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.
Blackstone River Heritage Park, Upton, Massachusetts
Blackstone Valley Bicycle Path, Millbury, Massachusetts
Woonsocket Falls, Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Blackstone Valley Bicycle Path, Millbury, Massachusetts
One of my favorite books of all time was Time and Again, by the great Jack Finney. The book tells the story of a young man who with a bit of assistance from the government (clandestine of course) was able to engage in time travel. No equipment required though. All he had to do was make himself open to the experience. Time passes but it doesn’t really pass. It is still there if we know how to relate to it. The book’s star was residing, at the request of his coconspirators, at Manhattan’s famous Dakota building. After quite some time trying to figure out how to be open to the experience, and many false starts, he simply woke up one morning, went outside and it was the later 19th century. He had taken up the past’s invitation to visit.
It reminded me of what I try to see when visiting a place with the past. I do wish I could visit it for real (of course, I’m sure I would have no idea how to cope but what fun is it to think about that). Sometimes you can find a door or at least a window to the past, an object, an artifact, a story, a book. Walking along what was once the Blackstone Canal ins Uxbridge, MA it’s easy to hear history’s rumblings. In the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Park you’re walking along the towpath after all. A team of mules pulled the canal boats along the journey from Worcester to Providence. If it’s quiet, it is easy to ponder what it was like when the towpath was actually in use, in the early 1800’s. For me, one of the windows into that state of reverie are the intense reflections that can be seen there on a calm day.. They are intense enough to be disorienting and I offer you a small collection here. I resisted the temptation to turn them upside down. You’re welcome.
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.
A nice Christmas gift, the left us almost as quickly as it arrived. Happy Holidays to you and yours.
When you’re close to a great location, return visits are often very rewarding. You can develop a level of intimacy with place. You start to suspect that you’ll see things differently along certain paths. And of course, you experience the location in different weather and different light. So back to Elm Park (Worcester, MA, USA) we go, once again accompanied by the increasingly trusty Nikon V1. Love that little camera and it fits right into the overcoat pocket. For those who want to know, the lens that is usually on the camera is the 10 – 100 mm zoom. It’s really a power zoom for video, but it covers a lot of territory, focal length wise. That range is the equivalent to 28 – 280 mm on a full frame 35 mm camera. The reflections in the pond continue to call out, as though they have a life of their own. (Click on the image for a slightly better view.)
Honestly, not a lot of photoshop post processing here. Pretty much point shoot and print.
I did, however, flip all three in terms of orientation. When you’re standing on the shoreline, the reflections are of course upside down. Here’s the old Fire Alarm Building along Park Ave. This is actually a two image panorama.