It’s supposed to be better tomorrow. It’s always supposed to be better tomorrow, especially if you had photographic plans for today. At least it isn’t pouring. It’s just drippy and grey and muddy.
We went to the doctor yesterday and I noticed that now, many trees have changed color and if we can just get some decent weather, it might be time to go take some seriously autumnal pictures.
Meanwhile, we did take some pretty nice shots the other day at Manchaug. Call them the “pre-autumnal” photo set. Some by Garry, others by me.
Manchaug has one of the prettiest dams and falls in the area. Not nearly as big as many of the falls, it is high above the stream into which it falls and the way the light falls, the water is crystal pale while the background nearly black.
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Last week I asked a question about favorite beverages and the overwhelming favorite was coffee. If you drink coffee, how do you like it best? Hot, cold, iced, with cream, with sugar or black as black?
Hot coffee almost always, although every once in a while, I get a yen for iced, but not the commercial stuff with all that whipped cream and sugar.
Always with cream or half-and-half and fake sugar (Splenda). I don’t use fake sugar for other things, but in hot drinks, I do because of the way my system works, sugar hits me hard and sometimes badly when in hot drinks.
Oddly, I drink tea with nothing in it at all, not milk or lemon or sugar. I also love green tea, especially with Asian food. Only real tea, not that new-age herbal stuff which isn’t tea. It’s something, just not TEA.
In your opinion, what’s the greatest invention of our age?
Computers and all of the things that go with them. Modern cameras and sound machines. I could probably live without cell phones, but I’m very good working with everything else.
I just don’t like new cell phones. Oddly, I liked the less smart ones back in the 90s. When you could make actual phone calls and hear what the other guy was saying.
Global warming? Reality or myth?
The other day, Garry and I were driving around looking for Manchaug and I pointed out that this is the end of September and there is no sign of fall.
Summer has gotten longer and so has winter. Spring was never a big contender around here, but now, there’s really none at all. I have the pictures to prove it. This date even two or three years ago, half the trees were changing color and the nights were chilly while the days were crisp.
I have a closet full of cool weather jackets and coats that I don’t wear because it is summer — three days of cool weather — then the snow begins. Spring is cold. Sometime in April it stops snowing (usually), but the flowers we always got in May don’t show up until late June or even July. This year, we’ve had a re-blooming of daylilies (NEVER seen that before) and the rhododendrons re-bloomed, too.
When it finally got warm enough for the flowers, everything went into a hyper-growth mode. It was like summer in Alaska. Everything grew twice as fast as before, I suppose to make up for the missed months.
It has chilled down a lot in the past few days. I got up in the middle of the night and put on a flannel nightgown. I get cold more easily now than I used to. I think this is an aging thing. Garry gets cold too.
We used to get at least a month and on a good year six to eight weeks of Autumn in New England. Around the middle of September, a cold snap. The leaves would almost overnight change color. At least we HAD fall. Last year we had ONE week. Just one. Summer dragged on well into October and finally, we got one great week, then the leaves just fell down. Plunk.
Good thing I took pictures.
It’s not the same every year, mind you. But the seasons have absolutely changed. Everyone notices. It’s hotter where it was always warm, but now it is hotter and stays hot longer. The fires burn longer. The storms are more intense and, as good old Donzo says, “wetter.” Never have I been gladder we moved from the coastline a bit inland. Not enough inland, though. These devastating rains will get to us, too. It’s not an if, just a when.
I don’t know what I expected from climate change. I didn’t expect the explosions of rain and snow and storms and fires. The unevenness of it. There is no sequential flow to the seasons now. Stuff just happens and it happens big. There are no little storms. Everything is over the top. Superstorms with the kind of rain we’ve never seen in our lifetime.
Is that enough climate change for you? It works for me. There is no debate on this. We are in the midst of something scary and dangerous — and we are making it much worse.
But that’s because we have a moron running our country.
Although we usually photograph the dam in Manchaug, the area is known for it’s rather large and deep pond and an annual rubber duck race held there.
From the pond come a lot of streams, not all of which have names. They don’t run long distances, either … which is perhaps why they don’t have names.
This dam is near a mill. All the dams are near a mill because that’s why the dams were built — to power the mills. I don’t know what the mill is being used for now. Probably some kind of industrial space. The old stone mills were built very well and may well last nearly forever.
But the area also has some apocryphal history, that a Native chief was drowned in that stream having fallen from the pond above it. It’s a long drop and the stream isn’t very deep, so I can’t imagine many people would survive the fall.
When we first found the dam — actually, it was Kaitlin and me who found it the first time. We were wandering around looking for something to photograph when I heard the rushing water. Not every dam is beautiful to photograph, but Manchaug is different. It’s not part of the Blackstone River … just a narrow neck of the pond formed into a dam that drops straight down to a stream.
Right next to the stream, there’s a pre-school — directly between the old stone mill and the stream. Until recently, they didn’t even have a fence to keep the little ones from falling into the water.
While I understand New Englanders tend to be pretty tough, a pre-school, dam and a rapidly running river seemed a bit extreme. I’m glad they built a fence.
Essentially I’ve been using monochrome formatting to get the pink tones into these pictures. Although black and white is the “typical” format for monochrome, it is by no means the only one.
You’ll find many formats some of which use many colors and others based on two primary colors, as well as bi-tonal formats that use a wide range of colors.
Our software gives us hugely increased access to filters and processing techniques. We can create antique-style photographs using pastel tones. We create “damaged photographs” and pictures that look as if they were created on glass plates or made with silver.
Pink is one of the more difficult colors to find, but by golly, I found it!
Garry and I have no sense of direction. Manchaug used to be a town, but it didn’t have enough income to keep itself going, so it parceled itself out to Douglas and Sutton. Maybe Uxbridge too, but I’m not sure about that.
Thing is, the river that runs through Manchaug which is one of the many tributaries of the Blackstone and is part of the valley’s watershed, but most of it is a big pond … and the pond is located in Douglas.
We tried to find it today, but even though we followed the sign and we could hear the water, we couldn’t find it. It was in the woods somewhere, hiding. It isn’t the place we usually go when we shoot pictures of the dam anyway.
After driving around for a while, Garry said he was pretty sure he’d seen a sign on 146 that said “Manchaug.”
I said, “sure, why not? We aren’t accomplishing much driving around in circles in Douglas.”
So we got back on 146 and sure enough, there was a sign for the Sutton version of Manchaug, but once you got off 146, there were no signs at all. I said I thought it had mentioned Whitins Road, so why didn’t we just stay on Whitins Road and maybe the dam would appear?
We found it and the little Manchaug Post Office, a personal favorite of mine because how many post offices have hand-painted signs, right?
We took pictures of the dam, pictures of the pond, pictures of each other and the classic shot of each of us taking pictures of the other.
I got into an obsessive mode with the water falling on and flowing over the rocks at the base of the dam, so I figured one of them was going to have to be pink. Because there was a lot of water rolling over the dam … the most water I’ve ever seen in that small river. The rain has come this year.
Garry wanted to know where I’d seen pink rocks and I tried to explain the whole square pink picture thing to him, but he lost me somewhere around square and pink. I think I got a nice mauve motif going on this one.
The rocks at the base of the dam in Manchaug in slightly blushing pink. Most importantly, we actually found the place! Yes, we found it!
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