It was a gorgeous day. Warm, but not hot. Finally, everything is blooming. The trees are in leaf except for oak — they are in bud, but any day now.


It was busy by the canal. Families fishing. Runners using the old horse paths. Couples strolling. And, of course, Marilyn and I taking pictures. We fit right in.


Because we’ve shot this so many times, I tried to find some new angles. I think I did pretty well. Of course, it’s such a beautiful spot … hard to go far wrong.




It was a rough winter, but for me, it’s been a difficult spring. Half of March and pretty much all of April just went missing while I was having surgery, in the hospital, then home recovering. Meanwhile, the garden’s been on its own.

wild garden may 2014

Not as many flowers as usual. To no one’s surprise, the weeds and wildflowers have taken over. I’m in no condition to tend the garden — so this year, it gets to do its own thing. Express itself.

It’s a free garden, unfettered by human interference. Some would call it a mess. I call it independent.



Most of the flowers in our garden are technically wildflowers. I planted a lot of “real” flowers in the beginning, but most of them haven’t survived the wicked winters.

solomon's seal

Rather than fight a losing battle, I’ve preferred to let the hardier species take over the space.

One of my favorites is the Solomon’s Seal. It’s a native wildflower that lives all over the world. It was endangered for a while in this area but has made a nice comeback.

solomon's seal

Solomon’s Seal grows almost everywhere in the temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Twenty of the more than 60 species are native to China. It is edible and (so they say) tasty, though I’ve never eaten it. If the price of veggies keeps going up, I’ll give it a try!

solomon's seal



To say I’ve spent the better part of a lifetime chasing the light sounds philosophical. Perhaps, on some level, it is because I’ve done my share of looking for truth. Occasionally, I’ve even found a bit of it.

Yellow leaves by the river, photo: Marilyn Armstrong

More often, I’ve been chasing light with a camera, shooting up, up, up into the trees, looking for a perfect ray of sunshine filtering through a leafy canopy, waiting to become a perfect picture.

sun and misty woods

Sunlight in woods


Sun's rays on little canal

To get the rays of the sun, I don’t use a filter. I shoot into the sun, they move the camera a few degrees of center until I can see the rays in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. You don’t need a special filter. I didn’t use filters on any of these pictures.



A Poem to the Thawing Wind

By Robert Frost


Come with rain, O loud Southwester!
Bring the singer, bring the nester;
Give the buried flower a dream;
Make the settled snow-bank steam;
Find the brown beneath the white;
But whate’er you do to-night,
Bathe my window, make it flow,
Melt it as the ice will go;
Melt the glass and leave the sticks
Like a hermit’s crucifix;
Burst into my narrow stall;
Swing the picture on the wall;
Run the rattling pages o’er;
Scatter poems on the floor;
Turn the poet out of door.



Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Small Subjects

How small is small enough? Icicles this past winter hung from the gutters above my office window, naturally black and white, just needing a bit of brightening and increased contrast.


Are the icicles small enough to be small subjects? I guess it depends on your definition of small … and compared to what.



Morning woods in summer

Morning. Although I want to sleep late, I almost never do. On summer mornings, I drink my coffee and watch the early sun filter through my woods. Each day, the world is made anew.

Morning sun in summer

Cat Stevens’ rendition of this traditional Christian hymn is beautiful, as is the presentation. I ask that you please leave your prejudices behind. It is a beautiful song of praise.

It’s the bonus you get if you arise early. Late sleepers, make an occasional exception and see the world in a different light.

Summer early morning woodland



Not much is blooming right now. The crocuses are gone. I saw the crocus, but wasn’t able to do anything but look at them. Most of the daffodils are gone too, but these few have hung around, just to keep us from getting crazy from a lack of color in the garden. I’m not up to much, but I snapped a couple of shots of these, just so spring won’t completely pass me by!

These are my first pictures since all the surgery. No great shakes, but something to brighten the day.


Dawn In Our Woods – Marilyn Armstrong

Rising sun.

Sometimes, Garry and I are guests on an overnight radio show. We used to do it every 5 or 6 weeks, but I was ill for a long time and I haven’t been able to do it for the past year. I loved doing the show and we always arrived home just as dawn broke. This was one of those post-radio show mornings.

This is mid March in New England. The sun in March is just starting its change from the white light of winter to the yellow sun of spring.

The sun is up.

Marsh and Wetlands – Marilyn Armstrong

Along the river you will find marsh and wetlands. These are the places where the birds feed and breed, where fish lay their eggs, where turtles multiply and come out to sun themselves on the rocks.

Herons, egrets, and other water fowl make their homes here. Humans generally don’t like these areas much. Too many bugs.

Mosquitoes are thick in the air, but they make wonderful food for many of the smaller creatures that live in these areas. Rich with life of all kinds, the wetlands are fed by the same river that flows down from the Worcester hills to the sea at Providence.

The wetlands are beautiful and rich … Just make sure you wear a lot of insect repellent. And bring your camera.

The wetlands and marsh that spreads out along the river are the richest ecological areas in the region and are fragile. Around the valley, because the river so dominates our environment, the wetlands are to be found anywhere and everywhere.

Homeowners get upset when they are told they aren’t allowed to build on areas of their own land because it’s protected wetlands … especially when they didn’t know they had on wetlands on the property.

I think we have some wetland way back in our woods … a small pond too, though I’ve never made it there through the brambles. It’s not a place I’d ever think to build anyway. They are an inconvenience and we have to work around them, but we protect them because we need them. And they need us.