BETWIXT AND BETWEEN THE SEASONS

BETWIXT AND BETWEEN SEASONS IN THE BLACKSTONE VALLEY

Winter is my off-season, but it isn’t really off-season if, for example, you love skiing or ice skating. Summer — not my favorite season — is very popular. Picnics, barbecue, swimming, and hanging on the beach. To me, beach equals sun-stroke and third degree burns, with sand in unmentionable places.

Autumn is New England in its full glory. If we have an “in” season, autumn is it. So … what’s left?

Whitins Pond November

Whitins Pond – November

March and April. After the snow is gone, but before the leaves and flowers appear.

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Blackstone River – Early March

Late November and usually December. When the bright leaves are gone, but the snow hasn’t arrived.

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November on the pond

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December on the farm

Otherwise, New England and our valley are always in season.

JUNE IN THE BLACKSTONE VALLEY – MONTHLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

Monthly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons 06

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The rules are simple. Every month, each of us posts pictures of the same area where we live that shows the seasons as they change. It’s June and spring has truly sprung. Everything is blooming.

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The waterways are full. The wind is gentle and warm. To think, less than two months ago, we were up to our hips in snow and ice.

I went a little farther afield and included a picture of the harbor at Quincy, about 25 miles away. Otherwise, these are all within 3 miles of home. A few of them are Garry’s. Look at the signature for appropriate attribution.

The world turns and each season comes, to be replaced by the next. I got a couple of new lenses, so you’re going to say long shots and macros. Because what’s the point of a new lens if you don’t use it, right?

Fuchsia 4  June 2015

ALL ABOUT SOLOMON’S SEAL

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.

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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

SPRING HAS SPRUNG

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Spring has well and truly sprung. A month ago, it was winter. Now, it’s summer. Air-conditioning and all. Oh, and did I mention the pollen? The pollen is in hyper-drive. Everything is coated in green, from the cars to the windows. Everyone is sneezing. Runny eyes. Coughs. Congestion.

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That’s way spring arrives in New England. It seems like it will never come … then it bursts, full bore and everything blooms at the same time.

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Today was so beautiful. A perfect spring day with just the beginnings of leaves on the trees.

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EDEN – A BIT OF SCIENCE FICTION

After months in a cryo-tube, they finally woke me. What a headache! Sheesh. And holy moly, I really had to go to the bathroom, after which I needed not so much a shower as a sandblasting. That cryo gunk is sticky and it gets into places you just wouldn’t … well, maybe you would … believe.

Then there was food. Never in my entire life have I wanted to eat a starship, including the cargo. Talk about an appetite. Not just me. Everyone had just been wakened at the same time and we all felt hollow.

T.S. Eliot was spinning in my head:

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

I vaguely remembered more of the poem.

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

I hoped the poem was not a predictor of explorations to come. Given the awful condition in which we left Earth, we needed to find a new home. A fertile planet on which crops will grow. Where the battered human race could remember its better self. We had not been superior to cockroaches in a long time.

Finally after eating for what seemed an eternity, we donned our lime green suits — the lightweight ones for worlds that are not hostile, merely unknown — and they opened the doors. We emerged. Into paradise.

Breathtaking. The colors were a bit odd. Pink sky and pale blue clouds. The plants were all kinds of colors, like a riotous flower garden. The whole planet was a garden. So we named it “Eden” — which I thought was a mistake.

We got kicked out of Eden already. But what do I know? I don’t make the Big Decisions. Way above my pay grade. You might say I was just along for the ride.

Before we reboarded the ship, I had a little thought. I dawdled. Picked up the litter we’d left behind. Found a big piece of cardboard.

Must have been a box of some sort, but it would make a pretty good sign. I found a piece of wood to which I could attach it. I had a nail gun in my tool kit and a big marking pen. It hadn’t dried out and worked in the lower gravity of this new planet.

New to us, but home to so much other life. Like Earth had been before we stripped her of everything but trash.

I put my sign near where we’d landed. Hopefully future expeditions would land in more or less the same spot. I wrote my message. In my best handwriting. Using huge letters so no one could miss it — or mistake its meaning:

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IDYLLIC