Yesterday we went shooting. We were smarter than usual and stopped to buy a bottle of Cutter’s bug repellent first. Marilyn was already covered by mosquito bites from the mosquitoes inside the house. The bugs were so thick outside they looked like snow. Except they had wings. There were maybe a million tiny yellow moths and another million little black-winged fluttery things. Moths? Butterflies? And of course, millions upon millions of mosquitoes and flying jaws without names.
West Bend along the Blackstone River
Before we exited the car, we sprayed every part of us we could find.
It was bad. Really awful. We could feel them hitting our backs and landing on our hair. Marilyn fled early when one crawled down the back of her dress. I lasted a little longer.
Good bye, bikes
It was a warm, humid day. There were supposed to be fireworks this evening at the Middle School in Uxbridge, but by the time we got home — and it was still daylight — the rain was falling in sheets. There’s a rain date tomorrow. Maybe it will be better, but I doubt we will go. July evenings outside? Think lunch and you are the only thing on the table. Even with all the DEET, I don’t think we have it in us.
Marilyn shooting by the canal
I spent too many years outside covering stories while being eaten by the local insect population. Indoors is a good place this time of year. Screens. Did I mention I hate bugs? Marilyn is afraid of them. I merely hate them.
I thought I had lost this picture and I suppose I did. I had it printed on canvas, but I gave that away as a gift — under the assumption I could easily find the original.
It was gone. I looked through every folder I could and it was gone. I have a photograph of the print I made, but no photograph, not even a “proofed” version. Except I forgot about Facebook. I was roaming through my photos on Facebook … and there it was. So I made a copy of the copy and it’s here. If I had the original, I could have fixed the detail and generally spiffed it up a bit, but I never expected to have this, so here is my lost photograph.
It is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a perfect “path in the woods” shot. I wish I had the original and a wish I’d used a better camera. Except at the time, this was the best — only — camera I owned.
And now, pictures from late this afternoon, down by the river.
The path and steps to the canal. Fishing in July
Path to the river and canal
Summertime by the canal
The wide Blackstone River and the road
When two photographers shoot the same scene, it’s always interesting to see what they will shoot that is essentially the same … and what they will see as different.
In this case, I was able to get pictures from places Marilyn couldn’t go … partly because I’m a bit more agile than she is, but also because she spent most of our shooting time trying to figure out why her camera wasn’t working. By the time she figured out what had gone wrong, it was time to go home. Better luck next time.
The Canal – April 2016 – Garry Armstrong
I keep it simple. I use the same lens and camera. I’m happy with my Pentax Q7. It’s light, comfortable in my hands. I know how it works. Results are predictable and usually exactly what I intended. Most of the time. Marilyn says I need to make sure I’m holding the camera straight, to take a look at the horizon and align with it. My bad.
This was a couple of days ago. Late afternoon down at the Blackstone Canal.
CEE’S BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE: OPEN TOPIC
Thank you, Cee, for giving me a chance try some new monochrome techniques. The bi-tonal feature worked well on the dam. It’s the first time I’ve liked the results from this filter.
Bi-tonal treatment (warm-cold filter) on the Mumford River Dam
It hasn’t been a great week for taking pictures. Chilly weather, rather dull outside. Gone the dramatic colors of autumn and winter has not yet arrived. Black-and-white gave these pictures just a bit more “zip.”
The Blackstone Canal, November
Clouds over Uxbridge, November
It was a beautiful day. Almost every day this summer has been perfect. Except for a scarcity of rain, I don’t remember a better summer in New England. No stifling humidity or weeks of tropical rain. No blistering heat. Just sunshine, moderate temperatures, low humidity. It doesn’t get better than this.
With a little bit of luck, Autumn will be equally perfect. And maybe (please, oh weather gods) a mild winter to follow?
A trip to River Bend Farm to see the beginning of Autumn in the trees. It was nice to see the Blackstone River looking pretty much normal. Hopefully that bodes well for our water supply.
Photo: Garry Armstrong
And the Blackstone River flows through the valley, past River Bend Farm, down through Rhode Island to the sea.
A bright shiny Sunday afternoon in June. At long last, it’s okay to take a canoe or a kayak out onto the Blackstone River. It’s been a long time awaiting.
You still aren’t allowed to swim in the river for a number of reasons. In this particular part of the river as it runs through River Bend Farm, the huge number of snapping turtles makes it unwise to even dangle your toes in the water, much less swim.
And the river still is sufficiently polluted to make swallowing the water or getting it in your eyes not such a good idea. But boating is officially, finally okay. You can take your raft, kayak or canoe out on the river.
It’s a fine thing to do on a lovely Sunday in June.