THE CANAL FLOWS PAST US – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Friday: CANAL

We live in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor which is sort of like a national park but without the funding. That’s the Blackstone Valley for you. Incredible historic areas which are unique to this continent.

Little bridge and locks over a tiny canal

Mills and a river with many canals and locks that rolls along for miles by the river. Sometimes, the river and the canal are one unit. When the water gets rough, the two parts divide into two portions, one having locks to allow barges to deal with waterfalls and white water, the other just the river. Uxbridge has one of the larger sections of a free-flowing canal.

Canal and Blackstone River where they separate and become two streams.

In Worcester, they actually buried the canal under its streets. Worcester is an ugly little city that is always trying to dress up like a real city and never succeeds. Maybe because of its history of putrefaction, factories, river pollution, sewage pollution and some of the ugliest architecture I’ve ever seen anywhere.

Along the diagonal of the canal

Perhaps NOT burying the canal and polluting the river might have made them a more attractive location. We tried to buy a really lovely house up there, but no bank would finance it. It wasn’t that the house wasn’t a beauty. It was glorious and for us, cheap. But the banks wouldn’t finance anything up there. They said: “Buy somewhere else.”

And that is how we wound up in The Valley. By the river and the canal.

Steps to the canal

You cannot live in this valley and be further than a quarter of a mile from the river, a tributary, a stream, pond, or a canal. We have more parks than grocery stores and banks combined. We have herons, swans, ducks, geese, and about a million (or more) snapping tortoises in the river. Also, trout and baby trout.

The canal in summer

Finally, fishing is allowed in many places and sometimes, even swimming. Personally, I’m not swimming anywhere near where those snapping tortoises are hanging. I value my toes.

And the river and bridge in winter

This is a beautiful place to live. A little light in the culture department, but if nature does it for you, this is a great place to live.

And in the autumn …

And we do have the country’s first free public library in the middle of town. Just so you know, we used to be a bit snazzier!

Blackstone Canal

THE GREAT OUTDOORS, NEW ENGLAND VERSION – Marilyn Armstrong

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

 

TIME FOR A LITTLE CHRISTMAS DECORATION – Marilyn Armstrong

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!

A MERRY UXBRIDGE CHRISTMAS – Marilyn Armstrong

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!”

What?

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.

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT- THE BRIDGE

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

BRIDGES: A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Bridges


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

Footbridges.

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

DINGY – NOT ALWAYS WHAT YOU EXPECT – Marilyn Armstrong

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.