THE FUTILITY OF WORRYING ABOUT WATER

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The entire state of Massachusetts currently holds a status of extreme or severe drought. We’ve had less than 5 inches of rain here in central Massachusetts. Areas around Boston and northward into New Hampshire have had an inch less … around 3.75 inches. That’s very little water. Dangerously little water.

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If you’d like to see an interactive “drought map,” here is a LINK. Other states in New England are also dry, but as far as I can tell, Massachusetts is overall, the most dry, although there are areas of New Hampshire, Maine, and New York which are also very hard hit.

For inexplicable reasons, the river has more water in it than it did last year at this time. Maybe whoever controls the water locally decided to give our fish, fowl, and other wildlife a chance to survive. Last year, they had nowhere to nest, and pretty much no food in the dry ponds and rivers.

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I love the river and I miss the birds. I haven’t seen a goose, a heron, a swan, or even a duck this entire summer. Not in the spring either. I suppose they have all — sensibly — flown away to places where they stand a better chance of survival.

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Ironic, isn’t it? Half the country is drowning in floodwaters. The rest? We’re drying up. Burning up. As I see the first tropical storm of the year heading for Florida, I can’t help but hope it stays a mere storm and brings its precipitation up our way. We really, really need some water.

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There is, I might add, nothing more futile and frustrating than worrying about the lack of rain. You can’t do anything about it. Nothing. We have zero control over weather. Fretting about that over which we have no control is mind-destroying.

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Nonetheless, I worry about the well. And the aquifer. I have nightmares about drought. Because if our well goes dry, we have no other water source. Neither do our neighbors.

FRAMED – GARRY ARMSTRONG

PHOTO CHALLENGE: FRAME


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Using parts of the landscape to frame the picture has always come naturally to me. Maybe it’s all those years of television videotape — and so many John Ford movies — but I automatically look for ways to frame a scene.

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It is not merely decorative. It also provides perspective and draws the eyes of the viewer into the scene … a principle that works for both still and moving pictures.

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Summertime … framed by trees and water. Downtown Uxbridge in August.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

NATURAL FRAMES AND PERSPECTIVE

FRAME | THE WEEKLY WORDPRESS PHOTO CHALLENGE


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I learned to take pictures by copying other photographers work, especially the landscapes of Martha’s Vineyard by Alfred Eisenstadt.

72-Closeup-Dam-Mumford-MA-082516_006One of the first things I noticed is that he invariably had something in the foreground as well as a strong diagonal leading into the frame.

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And he used natural formations of trees and rocks to frame it.

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I do the same or, at least, try. Probably not quite a well as the master, but I aim high, even if I don’t always hit the target.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

WHICH WAY AT THE RIVER – CEE’S WHICH WAY CHALLENGE

CEE’S WHICH WAY PHOTO CHALLENGE


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And so, with the temperature back in the comfortable range, Garry and I took our cameras and went down to where the Blackstone Canal and river separate.

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This is a favorite place to shoot and I have a lot of pictures taken here. It is always beautiful, no matter what the season, but it is spectacular in the fall. Which is coming. Soon.

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The sun was very bright. I was reminded how difficult it can be to shoot in extremely bright sunshine. Until summer’s over, we need to shoot earlier or later, but not when the sun is directly overhead.

There are a lot of ways in this little park by the dam across the Mumford River

There are a lot of ways in this little park by the dam across the Mumford River

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The park along the Mumford in the middle of town offers some excellent “which way” image options. Two staircases, paths, a river, pond, canal, two dams, and no fewer than three bridges..

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And then, it was time to go home.

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Home again.

Cee which way photo challenge

BLACKSTONE CANAL’S GEARS – CEE’S ODDBALL PHOTO CHALLENGE

CEE’S ODDBALL PHOTO CHALLENGE


We moved here in 2000. That’s 16 years ago this summer. It was probably the following summer that I really began exploring the valley with my camera … and discovered the canal and its locks.

The spillway where the water divides. The river is to the right and the canal, straight ahead.

Spillway where the river divides. The river goes right, the canal, straight.

The Blackstone Canal was built in the mid 1800s and was used by barges for just about a decade before being replaced by trains. The canal still winds its way along the river. Sometimes, it is the river. Other places, it splits off and runs alongside it. Uxbridge is one of the places where it separates. It’s also one of the places which has locks to raise and lower water levels. Rather like an elevator for boats and barges.

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The gears used to operate the locks at Uxbridge remain. Big, iron, and until recently, maintained in working order. For the past few years, no one has bothered to care for them. Probably a budgetary decision, but it’s a pity. How much did it cost to annually clean and oil the mechanisms? I’m sure it couldn’t be so much money the town can’t sustain the expense.

72-BW-Noir-Gears-Locks-Canal-082216_01Meanwhile, I’m still trying to get good pictures of the gears. These are the best (and most recent) photographs. I’m not entirely happy with them, but they’re the best I’ve done to date.

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Who’d have thought that so many years later, I’d still be hoping to get my first really good shots of the locks? If these don’t qualify as oddballs, I don’t know what does.

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GREEN PROFUSION: THURSDAY’S SPECIAL

August in the valley. The heat is beginning to ease, but the sun is still yellow with an early hint of amber. Everything is in full leaf. I can feel the subtle hints of autumn waiting at the door, but the trees still sing their song of summer

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This is profusion: the richest green, the fullest leaf of tree and plant life. The river is languid. It flows slowly, peacefully. The world is warm and rich.

 Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word

WHICH WAY AT THE CANAL – GARRY ARMSTRONG

CEE’S WHICH WAY PHOTO CHALLENGE – DOWN BY THE CANAL


Marilyn and I went to the canal a couple of days ago. I wasn’t going to take my camera … and then I thought “I’ll regret it if I don’t.” Probably because I always regret not having a camera when there are pictures to take.

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The Blackstone River, deep summer

Both of us have shot pictures of the dam many times during all four seasons. I think most were taken in the autumn, when the trees along the canal are in their glory.

Reflection in the Blackstone Canal

Reflection in the Blackstone Canal

Summer is a study in shades of green. Lucky for me, there were some people, too. After decades spent covering breaking news, I automatically shoot and let the chips — or pictures — fall where they may. They may not be perfect, but moving targets don’t wait.

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So here are the ways you can go along the Blackstone Canal.

Cee which way photo challenge