A Photo a Week Challenge: The Great Outdoors

We live in rural Massachusetts, but it’s hard to think of it as “the great outdoors.”

There’s something a bit enclosed about New England. Trees and stone fences. No big open areas, but smaller sections. Fields, valleys, rivers, lakes … and an amazing Atlantic coast. We are less grand than the west but cozier. Greener.

Less grand than the west, but friendlier. And we get more than enough snow to make up the difference!

The cows in the meadow
The last of the woods, now bare
Vermont mountains
Roaring dam in Blackstone
Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong
River Bend in early winter
Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong –Winter at home



Christmas down by the Mumford River 
Another square for BeckyB

In downtown Uxbridge, they have decorated the park. I think this is the first time I’ve seen more than the snowflakes. They’ve been around for a few years. But this year, we have reindeer, an elf, a couple of snow guys and a big red sleigh. That’s huge for little old Uxbridge.

A snow guy along the Mumford dam in downtown Uxbridge

Since we have a park and a river and two dams in the middle of town, it’s quite decorative. Since we were getting dentistry done next door, I got lucky and took some pictures.

Time is a ‘wasting! It will be Christmas next Tuesday!


We went to the dentist today.

What does that have to do with Christmas? Well, it happens that the dentist’s office is adjacent to the Mumford dam, river, and canal, so while Garry was waiting in the office — also very nicely decorated for the season — I went out and took pictures.

Welcome to the Mumford dam!
And welcome from the little snow guy!

I didn’t take any birdie pictures today. Two reasons. One was not much time since we were due at the dentist pretty early and because I picked up the camera and there was a big red sign in the middle of the screen which, according to MY eyes said ” White Product!”


More greetings standing next to the little canal and its locks.
One snowflake and the lock rivulet

It took me a few minutes to realize what it really said was “Write Protected.” It was an old chip and the little thingie that you use to set/unset write protection. Unfortunately, by the time I figured out that the SD card was dead, the squirrel I was trying to shoot had rambled off into the woods.

Reindeer, sleigh, snow guy, and a path.
Reindeer and dam

My eyes really need some help … like new glasses. And Garry has a broken tooth and no, we absolutely can’t afford a crown. Not on credit or for cash. We do not have the money and I also have to fix the chimney before it falls down on its own. That would be very bad.

More reindeer

Nonetheless, I got really nice pictures of the park all decorated for the holidays, not to mention the dentists waiting room which looks a lot better than my house.

Little bridge and locks over a tiny canal

I never got to see the dentist because I forgot to take my antibiotics. I have to take four HUGE antibiotics before getting my teeth worked on. Actually, I have to take a lot of antibiotics for a lot of things that could happen, but if I’m good, won’t happen. Supposedly.

Bridge over the Mumford River and one reindeer

So no new bird pictures, but I still have plenty of birdie shots awaiting first publication. Just saying.


RDP Tuesday: Bridge

There is a small stone bridge over the Blackstone River where it meets the canal and become two pieces. I photograph it frequently in pretty much every season except deep winter when it’s inaccessible due to snow.

I love that little bridge. Stone bridge. Actually, it’s Route 16 on its way to Milford then Boston then even further out towards Lynn. One long route.

It’s not just a road … a route. It consists of many roads and I don’t know what they call it here, but it’s definitely Route 16!

Bridge over the Blackstone
Photo: Garry Armstrong
Stone Bridge over the Blackstone

Stone bridge over the Blackstone River and Canal


A Photo a Week Challenge: Bridges

We don’t have any big bridges near us, but we do have bridges.


River bridges on every road.

Railroad bridges.

Highway overpasses.

The railroad bridge, downtown Uxbridge
Highway bridge
Little bridge over the Mumford
Stone bridge over the river and canal in Autumn
Photo: Garry Armstrong – Footbridge at River Bend
Little footbridge over tiny canal alongside the Mumford
Footbridge at River Bend


FOWC with Fandango — Dingy

I thought I knew this word. It could be a little boat, often a little boat that lives on a bigger boat and is used to back and forth from the shoreline. It can also mean a little bit drab, or perhaps not entirely clean. It also can mean a sort of grubby off-blond hair color … or a faded hair color.

What I did not know is that it’s also a photographic term, meaning grainy and maybe a bit dark. Not shiny, maybe a bit fuzzy.

It is in the same category as grunge or grungy  — which is sort of like a softened version of HDR, but grainier and not as sharp. Also, things that are described as “chalky” frequently are also dingy.

It isn’t the same as “softened” because soft means taking the edge off the picture. Used a lot in photographs, especially of older people who don’t want to see every wrinkle and skin discoloration.

So these two are both dingy pictures. They look a bit antique and the light is subtly striated. Who knew, right? Yet another definition for a term you won’t find in the dictionary.

THE CHANGING SEASONS, October 2018 – Marilyn Armstrong

The Changing Seasons: October 2018

Photographs: Marilyn & Garry Armstrong and The Blackstone Valley

Today I ordered “Milestones & Guideposts of Massachusetts and Southeastern New Hampshire.” I know I’m an eclectic reader, but sometimes I’m so eclectic I surprise even me. The worst part of my passion for odd yet historic books is they are expensive. There are no bargains on the only book ever written on this subject. The pictures are all black and white — and not very sharp. You can’t get it for Kindle, either. Not that it would make much sense as an e-book.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

No, this is one you need to hold in your hand as you walk through a strange alley in Boston or the edge of a woods in the Valley.

Still, I couldn’t help myself. New England was one of the first places on the continent infested with Europeans. Being of a practical turn of mind, instead of building new roads, they followed Native American trails and set up milestones and guideposts to point the way to the first couple of “cities” in the area: Boston and its harbor (aka “the Bay”) and Springfield.

Marilyn’s October

Once you passed through Springfield, you were in the wilds of Connecticut … or whatever it was called back then. After you got to Boston or the Bay, you stopped … or got on a sailing ship.

I’m hoping to track down some of these spots. There are quite a few milestones nearby. I know there is one in Uxbridge — I found it quite by accident one day while getting lost. I never found it again. There is another in Mendon and a bunch various parts of Worcester County and of course, Boston. Some of these are now alongside major roads.

The Native American paths originally marked eventually became roads and later, highways. Some are in an alley in Boston. Others are hidden in a woods or in someone’s yard. Not all are mapped. For all I know, there might be one buried in our woods.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

On days like this, I muse on what the history of this area would be had Europeans not invaded it in the 1500s. If, instead of conquest, societies had melded and produced a decent world for all of us.

It’s a forlorn hope, I know, but it didn’t have to be this way.

Garry’s October

October has been too warm and rain for the first couple of weeks, wet and windy since then. We had some pretty colors yesterday and today, but for the end of October, there’s a lot of green on the trees.

After the storm hits us tomorrow (and Sunday, Monday and maybe Tuesday), I’d be surprised if there are enough leaves left on the trees. Not every fall is a great one.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

It has been pretty, but we never really hit our stride. Nonetheless, we did take a lot of pictures of the Mumford in Uxbridge and the Blackstone everywhere.

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  1 – Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month

2 – Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

   1 – Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month

  2 – Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

  3 – Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su-Leslie’s post, she will update it to include your links.