would open, allowing the barge to carry on.  This lock is ten feet wide.  That is not the pathway for flowing water, that is the entire lock, meaning that the barges were all less than ten feet wide.  All that, and it was still cheaper than sending goods over land, evidently considerably cheaper.  The barge then moved ahead into an area of the Canal or River such as this.

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Obviously, no passing in the lock.  However, on the good side, very little need for a GPS.  More to come.

A Walk in the Park

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.

Happy Thanksgiving.

(Technical note:  All images created with an infrared converted Nikon D200, converted to black and white in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro.)