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Posts Tagged ‘photos’

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Except for the cannon balls at the Civil War monument in New York City, these photos are all from my walks in Massachusetts.

The town of Concord recognizes the International Day of Peace every year by putting up the flags of all members of the United Nations. This year I sent photos of my relatives’ countries of origin to them — Sweden and Egypt.

The Old Manse, run by the Trustees of Reservations, is decorating for fall. Its most famous tenants were author Nathaniel and artist Sophia Hawthorne. Tour guides like to show visitors where the couple carved window messages with her diamond ring.

The injured Blackpoll warbler had a tough fall migration and didn’t make it through the night. I did learn from Kim that one should put an injured bird in a “small, warm, dark box for night. If living in the morning, drip a little sugar water into mouth and release.” Something to keep in mind.

The pumpkin has an important quotation from former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black about a free press. My neighbor puts 24 small pumpkins on her fence posts every year near Halloween and inscribes something on each. This year the words are from Supreme Court justices, the 19th Amendment (giving women the vote), Massachusetts justice Margaret Marshall (making the state the first to allow gay marriage), and the like.

I wind up with another neighbor’s new tree house and a couple fungi photos. There seems to be a huge array of fungi in town this year, some of them very peculiar looking. We also have a lot of mosquitoes. Too much rain?

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September is already more than half over. How did that happen? Before it’s time for photos of Jack o’ Lanterns, here are a few pictures of September in Massachusetts. Most were taken by me, but the lovely praying mantis photo is my husband’s.

The star clematis has gone berserk all over town this September. So pretty. The herb garden is behind my church, as are the church sexton’s lovingly tended bonsai trees. Mist is rising over the community garden in the early morning.  I shot the ear of corn in the garden of the Old Manse. The great-looking fungus was along the conservation trail by the river. I do find fungus extraordinarily intricate and beautiful. If you’re on Instagram, follow @chasonw for some great examples.

The elephant looks real but is a statue at a home in my neighborhood. Not a street I usually walk down, so I was really taken by surprise when I passed it recently. The offbeat ceramics are in the window of the Lacoste/Keane Gallery, and the glass jellyfish are in a shop called Artisans Way.

I wind up this array with an end-of-summer farmers market, where a tiny boy with a tiny guitar was emulating a musician and a little girl was making friends with a goat.

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I’m still getting used to having an iPhone and was surprised to learn that my new one was counting my steps. When my husband told me that in Japan, walking 10,000 steps a day is considered ideal for good health, I wondered if I could manage that. At home, it means taking two constitutionals a day, a feat I doubted I would be able to keep up in the winter.

But in New York City, no problem! One day this week I walked more than 16,500 steps without thinking twice. New York is just such a fun place to walk — so much to look at, constantly entertaining. Maybe the storefronts don’t change numerous times a day, but the array of people does. And their pushcarts, fruit stands, clothes, behaviors.

People seem so uninhibited in New York that you could express your inner self to an unheard-of degree and no one would blink. Of course it’s sad that some people on the streets clearly have mental illness. But being used to living around them seems to free up New Yorkers not to care much what people think of their own behavior. I watched one guy oblivious of furiously honking rush-hour traffic and blocking a whole lane while he tried to hook a car to his shish-kebob trailer after work.

Another slammed into wet leaves on a rented Citi Bike and wiped out with a loud crash in the middle of an intersection, picked the bike up, and went on his way. If that happened where I live, it would be on the front page of the local bugle the next Thursday.

Most of what I saw happened too fast for me to get a picture, but I include a couple things that stayed still.

It’s relatively quiet to walk along Riverside Drive in the early morning, and many people and dogs do. Other people sit on the benches and read the paper or drink coffee. This worn park bench had a plaque I particularly liked. It says, “The friends of Susan G. Schwartz honor her and remember how she taught us to sit still.”

Going home today to sit still.

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A town with public benches is a civilized kind of town. Benches and sidewalks. Sidewalks and benches. Benches where a dad can help a kid with a messy ice cream cone, where an older citizen can take a break from his daily constitutional, where a shopper can organize her armload of purchases.

I’m grateful to the town government, the independent library, the performing arts center, and — especially — the many businesses that pay to place and maintain benches in Concord. It’s the little things that make for quality of life.

Want to send me a photo of a public bench in your town? How about you, Arlington? Stockholm?

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The calendar says we have more days of summer to come, but for school children, it’s over. Also for me.

For a variety of reasons, it wasn’t my happiest summer, but one has to be grateful for the beauties all around. It certainly is my favorite season for taking pictures. In winter, after I’ve shot all the snow-covered fences and bent-over trees, the photographic opportunities are mostly versions of gray. I’m no Sally Mann, in love with black and white, although I want to get better at finding curious shadows in winter.

The photo collection below starts with the working harbor where one boards the boat to New Shoreham and continues into sights that caught my eye in late August: horse chestnuts, Dusty Miller holding down the fragile dunes, a house sign with a sailboat, a gallery sign with a scarecrow, and the famous Painted Rock. I was so happy to see that 2018 at last had a good piece of art on the rock, not to mention that it stayed up a whole day without getting sloppily spray-painted over. The local paper promised to print my picture of the octopus side and seek out the artist.

Finally, I give you a curious sunset rainbow on an oppressively hot and humid evening. The weather had really gotten me down when this rainbow showed up, so beautiful I felt like saying, Sorry, Sorry, because one needs to remind oneself when feeling down that one won’t always feel that way.

This rainbow was amazing in a couple ways. First of all, there wasn’t even any rain: The air was just loaded with moisture. Second, the sunset on the clouds seemed to spread out the rainbow into several times its true size.

You have to be grateful for these things when you see them.

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Summer has its own pace — sometimes slow and sleepy, sometimes fast and exhausting. The grandchildren like to go-go-go. The older folks wouldn’t mind taking a nap every day.

This photo collection starts out with my energetic older grandson, who learned to surf this summer. Suzanne tried it, too, because John bought her a surfing lesson for her birthday. She says her nephew was really a natural.

Today’s pictures are all from Providence and New Shoreham.

Suzanne’s neighbor has the goofy fairy houses, and the elegant used bookstore Paper Nautilus is also near her home.

The Painted Rock is a beloved island feature — too beloved these days. People paint over one another’s messages within hours, and even a decent picture gets no respect. There were few decent pictures this year, mostly spray painted graffiti.

On our morning walk, Sandra and I snuck up on the bird that was visiting the Manissean cemetery, thinking we’d get a great shot of a heron. You have probably already realized it was only a cormorant. But what a cormorant was doing in the cemetery is anybody’s guess.

I wrap up with a pre-dawn view. “The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.” (Wish I’d written that myself.)

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Back in March, when I was complaining about a series of heavy spring snows in New England, Deb said, “Save a picture for August, when we really need it.” I think the time has come.

Folks in the Northeast are not used to having temperatures day after day in the 90s combined with crazy-high humidity. Friends my age seem to find it totally enervating. If we can’t get to a bit of shade or find a breeze, we just sit like lumps — or move ve-ery slowly. Not all houses have air conditioning. In the past, it was seldom needed.

So it’s time to stop complaining about the heat and remember how I complained about the cold in March. Deb was right. One’s perspective changes. The picture above was taken on March 13 when I really would have preferred to see spring flowers coming up. Looks quite pleasant to me now.

I also have a few summer pictures to share. The tiny bird on what appears to be a telephone pole is actually a very large, fierce bird called an osprey. Towns along the New England coast construct special nesting platforms to keep osprey from building on telephone poles. You may see many such platforms if you take Amtrak through Connecticut. At this time of year, there may be several young ones — no longer babies — perfecting their new fishing skills.

And I include a bouquet of local wildflowers, the boats in New Shoreham’s Great Salt Pond, and four photos demonstrating how the lotus at a neighbor’s house looks as it opens. I have recorded this other years, but every year, it’s a miracle.

I can’t help noting that even the lotus seemed to take the sweltering summer rather hard. Several blossoms simply bowed over, hiding their faces somewhere among their roots in the pond. I know how they feel.

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