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

TREES – CEE’S BLACK AND WHITE CHALLENGE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Trees


Bi-tonal moon setting at sunrise

Bi-tonal sunrise

The colorful autumn leave as well as delicate shades of green leaves will lose something when translated to black and white. However, the shape and form of trees in black and white is amplified, especially in silhouette against a bright sky.

Date palms with mountains

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Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge Badge

IN MINIATURE, BEAUTY

Given “miniature” as a subject … and since, just last week I did a whole series of pictures of tiny carved Native American fetishes, this prompt certainly seems to be begging for more of those pictures. So here they are.

Every piece was hand-carved by an individual. The carvers are all either Navajo, Hopi, or Pueblo … with (I believe) a couple maybe Sioux or Cherokee. I have one carved by a local Wampanaug man who lives on Martha’s Vineyard. He carved it for me and I got to see it emerge from the antler.

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I used to have all the paperwork that told me who had carved which piece, when, and where. I lost all the papers. Not just one … the entire packet. Moreover, having bought these from a lot of different places, often directly from the carvers themselves, I can’t reconstruct the trail.

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I don’t, honestly, care about the provenance, except for wishing I could honor the artists by giving them credit for the work. I just love these beautiful pieces.

Mountain lion, wolf, and a lovely stone horse ... and of course, my favorite dancing bear

Mountain lion, wolf, and a lovely stone horse … and of course, my favorite dancing bear

The Corn Maidens are (mostly) much larger than the animal fetishes, but they vary quite a lot in size.

These are all parts of my modest, but lovely collection of modern carved fetishes. Although some (many) are “old-style,” the oldest of these is no more than 20 years. The materials are wood, alabaster, marble, turquoise, antler, and bone.

Each of these animals and the Corn Maidens have meaning in a ritual or religious context, but none of these have been appropriately blessed. I admire the art, but I would never appropriate someone else’s religion and pretend it was mine.

I have been on the other end of that sometimes. It’s annoying. Sometimes, it’s also pretty funny.

THE DAILY POST | MINIATURE